Marrying Yoga and Religion: The Future
Another motivation to choose this task for my third experiment was to seek (and am still seeking) clarification of how I can serve humanity after receiving my 200-hour yoga certification. I am at a crossroads in my life where there are many different directions I can go with my next career choice. Additionally, I sought (and continue to seek) peace amidst an extremely stressful and anxious time, which is a result from many changes in my life in a short amount of time. Having recently moved to a new area of Colorado, gotten married and enrolled in a yoga teacher training I have had my hands full. Another motive behind the experiment was to practice going really deep into my meditations to find the quiet space within in order to fully hear the voice of the divine. I recognized from my journal entries the more consistent my meditation practice, the deeper my meditations became and the clearer my Self-realizations. According to the SRF lessons,
“The real meaning of any scripture can be known only through direct experience. That inner knowledge is accessible to all men who attain soul- perception or Self-Realization. Followers of all creeds may apply Self- Realization Fellowship teachings: basic spiritual truths that develop man’s potentialities for living a godly life. Our humble desire is to help you, through these teachings, to expand your consciousness until you understand by your own Self-realization the eternal Truth behind all great religions, and to foster goodwill and universal brotherhood in the name of the one God” (Introduction to Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, 1956, p.1).
Even though I have experienced many deep, blissful meditations and felt one with God, I wanted to know more about my purpose and how to go about, “fostering goodwill and universal brotherhood in the name of the one God”. Another motive for the experiment was to meditate deeply enough to still and calm my mind to think clearly about ways I can also implement more service into my life while also fostering goodwill and universal brotherhood.
Some of the Self-realizations from my meditations were in relation to my next career path and inclination to personally “foster goodwill and universal brotherhood” (1956). Many of these were similar to others I have contemplated over the years, but in conjunction with this focused experiment I was able to gain more clarity and openness to the reality of importance of doing my best to bring some if not all areas to fruition in the future. Among the realizations I had over the course of a couple of weeks included teaching yoga classes to those in my new community: farmers, gardeners, Christians in the Lutheran church, the elderly and factory workers. These are special populations of which may not otherwise have access to yoga outside the mainstream and of whom I would feel comfortable teaching. Next, I continue to have a strong desire to teach mindfulness and yoga to youth to help decrease anxiety, especially since I have struggled with anxiety in my life, especially in my years as a teen. Additionally, I am inspired to teach yoga to teenage girls with a focus on body image and self-love. This is also an area I battled with as a youth and feel I could have benefitted from learning yoga at that age. Finally, I felt guided to teach yoga to athletes and to help them incorporate visualization techniques into their individual and team sport practices. My high school track coach used visualization techniques to prepare our team for track events. From my personal experience, this is an area of team building that was extremely effective and can carry into other areas of life. Even though this experiment did assist me with getting quiet enough to listen to God to help me gather ideas, I now realize I need to listen and gain a better understanding of the needs of my new community in Northern Colorado. This will set me up to create an optimum match with my strengths to special populations and their greatest needs. I plan to continue this journey by talking to other experts in the field and with people in my community after the conclusion of my yoga training