Tuesday ~ The Law of Karma
The third spiritual law of yoga pertains to karma, there are reactions to our actions. Every action we take generates a force of energy that returns to us in kind—as we sow, so we reap. When we consciously choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
Although many people misinterpret the Law of Karma as imprisoning us in a cycle of unending reactivity, it is actually an assertion of human freedom. Karma implies the action of conscious choice-making for we are all infinite choice makers. In every moment of your existence, the real you resides in the field of pure potentiality where you have access to unlimited choices. Some of these choices are made consciously, while most are made unconsciously. The best way to understand and maximise the use of karmic law is to become consciously aware of the choices you make in every moment.
Whether you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past. When you make choices unconsciously, you don’t think they are choices, and yet they are. If you step back a moment and witness the choices you are making, then in just this act of witnessing you take the process from the unconscious into the conscious realm. In every situation, there is one choice out of the many available that will create happiness for you as well as for those around you. When you make that one choice it will nourish you and everyone else influenced by that action.
Applied to your practice of yoga, the Law of Karma is demonstrated as you consciously move through your postures aware of how there is a reaction for every action you execute. If in your impatience you force yourself into a pose that you are not fully ready to perform, your body/ mind will react, and the consequences of your straining will generate feelings of strain within you. On the other hand, when you move gracefully into the limits of each pose with an attitude of gentleness and finesse, your body/mind responds with effortlessness and ease.
Notice that by slowing down your movements, you become more aware of the karmic consequences of your choices. If your body is unusually uncomfortable the morning after a yoga session, it is most likely the result of your ignoring the Law of Karma. You probably pushed too hard, making a less than ideal choice, and the karmic cost is your discomfort.
Karma presents itself in your present by reminding you of your past. Choosing more consciously from the witnessing realm of quiet awareness, you make karma-free choices.
The Bhagavad-Gita reminds us that we have control over our choices but not over their consequences; therefore, we should use the intelligence of our mind and body to make the most conscious choice available to us at every moment.
Enliven the Spiritual Law of Karma into effect in your yoga practice and your life so that you make the most evolutionary choices. Commit yourself to the following three steps:
- As you move through your yoga practice, witness the choices you make in each moment. In the witnessing of your choices, you will bring them into your conscious awareness. Be fully present in this moment and your next moment will not carry the consequences of the prior one. The best way to prepare for any moment in the future is to be fully conscious in the present.
- As you make your choice about how to move through resistance in your poses, ask yourself two questions: “What are the consequences of the choice I’m making?” and “Will this choice bring comfort?” When you make your choices outside of your practice of yoga, ask yourself, “Which choice is most likely to bring happiness and fulfilment to me and to those affected by my choice?”
- Then listen to your heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. Your heart is the junction point between your mind and your body. If the choice feels comfortable in your body, move into it with confidence. If the choice feels uncomfortable, pause and see the consequences of your action with your inner vision. Honouring the guidance that is provided by your body’s intelligence will help you make the most evolutionary choices for yourself and those in your life.
To awaken the energy in the first chakra and the Law of Karma.
Mantra ~ Om Kriyam Namah My actions are in alignment with cosmic law.
Chakra ~ The Law of Karma is most resonant in the first chakra at the base of the spine, Muladhara. The root of our life that connects us with the elements and forces of nature. When energy flows freely through this elemental chakra, we feel grounded, confident in our ability to meet our basic needs.
Asana ~ Tree, Half Lotus Tree, Tadasana, Dancers Pose
Deepak Chopra ~ “A simple way to interpret karma is that it is a conditioned response – the past influencing the circumstances of the present. As bundles of conditioned reflexes we are constantly triggered by people circumstances into predicted outcomes. Hence karma is considered to be a prison. The goal of the spiritual journey is to escape the prison of karma and bring about the true response of the soul, which is creativity. The more creative and unpredictable our response to the world, the more we are alignment with the creative forces of the universe.”