What is happiness? Do we need much in order to feel it? Where is the key to happiness and what does it depend on? How to be happy despite all twists and turns in life?
“Happiness is a person’s state, corresponding with the most satisfaction of the living conditions, fullness and meaningfulness of life, and fulfilling one’s purpose in life.” Great Soviet Encyclopedia
According to Yoga axiomatic, happiness is a natural condition of any living being! Many people think that everything is relative, and in order to feel happiness, one needs to feel pain and suffer first: “A blessing in disguise.” Is this correct?
Yoga tells us that there is no pain and unhappiness. There is only the energy of pleasure. Pain is a pleasure, divided into two parts and head-butted with itself. It means that we suffer when we want to get completely opposite things at the same time. For example we feel pleasure when eating a cake and we feel good being slim. But when we eat cakes our body becomes fat. That is where pain comes from. Our two pleasures head-butted each other and self-contradiction occurred.
As a result of our own ignorance we turn our natural pleasure into pain and suffer. However, there are some positive consequences of pain as well. Working as a “whip” it makes us develop, move, train our brains, reconcile the opposite tendencies, and make some steps towards our happiness. Yoga teaches us that starting from our life in a human body, we can overcome any suffering and return to our natural state of happiness.
Our Energy flows in the same direction where we head our Consciousness!
The process of reconciling the opposite tendencies is rather lengthy but enthralling. While we are on the way to unlimited happiness, Yoga suggests we should not despair at failure, but be positive all the time.
There is a principle of satisfaction in Yoga called Santosha. It calls us to be pleased with what we have, to see positive signs in every moment of life. Despair, discontent, complaints about misfortune is not the best way of life, it brings additional suffering and problems.
There is a wonderful tale about a wise man and his student. The wise man told to his student: “Look around the room and remember all things of brown color.” The student did as he was told. Then the teacher asked him to close his eyes and name all the things of blue color, which he saw in the room. But the student could not remember any blue objects, as he only remembered the brown ones. When he opened his eyes again, to his great surprise he noticed many blue objects. The teacher said: “It is exactly the same in your life, if you look for negative things, you will see only negative, and will not notice anything good.”
Yoga offers us a daily practice to notice at least three positive things. It could be something small or really big and important. Even in very difficult situations this practice allows us to tune our mind to positive.
“When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Мark Aurelius
Any negative situation can be overcome!
Any person in life periodically feels jealous, greedy, offended, scared or angry. It is not always possible to keep your feelings inside and remain content at any moment of time.
Yoga says: “Don’t so be afraid of the negative influence from the outside, as of your own inadequate reaction to it. There are no such things as good or bad emotions, but there is appropriate and inappropriate demonstration of such emotions.”
One needs to understand that demonstration of the negative emotions stops us being happy. An excellent tool helping us to step back from any tense situations is Kriya Yoga. It is a dynamic yoga, with concentration on the internal feelings.
During the practice we are watching our own thoughts and emotions and distance ourselves from them. As a result it is easy to tune to positive and happy feelings.
So what stops us feeling happy?
Sometimes it feels that our happiness depend on external factors. We think: “If I had a big house, an expensive car, a holiday home on the island I would definitely be happy!” We make our own happiness dependent on others: people, circumstances, objects, etc. This situation makes our happiness very fragile and unstable.
Practicing Yoga will help us to become strong and realize that the source of our happiness is inside ourselves.
During yoga lessons our physical and emotional state is improving. It happens due to increase of our prana or liveliness. However, as a force of habit we often use our potential for different actions which don’t get us close to reaching our goals: idle talk, negative thoughts, “nail-biting” etc.
Inappropriate use of energy can be compared with water leaking from the hole in a barrel — it takes away our positive attitude. That is why it is worth to analyze our life and “fill the gaps” i.e. get rid of the habits which don’t make us happier or healthier and drag us away from our goals. Yoga will help us to get rid of the negative habits and build up positive.
Happiness is inside each of us, it is our natural condition. By using the principle of satisfaction we can see life in a better way. Yoga practice will help us to get rid of inappropriate habits and emotions, which stop us feeling happy. If we want to be happy, we should remember, that happiness is in our own hands!
Wishing you successful practice and happiness!
Author: Tatiana Satcitananda
Translator: Tatiana Sugrue