YOGA-ARTICLE: Life in Rita Rhythm 

1. Energy Method and Consciousness Method in yoga practice 

2. How to feel harmony? 

3. Bhava as a well-deserved gift from the Universe 

4. Move, feeling the rhythm of the Universe 

5. Practical application of yoga knowledge in life

In yoga, we often encounter the concept of harmony. This happens so often that the meaning of this concept can become incomprehensible to us. Let’s take a look at this term. Harmony (lat. harmonia connection, correspondence, ratio) a category that means integrity, consistency, natural connection of all parts and elements. According to the Harmony method, this is how you need to build your personal practice: alternate stages where you force yourself to do something, and where you allow yourself to relax. But how to coordinate everything in our personal life? How can this method be applied outside the mat? How to determine if there is harmony in life or something needs to be changed to achieve balance?

Energy Method and Consciousness Method in yoga practice

In yoga, as in a system of self-knowledge, there are two methods: the Consciousness method, or asceticism, and the Energy method, or allowing yourself. Consciousness and Energy, as the basis of our reality, miraculously intertwine and form everything we interact in life with. Bringing them into agreement with each other is that very harmony, that is, finding a balance where you need to show asceticism and force yourself to do what you don’t want to do at all, but you need to do it, and where you can let yourself to «go with the flow», relax and enjoy.

The Harmony Method in the terminology of Yoga can be called Rita. Rita (ऋत) is a Vedic language term that literally means «the natural order of thing».. In a more free translation, it is cosmic harmony, the dance of life, the dance of the Universe. Applying mutually balancing methods of Consciousness and Energy in practice on a yoga mat, we find Rita’s narrow path and then transfer it into our life.

In the practice of physical yoga (Hatha yoga, Kriya yoga), in the use of these methods, it is easier to detect when we are in one of the extremes, because we can feel the result almost immediately. If we overexerted ourselves where we should have allowed ourselves to relax, then we will feel pain from overexertion in the muscles or from the fact that we have overstretched the muscles or ligaments. If, on the contrary, your practice takes place automatically and without proper load on the muscles, then your body after it will respond to you with laziness, inertia and unwillingness to move.

How to feel harmony?

The first thing to note is that harmony is a pleasant subjective sensation. No one will ever be able to tell us from the outside whether we are harmoniously doing yoga or just doing a set of physical exercises. Harmony in yoga practice can be described as follows: you are practicing and you want to continue practicing. Therefore, any exercise can be yoga, or it may not be yoga — it all depends only on whether we are in a state of harmony or not. The only true guide is your own feelings! The development of observation and attentiveness to one’s own body and emotional state, as well as the regularity of practice, will help to track your feelings during the exercises.

It is the same in everyday life: you can turn any of your actions into a yoga practice with the proper attitude. If we are conscious and included in the fulfillment and living of every moment, attentive to our own feelings, and it is more important for us not what we do, but how we do it, then we can say that we have integrated yoga into our lives.

Applying any of the methods, it is important that a feeling of joy and happiness is born inside us. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the internal mood. Have we managed to tune in to a unique resonance with ourselves and the surrounding Universe? Do we feel the wave of our own life?

Bhava as a well-deserved gift from the Universe

The concept of «bhava» can be designated as a marker on the way to achieving the state of Rita. Bhava (भव) is a Sanskrit term that has many meanings, in an approximate translation it can be interpreted as «inspiration, impulse to creation». It is an inexpressible impulse that gives us a boost for new beginnings, inspires and directs our energy and attention to the creative process.

Bhava could be called a well-deserved gift from the Universe for the fact that we managed to capture harmony in our personal lives or on a yoga mat. But bhava can also be easily lost if you don’t take care not to destroy it prematurely.

What can destroy bhava?

  • Stress, a fast pace of life, a feeling of endless time trouble — all these factors have become a typical part of our life and it is very difficult to exclude them in modern conditions of life. But we can soften their impact on us. For example, you can set aside time for a practice aimed at relaxation.
  • Factors contributing to the loss of bhava include also inharmonious communication and receiving a huge amount of useless information (information noise). For example: news, gossip, yellow press, TV shows, excessive social networking and pointless «surfing» on the Internet. It is important to note the presence of these factors in your personal life and, if possible, try to minimize their impact.
  • An unbalanced diet is also a factor in the loss of our vital energy, and consequently our bhava. It is necessary to have the right individual diet based on the characteristics of your body and your needs, preferably with a significant proportion of grains and legumes, vegetables and fruits.

In order to preserve and maintain bhava, it is advisable to spend time daily in pleasant activities that fill us with joy, such as reading books, walking alone, and socializing with friends and like-minded people. Recreation in nature, trips out of town and travel helps to maintain this state. Even a thirty-minute walk in the park will help you recover from a day’s work. In general, it is very important to observe a reasonable ratio of time for work and rest, not to overwork and take time to restore mental and physical strength.

Also, you can enjoy works of art, visit exhibitions, museums or theaters, do what inspires and fills you. You can also express a spiritual impulse in the way that is closest to you: for example, through writing a story, sketching a picture, embroidering, or through something else original that contains a reflection of your bhava. Then the resulting work will delight us and give inspiration for self-expression. We have a huge creative potential, so it is important to allow it to manifest itself in life and transform the life circumstances around us in the most favorable way.

«The ability to create is a great gift of nature, the act of creativity in the soul of the creator is a great mystery, a minute of creativity is a minute of great sacredness». V. Belinsky

Go through life feeling the Universe around

In yoga, there are such practices as dynamic meditations, in which we try to capture the rhythm of movement in the truest sense of the word; these are the practices of Rita Yoga and Kriya Yoga. These practices are similar to each other, as they are based on a sense of inner rhythm.

Rita yoga is a spontaneous dance. We are dancing, trying to feel the rhythm of the whole Universe, the very pulsation of life, through our movements! Rita yoga does not condition us with a certain set of movements, we are free to express ourselves and move as we want, perform certain movements and change their speed and intensity depending on internal sensations.

The practical significance of Rita yoga is that we become more receptive to the ever-changing rhythm of the Universe and are able to more adequately and appropriately respond to all situations that happen to us and around us. We become more sensitive to the people and events around us and at the same time learn to act in the most effective way for us. Gradually, we understand when it is possible to let go of the situation and trust the Universe, and when we should do some active actions in order to reverse the negative trend towards a positive one. Sometimes, in order to take decisive action, we need to rely on the power of our Higher Self and create our own Universe. In another case, it would be wiser to trust the Absolute, this is when we have done everything possible for a favorable resolution of the situation and then do not interfere in the natural course of events.

Another aspect of Rita yoga is working through emotions, which also affect our mental state and our behavior. Uncontrolled emotions can lead us astray and prevent us from looking objectively and soberly at what is happening. Therefore, living our emotions and working to harmonize the emotional background is a gift that we receive by practicing Rita yoga.

In Kriya yoga, on the contrary, there is a strictly defined sequence of movements; each exercise is limited in time. Following your own rhythm is a condition for harmonious practice. If, while doing Kriya Yoga, we have a desire to speed up or slow down or to perform exercises with effort or to relax and allow our body to continue moving with minimal amplitude and minimal effort, then we should follow these inner sensations.

«Remember that if you move slowly, your «bad» karma will catch up with you and you will suffer. But if you move too fast, then you will catch up with your «bad» karma, which runs away from you in fear. Both ways are unreasonable». «Tantra Kriya Yoga» Treatise.

The feeling of harmonious rhythm in yoga practice is achieved gradually through movement, through its intensity, strength and amplitude by experimenting with one’s own body. Yoga practices, in which we track the sensations of harmony within us, will lead us to harmony with ourselves and the world around us. We will be more efficient in our business, work and personal lives if we know what needs to be done at every moment. This understanding is developed through practice on a yoga mat and attentive listening to your needs and inner state.

Remember that in life there are no ideal conditions for practicing yoga, so practice now! In this case, it is most likely that you will be able to find Rita on a yoga mat and integrate harmony into your personal life, as well as discover your inner potential and fulfill yourself.

Practice yoga and look for inner harmony!

Article author: Ekaterina Spiridonova 

Author of the drawing: Anastasia Andreichenko 

Editing: Maria Gayatri, Elena Lakshmi, Nasogma, Evgeniya Agni, Inna Shakti 

Editor-in-Chief: Anastasia Andreichenko 

Project curator: Kerigona 

Translator: Anya Vayu, Anastasiya Saraswati