#yogaabc: F is for Faith
Yogic thought comes with the notion that we, and everything in our lives, are exactly as we should be in this moment. That there is a natural order to the Universe which ensures our experiences take place to enable us to learn and develop as spirits.
The first rung of the yogic ladder according to the Yoga Sutras – practicing the Niyamas or ethical considerations – includes Ishvara Phranidhana, or devotion to God. The concept of ‘God’ varies among yogis, with some taking a classical Hindi view of God as a spirit represented by the deities while others consider the divine as simply an underlying conscious energy that pervades all of nature. Regardless, trust in the Universe’s consciousness underpins yogic practice. ‘The Lord works in mysterious ways’ is a cliche but this is essentially also what yoga invites us to believe. Whatever perceived fortunes or failures we have in our careers, our love lives, with our health or even in our yoga practice, to judge whether something is a success or failure within any limited time frame would be unwise – just as winning the lottery would not be considered fortunate a minute later if the news brought on a fatal heart attack.
This may seem passive and fatalistic, but actually it’s quite the opposite. In yoga, by acknowledging the true state of things – be it a strain in the hip in a forward bend or our grief after an accident – attention and great bring transformation in a way that is entirely natural and intuitive.