I feel the biggest issue of not living up to one’s full potential is actually not being able to find one’s edge. A lot of people know what they want to do in life, but because their dream job doesn’t pay the bills, they give it up and are ready to sacrifice. Others have a hard time defining what their edge is. Few people actually live their vision and are lucky to be living off their passion.
There was a time in my life when I struggled identifying with my dreams and was ready to go in a completely different direction just because it seemed appropriate to my parents. I was in a philosophy major and was about to start a teaching career upon graduation. But suddenly my whole life shifted. I had just earned my BA & BS in theater and philosophy. I was debating which path to take – the creative or the scientific. The decision was tough for I loved both. It was the one time in my life that I was undecided. Instead of taking charge of my life I left “dharma” do the job.
Dharma is a multi-faceted Hindu concept which on the one hand means, universal order, on the other – duty. So instead of choosing the direction in which to go, I let it find me. And it did. Shortly after my graduation I found a school for yoga. Or even better – Yoga had found me. I picked up a daily practice and soon was enamored with this ancient path to self-realization. I could feel that no matter what path I chose, it would be related to teaching, practicing and sharing my devotion to Yoga. And it’s still happening to this very day. I am living my true calling as a yoga teacher and inspirational artist and helping many other souls define their personal edge.
In Yoga the act of embracing your personal role is called “swadharma”. When we live our heart-felt desires we are happy and content and we radiate this positive energy all around us, inspiring others to do the same. What would the world be like if its 7 billion inhabitants did what they loved? Everyone would be contributing their unique presence and playing their original role. We all have an ultimate calling – whether it’s dancing, writing, baking bread, teaching, book keeping or simply being part of a bigger institution or organization. There are no inferior jobs or positions. Any occupation is valuable if it is performed with dedication. But in life we must go beyond the occupation and find our vocation – our inner calling. It is that one thing that we can do better than anybody else in a compassionate and humble way so we can contribute to the whole. But because of constant competition and greed for power we end up dreading what we love. We want to be better, smarter, more successful. To be number 1. In fact, we are always number 1. The perception about our self is simply clouded by mental conditions, by emotional accumulations, by social and cultural impositions. We feel the pressure to perform, to show ourselves, to shine. Yoga reminds us that there’s no need to –because we are already beaming. We only need to find our inner calling and do it for a living.
In the hierarchy of nature every species has a role in sustaining the eco-system. In life this hierarchy is often misinterpreted as a multi-level marketing pyramid where only a profit from the crowd. Thinking that they’ve outwitted the system they are actually in denial, misleading themselves. They have fallen in their self-created competition-driven trap, where they have a hard time of accepting collaboration as a way of co-creation and mutual well-being.
The concept of swadharma teaches us that when we find our true niche we become indispensable in the chain of wholeness. In fact, everyone is indispensable, uniquely gifted and priceless. We complement each other and together we rise in frequency. The universe is vibrational…. The subtlest form of vibration is the soul, which is enveloped by the emotional nature – the physical its outermost layer of energy. Because the emotional layer can accumulate a density that enshrouds the soul’s light and potential it is important to address it.
As we practice yoga we are constantly refining our energy and make it fluid and clear like water. In a state of inner buoyancy and clarity we let our mission arise and once we define it, the Universe affords us the opportunity to fulfill it. But in order to keep that lucid state we have to suspend all doubt and judgment. Judging or rejecting any aspect of our genuine identity disrupts the flow of energy and hampers our ability to attract the things we want.
The key that Yoga gives us is not to suppress our emotions. If instead of being available to feel the anger when it arises your repress or deny it, the accumulating emotion acquires density and overtime becomes a rage. As we deepen our meditation practice we learn to slow down and lean into the emotion. We allow ourselves to acknowledge, experience and release these emotions without judgment, clearing obstacles to our authentic self – our soul signature.
The soul signature is our purest potential expressed. You can have a calling to be a writer, but unless you are connected to who you are at the deepest level, your writing would not have the desired impact. Whatever profession we choose yoga amplifies our creativity so we can perform at our best, or shakes us to the bones helping us reconsider what we do and identity our soul signature. When we clarify our soul signature we are ready to embrace our life purpose. Life purpose is that which brings satisfaction at the deepest level. More than a goal or a set of goals, beyond right livelihood our Right Life, an ongoing connection to a personal directive, a call to cosmic duty. It is our highest potential expressing itself naturally and powerfully in all that we do.
As we lift the veil of imposed perception and melt away the disguise of the ego are able to see our mission in the bigger picture. Then we realize that we are not alone and acknowledge everyone’s contribution to the whole, while seeing our role in the unfoldment of the world’s story. Yoga helps us taps this purpose and make it our reason for being. And we enter the state of “swadharma” – our cosmic duty and personal calling aligned. Bingo! We found our edge….
Back-bending Yoga Routine: Find Your Niche (advanced level)
Designed and performed by our esteemed YA certified teacher Shipra Saraogi
This advanced Yogea routine with an emphasis on backbends helps you refine your practice and retrieve your soul purpose. Heated rounds of Surya Namaskar prepare the body for deep twists, arches, forearm balances and hip openers. Classical sequencing alternates with innovative variations and purging binds to promote glandular secretion and bolster all bodily systems. Smooth and organic transitions allow for a seamless flow leading you on a journey from simplicity to complexity. A cascade of standing poses, inversions, advanced hip openers coupled with tricky backbends roll one after the other to massage all joints, tendons and ligaments while unpeeling the outer layers and letting your true identity shine forth. Cleansing breathing promotes further detoxification and promotes mental clarity. Pacifying forward bends wind the sequence down, and guide you into a relaxation to align your soul purpose with your cosmic duty.