Greed, chaos, separation by labels, it’s as though the United States is more divided than ever. According to the ancient Laws of Manu, there are four yugas or life cycles. For more information on the Four Yugas, click here. It makes sense that we are in the age of Kali, the age of darkness and ignorance. With all of the turmoil of Kali, how can a yogi thrive? The following is a guide to help you to regulate the noise of Kali, and find calm, both on and off the mat.
1. Improve your Yoga practice
Listen to your body, or find a teacher that can help you. Where are you feeling pain, soreness, and/or irritation? Now move to your mat, and take action to find release. Mend your neglected body. Find time for your practice. Really breathe into your postures, or asanas. Move through your asanas with feeling and intention. Your body and mind will reap the rewards.
Choose to tune out and tune in. Our society runs on such a frantic pace. Learn to be still. Start simply by sitting in meditation for 5 minutes a day. Are those Facebook posts/comments driving you crazy? Is someone just driving you nuts? Let it go! Focus your attention on something positive. Find beauty in real life.
3. Release judgement of yourself and others
You are your own worst critic, and it’s time to absolve that role. Likewise, release the need of approval. Be aware of the separation that you see between yourself and others. How can you shift your view of separation to one of inclusion?
4. Purify Yourself
What are you putting in your body? How are you treating yourself? What are your eating/drinking habits? Even making small changes can have significant impact on your health. Start to eat less processed foods, reduce the drive-through trips, choose a cup of tea instead of coffee. Take time for self-care. Take a long soak, get a massage, take a walk in nature. Honor your body as a temple and nourish it accordingly.
5. Find Satsang
Find “good company.” Be with others that bring out the best in you, those who don’t drain you. Search out people who are of like mind and are a joy to be around. Find supportive people who spark your creativity, and inspire you.
6. Defy the Kali Age
Think of a thousand petaled lotus. As you release old habits, thoughts and patterns, it’s as if you are letting old petals wither and drop, becoming closer to your core, to discovering your true self. Even though we are living in the age of Kali, it does not need to be the age of your individual cycle. Join the movement to awaken and rise. Shed selfishness and fear. Find your way out of the muck of the Kali age. Even though a lotus is rooted in mud, it can still rise to the surface in beauty.