What can our relationships with others tell us about ourselves?

Yoga is usually considered an individual practice that each of us can use to develop a better understanding of who we are: a vehicle for our inner journey of self-discovery. Sometimes, though, we can get so focused on ourselves that we forget that our relationships with others, as well as our environment, are often the best place to put our calm yogic minds to the test.

Some practices of yoga, such as dhyana (meditation), are like shining a torch beam inside ourselves to see what lurks in the dark recesses of our mind. Others, such as Kriya Yoga (yoga of action) can help us point the torch outside to see what our behaviour in relation to others can tell us.

Treating each interaction we have with others as a lesson is certainly insightful. It can teach us how our likes, dislikes and egos can trap us into ugly patterns of behaviour. But we aren’t the only people who benefit.

Kriya Yoga is about observing ourselves and taking the time to ask a critical question: is there another way I could behave that would be more satisfying for the people I interact with, as well as maintaining my personal integrity? Most of us will find that, at times, the answer is yes.

So as I wind up my yoga classes for the year and head across the Nullabor for an extended family Christmas I’ve made a pact with myself: rather than reacting according to my second nature, I going to reflect on how Kriya Yoga can guide my actions. This way hopefully I’ll get to remain calm and peaceful and my family too will also reap the positive effects of Yoga.

Image credit: Jayraz

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