In this series of creating a life vision, we have discussed what I have crafted as the 6 Pillars of Happiness. This is a long-term vision that helps you to take steps from where you are right now toward the life you want to live. If you have come upon this pillar first, it would benefit you to read through each topic (linked below) when you have the chance. This will equip you to create a whole life vision to unlock true happiness and balance.
It is not by chance that you have come across this series. Deep down we are all seeking real happiness and balance in life. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Harvard professor, once said, "A vision isn't just a picture of what might be; it's a challenge to our better selves, a call to become something more."
Maybe you feel ready to be more. Maybe you feel stuck, or you're burnt out. This series will guide you on what questions to ask yourself and how to create a life vision that is individual to you. For our 5th Pillar of Happiness, we look at spirituality in yoga philosophy and how it can help us unlock true happiness and balance in life.
What are the 6 Pillars of Happiness?
According to yoga philosophy, there are 6 parts of life that we need to analyze and balance to attain true happiness. These six pillars of happiness are made up of the following elements:
- 1st Pillar of happiness - Health
- 2nd Pillar of happiness - Career
- 3rd Pillar of happiness - Relationships
- 4th Pillar of happiness - Leisure
- 5th Pillar of happiness - Spirituality
- 6th Pillar of happiness - Lifestyle
With this series, you can:
- Uncover your long-term vision.
- Figure out what matters to you and what is stopping you from finding balance in your life.
- Identify what you want to achieve in all pillars of your life.
- Learn how to balance these pillars for true happiness.
So far, we have covered health, career, relationships, leisure and lifestyle. The next pillar of happiness in yoga is spirituality.
What is the Meaning of Spirituality in Yoga Philosophy?
Spirituality is about finding yourself. It is about connecting to yourself, and finding an answer to the question: "Who am I?"
You may think you are simply a human being rushing about life day by day, or just moving through the motions lazily. However, spirituality in yoga philosophy exposes us to the idea that we are much more.
Have you ever read any yoga philosophy? In these ancient texts the purpose of life is found. The ultimate goal of spiritual practices is to unite the individual soul with the super soul, otherwise known as self-realization. This definition is more symbolic and as you delve deeper into spirituality and yoga philosophy, it may spark a thought or curiosity about life itself.
One text was compiled by the sage Patanjali some 2500 years ago. It is known as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and explains the practice of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The goal of the Eight Limbs of Yoga within the Yoga Sutras is to reach ultimate awareness. The text teaches you how to achieve the highest state of awareness through practical steps for holistic personal development.
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How to Practice Spirituality in Your Life
Spiritual practices help us develop. They can purify the mind, body, and spirit. This will allow us to achieve mastery over the senses and gain enlightenment. Depending on your personality and circumstances, you will be able to determine what spiritual practices are right for you.
Here are some questions for you to get started:
- What does spirituality mean to you?
- How would you like to practice spirituality?
For some, this might be attending church every day. For others it might be doing meditation twice a day, or for some it might be spending time in nature. Each person’s spiritual practice can be different. What is going to be your way of practicing spirituality?
Examples of spiritual practices:
- Meditation for example guided meditation or Japa meditation
- Visits to places of worship like a church or temple
- Attending a spiritual or religious service
- Spending time in nature and appreciating the wonders of the natural world
- Practising gratitude
- Serving others
It is crucial that you make time for the pillar of spirituality. If we leave this pillar unattended, we will struggle to feel fulfilled in life.
As with the other pillars, go into detail about what spirituality means to you and how you want it to be a part of your daily life. Decide on when in the day and how long you want to devote to your spiritual practices. Remember that your spiritual pillar and its vision must match your lifestyle. This is a period of trial and error. You may start with chanting in the evening but after a week or two, you may find that the early mornings suit you better. This is perfectly normal.
“If I can change, anyone can too. You just need a reason to change.”
Using these pillars has helped me transform my life. I was a very shy person and never thought I could actually speak in front of even a few people, and do so in English. Crafting my life vision, I saw many things I now have. I have lectured thousands of students from all around the world in English. I have taught yoga in many places around the world. I achieved this with pen, paper, focus, and dedication. Understanding all the pillars that make up my life, and using them to create a vision was the best decision I ever made.
In order to balance your spirituality with the other pillars of your life, you can learn more about all the pillars in this blog series:
Relationships: Relationships in Light of Yoga Philosophy
Leisure: Leisure in Light of Yoga Philosophy
Lifestyle: Lifestyle in Light of Yoga Philosophy