Learn the Art of Listening to Your Needs Vs. Your Wants.
By Stefanie Honeder
A common perception of Yoga and meditation is that it is all about silence.
But this complete stillness might not be attained and helpful in this Life Dance 2.0. There is much out there in the world that can be done, experienced, tried and changed.
I find it interesting that many people in the yoga realm become activists and claim that Yoga has changed their lives and in a way so they can change the world. Yes, I do agree with that.
The Yoga tradition builds upon Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Sutra 46 (Chapter 2):
Practicing Yoga with strength and in a relaxed manner gives rise to harmony with the physical body (asana). ||46||
sthira = (nom. sg. m.) strong; steady; stable; motionless
sukham = (acc. from sukha) comfortable; ease-filled; happy; light; relaxed
āsanam = (acc. sg. n./nom. sg. n. from āsana) asana; posture; seated position; physical practice
As soon as we find the midpoint of silence that comes close to the idea of the still position in our daily lives, we can find enough mind strength to focus on things that we can change for ourselves and the world.
This is the common concept that we hear about in Yoga: It is helping you to be calmer and more stable. Yes, I agree with that. The natural law is that if one side is here, there is an opposite over there. If one side is silent, there will be another side that is really loud.
Whoever Patajanjali or the authors that were forming the idea about Patanjali were, we have to adapt this old wisdom into a discussion that helps us in a World 2.0.
Welcome to the art of staying, being and feeling fully alive.
For me, Yoga is not about being in that silence nor about ignoring our emotional aliveness. It is so important to say with totality Yes to our lives.
In these last few days, I have investigated the completely alive realm of my various layers that supply information throughout the whole day. These layers speak constantly in subtle voices and with subtle signals.
The layers of the mental, emotional and physical body can be separated like onion layers.
Sometimes our mental chat is louder, and other times it is our emotional chat that is louder. Our physical chat can get really loud when we have ignored it for long. This chat is evident when it overwhelms us and when we feel sick and drained.
This separation into three parts of ourselves can be likened to the concept of the koshas in yoga philosophy:
The physical layer (Annamaya kosha), the life-force and breath layer (Pranamaya kosha), the mental-emotional subconscious and instinctual layer (Manomaya kosha), the mental and higher wisdom layer (Vijnanamaya kosha), and the absolute bliss and happiness layer (Anandamaya kosha).
The separation into those three bodies stems from the Tamalpa Life Art Process, which explores our somatic human body through the relationship of the mental, emotional and physical layers.
Learning to listen to the messages of our emotional, mental and physical body helps us to stay in better contact with our intuition. This makes us see and choose only what keeps us healthy, happy and vital.
What does your physical body say when you eat something? What does your mental body say when you listen to or read a book or article? What does your emotional body say when you think about meeting this person or go to that event?
What does your mental body say when you go to a meeting? What does your physical body say when you choose to wear that t-shirt?
You can use this method of questioning the whole day for everything. If all bodies say No, do not do it.
Those messages that we should listen to throughout the day are art-forms in themselves. If Yoga is about learning how to take better care of ourselves while living to realize our potential, then it is not about sitting still, meditating and being an ascetic in a cave.
If Yoga is a transformative tool and practice, it also must be about listening to our needs and desires.
What are our personal needs when it comes to business and private life? What are our personal needs when it comes to the idea of realizing our potential?
Yoga is not about ignoring and locking away those subtle voices that only want the best for us. Most of the time our Wants interfere with our Needs and then we do not feel well and vital.
When we self-track and see the difference between the wants and needs of our emotional, mental, and physical body, we can design our life with an artful and aligned experience of being fully alive, happy, and satisfied.
And best of all, this coaching practice is For Free and works 24 hours a day. You don’t need any life coach to mirror and guide you in this practice.
What do your emotional, mental and physical voices want you to do right now?
Meditation and connecting to the voice of silence, as well as to the idea of complete stillness attained in meditative states, is a practice that is important to perceive, feel and listen to the emotional, mental and physical voices even more clearly.
If we don’t pay attention to those voices, they will become louder until we have no choice but to listen to them. When we ignore them too long, we become sick, drained, or involved in complicated human interactions or misunderstandings.
Yoga 2.0 transformation means adapting to the art of staying completely alive in this human body living in 2014.
Continue to listen to the various voices that tell you what is best for you throughout the day because your needs, desires, wishes and dreams are important. You are a complete, fully-alive, fleshy human being with emotions, dreams and desires.
You have access to an intelligent tool called the brain which keeps working with you 24 hours a day, supporting your pursuit in the art of being and feeling fully alive.
Stefanie has moved from photography to writing since starting her Yoga practice. While being fascinated about the power of words and going on with her writing, she is teaching Yoga and committing her life to explore and study Yoga, creativity and art in all forms, so she can support others to grow and live their (creative) potential. She is based in Vienna meanwhile.