Soul Yoga

If you want to nurture your soul- and you should – try soul yoga.

Conventional yoga is an ancient discipline that nurtures the body, mind, and heart.  It does so using exercises that involve stretching and breathing to open, release, and convert discomfort into comfort and fatigue into energy.  Only through experience does this magic make sense.   

Our souls benefit from stretching and breathing, opening and releasing, converting discomfort into comfort, and weariness into serenity.   The exercises are just different and don’t require any physical movement at all.  Like physical yoga, soul yoga is a gentle process that produces surprising benefits. 

But what is this soul of which we speak?  Who knows?  There is no consensus on the meaning of the word soul.  But here is a distillation of some common ways the soul is described by soulful people.  For instance, many people use the adjective “deep” in reference to their souls, reflecting the sense that the soul resides in the depths, or core, of one’s being.  “Eternal” is another descriptor, suggesting that there is something timeless about the soul’s nature.  Many people feel as though their soul is a central aspect of both their origin and their destination.  Some even sense that their souls preceded their earthly existence and will endure beyond it.  If the essence of the universe is like a sea of unconditional love, a soul is a droplet arcing out of that sea before eventually reuniting with it.  For these reasons the soul can feel like a portal to the Divine.

It is exceedingly difficult to live a soulful life.  The world is too damn painful and scary to walk around with an unsheltered soul.  Sadly, we must distance ourselves from our sensitive souls in order to  protect them from the unbearable agonies of life.  But protecting must not mean neglecting. It is vitally important that we nurture our souls, and that is where soul yoga comes in.

You can easily do a soul yoga routine in as little as 10 minutes.   This gentle exercise expands the capacity for love and compassion, the essential nourishments of the soul.  Find a peaceful environment to reflect, grab some writing materials, and respond to these questions.

Today…

…I feel grateful for….

…I feel sorrow for…

…I feel sorry for…

…I would like to offer forgiveness for

…I would like to receive forgiveness for…

…I feel compassion for…

…I am lovable because …

…I feel joy for…

…I seek peace with…

That’s all you need to do. 

Here are some ways to enhance the effectiveness of your soul yoga.

  1. Your answers may not arrive immediately, so let your mind calmly seek answers that feel true.
  2. Feel the truth of your statements before you write them.  
  3. Consider the value small things, large things, and everything in between. 
  4. Imagine directly expressing your sentiment to another.
  5. Be gentle and patient with yourself.  Understand that the more we suffer, the more challenging it can be to access these soulful sentiments.  Do what you can without expectation or disappointment.  
  6. Read back over it.
  7. Know that even small attentions and expressions nurture the soul.  Your soul will be grateful to you for simply making the effort.

 

These expressions will stretch and open your soul to a range of exquisite sentiments.  Gratitude, sorrow, regret, forgiveness, mercy, grace, honor, compassion, love, joy, and peace are all profound energies of the soul that  enable your soul to breathe more fully.  The paradox of the soul is that giving and receiving love are inseparable.  

Enjoy your soul food.