Karma Yoga is more a practice for spiritual growth rather than exercise for any sort of health benefit. It is aimed to rid you of the vices of greed, lust, hate and other negative attributes. The principle of Karma governs this Yoga practice which emphasises that you sow the seeds of consequence with every action that you knowingly or unknowingly do. Karma Yoga is the practice to have a pure heart and reduce the risk of making bad Karma. Meditation is one of the main elements of such a life plan.
Although the practice of Karma Yoga is spiritual, there is much emphasis on maintaining a harmonious balance of all your activities. This is in keeping with one of the verses of the Bhagavad Gita which means one can achieve a state of Yoga, or equanimity only if his eating, sleeping, and various activities in the day are in a balance appropriate to his personality.
So, the beginners on the path of Karma Yoga can follow a simple routine in keeping with the wisdom of the mentioned verse.
Keep your hands and knees on the Yoga mat. The arms should be in a straight line to the shoulders. Now, shift your toes under your feet without moving your knees. As your feet come in the right direction, push the mat with your hands. Move your legs up and get them in a position such that your body forms an inverted “V” with the ground. Hold the pose till you complete five breaths. Move your body in the previous position gradually.
Stand with both feet together. Move forward as though stepping out to walk but lower your back leg instead. In this position, you need to ensure that your back leg is above your ankle. Your body above the waist should be in a straight line. The leg that you have taken forward should not be placed in a way that the knees are protruding ahead of the ankle. You can do these by alternating with both feet.
Karma Yoga also involves the following basic elements:
- Practice deep breathing to achieve a calm state of mind in which you can purge off negative emotions such as jealousy, egoism or lust
- You also need to engage yourself in some kind of humanitarian or social service project. This is an important part of Karma Yoga as it is based on the principle of Karma that emphasises that good Karma comes back to you
- Be compassionate about others and try to help them when they are in need
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