Yoga: Inner and Outer Practice

Yoga Course Bali

Yoga generally starts with asana. The postures that we do on the mat help us to become flexible, strong, healthy and vibrant. Most of us feel ‘higher’ after we finish a good yoga session. This is a wonderful foundation for yoga and spiritual practice, but it is not the end. Yoga course Bali

Yoga is the art of becoming a complete being, and this includes cultivating both what is called the ‘outer life’ and also the ‘inner life’. The outer life is how we are in the world, how we act, speak, work, move and in general interact with the external reality. This is our usual mode of being in the world, the external. Our focus is directed towards objects and events outside ourselves. This outward focus, for many of us, take up most of our energy and attention. Yoga Course Bali

Spiritual practice is the attempt to balance the forces of attention and energy in life between the outer and the inner. Many of us don’t give time or attention to cultivating the vast world we have within ourselves. Outer events usually take precedence over things like meditation or quiet practice. Yoga Course Bali

Unfortunately, what we most easily neglect is our most important ‘reality’: our inner life; for the inner life is actually what forms our experiences of the world, our feelings and perceptions and shapes all of our experiences in the outer life. It is the foundation and cause of all things in our personal reality.

It is essential to cultivate some kind of inner practice. There are literally countless types of practices that help you to get in touch with, and influence, your inner life of feelings, thoughts and perceptions. Energetic practice is one of the powerful ones, and largely what the system of Tantra is based upon. We can sit or lay down, close our eyes, move inwards and simply breathe for some time, without distraction or breaking the flow. This is a wonderful start to cultivating your inner world. Try to cultivate a simple and clean mind which is aware but not thinking.

Gradually, as you become more comfortable in the inner practice and spend more time there, things get more powerful and subtler. Energy can be consciously moved around your body, influencing everything from health to mind, emotions to awareness. This is, in fact, the basis for Kundalini Yoga, which is a classical Tantric method for developing a deep inner life and becoming a complete and whole human being.

Meditation is also an essential way for you to work on your inner life. Becoming quiet, one goes inwards and explores the states of consciousness that arise as you are physically and eventually mentally still. Gradually, as you become more conscious of your consciousness, you open up areas of your awareness that you never knew you had. In classical yoga, these states eventually result in a euphoric bliss state that few people have ever experienced outside of meditation, but it is possible for all of us.

There are thousands of other types of inner practice, but I urge you to save some energy in your day for cultivating your essence, your spirit, your mind and your awareness. You will not regret it! Take just 5 minutes (or more) before you go to bed to sit quietly. Calm your thoughts and center yourself. Repeat…

 

Learn more about our Yoga Courses in  Bali and Thailand, and other Courses and Modules!

Check out the hosts of our Teacher Trainings:

The Sanctuary, Haad Tien, Thailand

The Yoga Barn, Ubud, Bali

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