By Laxman Panhti
Dedication to the art of Yoga is one of the most important keys to realizing the fruits of your practice. Traditionally, a Yoga student or aspirant was required to do selfless service for a decade or longer, before being offered Yogic teachings and techniques from a Guru. In today’s world, these teachings and techniques are readily available to any interested student.
Yoga practices will bear the most fruit if a student receives Shakipat or spiritual initiation from his or her Guru prior to beginning Yogic practices. There are a few living Yoga masters who are available to students today. Spending time with an enlightened master will ignite and nourish your Yoga practice.
The art and practice of Yoga is a life-long journey of awakening, exploration, discovery, healing, and divine joy. The art of Yoga consists of a variety of different practices such as selfless service, study of the scriptures, asanas, meditation, pranayama, self-inquiry, and mantra. As a student engages with the practices on a regular basis, the inner energy of meditation will become stronger and will begin to permeate his or her life.
As the energy awakens and ascends up through the chakras, many different thoughts, emotions, and experiences will rise to the surface. This will give the student an opportunity to process and integrate these different experiences and thoughts from a place of compassion and love.
In order to complete the path of Yoga and become united with the divine energy residing within one’s own heart, the student must be dedicated and steadfast in his or her practices. The Yogic path is not always easy or fun. It can be very difficult and painful as all sorts of memories, thoughts, and emotions are stirred up by the increasing inner fire (tapas). We also may be challenged to let go of unhealthy behaviors and attachments as our vibration level is raised higher. This inner fire or tapas can be daunting and requires true dedication on the part of the student.
After some time dedicated to the art of Yoga, a student will experience the fruits of his or her ardent study. These “fruits” can range from a stronger body to a clearer mind, all the way to experience the feeling of, or vision of, the essence of God within each of us. It is said that when we are able to behold Divine love within our own being and focus on it, great knowledge and bliss will arise. This is the greatest fruit of a steady dedication to the art of Yoga.