CD3 Track 7: Right Living for the Yoga Practitioner

Some people are coming for yoga lessons, and then as soon as they leave they start to smoke. So first of all I would like to briefly mention something about smoking, drugs and alcohol.

Smoking is bad for the body and makes the mind dull. Hallucinogenic drugs take people into a different dimension of the brain. They think that they are going into another state of mind, but actually it is like a dream; it is not reality. Alcohol also affects the body and mind in various ways. It affects your ability to do regular practice; it causes liver problems and weakens the nervous system; it causes you to become short-tempered and more fear comes.

If you are doing yoga on the one hand, you are making efforts to purify the body and mind. We talk about detoxing our body. The idea is to get rid of impurities and make the body more pure and clean. Then if the next moment you are making your body dirty inside with alcohol, smoking and drugs, there will be serious damage afterwards. It is like torture for your body. You not only lose your health but your money too.

Therefore these things are big obstacles for the practice and for spiritual development. If someone is initiated in Kriya yoga and continues with bad habits like smoking and drinking there will be no progress. People will say, “I am not getting any experience in yoga; this path is not for me,” and they will abandon their practice and go in a negative direction instead.

So we have to be very alert and conscious about what we are doing. If we want to leave these habits, then yoga can help us, and the habits will slowly disappear as our mind becomes deconditioned. But if we are somehow very attached to our bad habits, and practising yoga at the same time, it is not good.

Lethargy and tiredness are big obstacles for many people. They are too tired for yoga practice because they are working very hard under pressure and are only thinking about money.

A negative cycle starts. If you have a lot of money in your pocket, you can see how mind is becoming very restless. You want this and that. Too much of anything can be a distraction. Then because of working too much you go to the supermarket and buy fast-food, thinking that it will save time and energy. You eat quickly which is harmful for physical body. But soon illness and old age creeps up on you. In the long run it is better to have less money and a balanced lifestyle.

So don’t forget the necessity of a balanced diet. Give your body all the minerals and vitamins that it needs. For your peace, the body needs proper nourishment, and fibre genic food. Many people eat food very quickly and this is harmful for the body. So chew properly and take time to digest your food. Eat in a relaxed way. Drink before a meal, or half an hour after eating, not during a meal, as this is diluting your enzymes.

One of the things that I have seen is widespread in the West and modernised society is a fear of food. I would like to tell that food is never harmful – but the fear that people have when they are eating is itself harmful. People think about the calories and worry about becoming fat. We are eating worries from morning to evening. Doctors know that coronary blockage is not only caused by food, it depends on the constitution of the body. It depends on your mental state, on how stressed you are. That is when cholesterol deposits in your body and there is a risk of heart attack. There may be no risk at all, but if a person is spending their time worrying about a heart attack, the fear is inviting a heart attack.

So whenever you eat, be happy, be cheerful. Accept what you are eating and take it in an easy way.

For your yoga practice, establish a routine and be disciplined. Don’t break it or you will be an irregular practitioner. Decide when you need to go to sleep, and when you have to wake up, and stick to it. Always think that I have to find a balance in everything. Regularly find time to examine how you are living your life and think about what you can do for your own progress on the spiritual path.

Take the time to look after yourself. Then you will find that you have plenty of energy and will be able to meditate.


Yogi Prakash Shankar Vyas (Guruji)