The Financial Services industry uses a rating system to indicate the solidity of different investments. In this system the triple-A (or “AAA”) rated assets are those thought to have the best capacity to deliver the returns promised on the investment made. Now this is probably the point where you ask yourself if you are actually on the EkhartYoga site or have been redirected to some other corner of the internet – so lets move on to detox and yoga…!
The promise of the new
The New Year – and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – the longer days and promise of Spring around the corner, is the time when detox products and programs confront us everywhere we look: detox diets, dry (alcohol-free) Januaries, fasting and detox juices, to name but a few. And whilst many of these have their merits (though a few seem more like quick fixes dreamt up by the marketeers keen to grab a piece of the action), the ultimate detox program is yoga. Or in other words, when it comes to detox – or purification – yoga is the best and oldest practice there is.
The triple A-rated detox program
So, in the language of the Financial Services rating game, yoga is a triple-A rated detox practice: our practice of yoga has the potential to work into our physical system, into our biology and behaviours, and way down into our minds. When we invest in yoga then yoga has the capacity to deliver the results promised!
For those of use who practise yoga on our mats the three A’s of our triple-A rated purification are: Asana, Attitude and Action.
These three A’s work together as a mutually reinforcing virtuous circle and they are all available to us now:
1. Detox through Asana
The key here is do your practise and do it regularly! Most of mainstream yoga taught in the West today focuses primarily on this – the focus in teaching is on the physical execution of the postures. Simple and effective, and over time this will wake us up.
And one of the most important effects is that we wake up to the freedom to choose our own attitude to any situation we find ourselves in.
2. Detox through Attitude
The key here is our inner approach – or attitude – to practise. As we wake up through our practise on our mats, we grow our ability to observe from awareness what is going on, to accept what is going on and to practice for the sake of practice rather than achievement.
The effect of practising with attitude is that we start to learn stuff about ourselves; things which were unseen rise into our awareness.
3. Detox through Action
The key here is to take what we learn about ourselves, through our practise with attitude, off the mat and into our lives. Or in other words, we go out and act differently. This is something we all do individually, we take the courage to step into the new.
The effect is that we disengage from unhealthy behaviours and move towards healthy behaviours – very literally we behave from a greater sense of wholeness.
Sustaining the 3 A’s
The thing with yoga – as with all detox programs – is we have to keep it up, and the more solid it is, the better it works. As we all learned from the financial crash of 2008, not all those triple-A rated investments were as solid as they seemed. When people started looking closer, one or two of those A’s were missing and we all know what happened next. The invitation of yoga to each of us is to work and play towards including and growing all three A’s of Asana, Attitude and Action in our practise of yoga.
When we include all three A’s into our practice then yoga lives up to its promise as the ultimate detox! We open the door to self-directed personal transformation. Or to return one last time to the Financial Services analogy, yoga will deliver – albeit sometimes in unexpected ways – on the investment we put in.
EkhartYoga members – watch my class: Yoga – the Ultimate Detox
For a more detailed exploration on the above you can watch my 20 minute talk, where I expand on the above and explore how yoga opens the door to ‘self-directed personal transformation’.