When you set out to do something, whether it be to try out a new workout class or decide to follow a new recipe, your actions will bring about various results. At the end of the day, it is the dedication and commitment you put into your activity that ultimately is the most important part of your task. Here’s where Karma yoga comes in.
What Is Karma Yoga?
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Karma is how your actions and how you treat people ultimately affect you in the long run. Karma yoga refers to the yoga of ‘action.’ It is the path you take with total and complete commitment no matter what the outcome is.
The word ‘Karma’ refers to both action and the result of the action, and signifies a cause and effect relationship. This form of yoga promotes the act of being selfless and practicing more compassion and kindness towards others.
We often don’t realize how much we take for granted, and letting go of our ego and helping others will only come full circle and benefit you in the long run.
7 Principles of Karma Yoga
The seven principles of karma yoga include the following:
1. Think Well
Having a positive attitude towards your goals goes a long way in your practice. Karma yoga encourages you to do things with love and care rather than take on a fearful and jealous attitude with what you set out to do.
2. Have Pure Motives
The act of performing a service without thinking about how it benefits you allows you to think about the bigger picture and focus on the importance of giving back to the community.
3. Be Duty Bound
Whatever the task you have at hand, do it properly and do it right. Don’t quit half way or do it half-heartedly. You should put your complete focus and concentration on the task and learn from all the challenges you face.
4. Give Your Best
Challenge yourself to be better and give your 100% to everything you do. Be yourself and focus on giving it your all, no matter who or what tries to get in your way. Be optimistic in your endeavors and try to keep the negativity away.
5. Forego the Results
Don’t let the results affect what you do. What matters is the work you put in and knowing that you put your best foot forward. It is important to understand that a job is a job and avoid becoming extremely attached.
6. Serve All
Treat everyone the same and learn to adapt to any situation that you end up putting yourself in. It is important to embrace change and not act out as this is what will guide you to move forward.
7. Be Disciplined
Always take every task as a learning opportunity and make it a habit to put all your focus and concentration on performing the task well. It is important to be disciplined in what you do and use the skills you have to do the job at hand.
Ways to Practice Karma Yoga
When taking Karma yoga out into the real world, the act of selflessness must be the main focus of any action you do.
Different ways to embrace in Karma yoga include:
- Take part in services catered to help families abroad; this could include building houses, transporting healthcare equipment, transporting food, and much more
- Volunteering at local shelters
- Helping out local and international charities
Sometimes, even little things such as holding the door for strangers or giving your friend or coworker a ride when they need help is a way to offer your kindness and friendship with others as long as you don’t think about what they can do for you in return.
Benefits of Karma Yoga
Karma yoga can have extremely beneficial effects on your mental health, including a happiness boost and an optimistic outlook on life.
Benefits of practicing Karma yoga include:
- Gives you a sense of freedom
- Eradicates all feelings of hatred and negativity
- Fosters kindness
- Encourages feelings of love and tolerance
- Reduces stress
1. What Is Karma yoga?
Karma yoga is the act of practicing selflessness and giving back to the community. The individuals perform their work with passion and dedication.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/28/2018
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Karma Yoga. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga/karma-yoga
A. (2017, June 16). What is Karma Yoga and How Can You Practice it? Retrieved from http://truenaturetravels.com/uncategorized/karma-yoga/
Achanta, R. (n.d.). Karma Yoga – What Is It and What Are Its Benefits? Retrieved from http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/karma-yoga-its-benefits/#gref