In our YTT200 we learnt that there are four main paths of yoga are Karma, the yoga of selfless service, Bhakti, the yoga of devotion, Raja, the scientific approach and Jnan yoga, the yoga of knowledge.
I found hearing about Karma yoga and the action of “purifying the heart by learning to act selflessly in service of others” both very humbling and inspiring. This is because sometimes life can feel like it’s happening at a very fast pace, so it is easy to get caught up in focusing too much on ones self and therefore easily losing track of the bigger picture, of what you are here to be a part of and how you can help others.
Many of us carry out small kind gestures for loved ones and also polite and/or thoughtful gestures for strangers on a daily basis. This may be making a cup of tea for your partner after a hard day in the office or waiting to open a door for an elderly person but I realised it had been an embarrassingly long time since I had given back a significant amount of my time in a truly selfless way.
Of course it is unrealistic for most of us to selflessly give all the time as we are human (!) and have bills to pay, hobbies we enjoy, friends and families to tend to etc etc (the list goes on…) but every now and again it reminded me that it is important to set aside time to help serve your community. Whether it be volunteering at an organisation, organising something charitable myself or taking some unpaid yoga classes for those who are less fortunate I really want to make this one of my priorities in the New Year.
We are part of something far greater than than just ourselves and carrying out Karma practices is a wonderful way to remind ourselves!