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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Freedom of self-discipline

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Bringing yoga to life
Donna Farhi
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Freedom of self-discipline

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius,power, and magic in it.Begin it now.”- Goethe


I have always been interested in yoga and meditation culture, and I have gone to yoga classes more or less actively for many years. Now I went to a course where we practice meditative exercises once a week and get similar exercises as homework. It is interesting to notice that nowadays we forget to breathe and seize the moment. The purpose of this course is to find our inner selves again, so we can embrace the moment and enjoy it as it is. This skill helps us to weave through our lives and enjoy the important things again. Exercises are meant to be used in the moment when we notice our mind is starting to wander around and it´s getting difficult to get down to business. Power of mind fascinates me and I´d love to learn to use my mind as my strength and not to lose my concentration on every single small thing or sound.

Looking for self-discipline

Donna Farhi talks in the book “Bringing yoga to life” that the word discipline has a bad echo nowadays. The word discipline comes from to latins `disciplina` which means knowledge and order. So, the roots for the word are very well-intentioned.
Quite many of us think that self-discipline means that we need to smother all the fun. But instead of limiting everything spontaneous and exciting, self-discipline is to help us to rule our thoughts, energy, and actions, so we can utilize them effectively. So, we could enjoy the small things, and moments. So we don’t need to keep catching the dopamine- kicks all the time.
We need to find the way to channel our energy. We need to start learning how to grow our tolerance, which helps us to endure the space between the urge and the satisfaction. For example, we are addicted to our smartphones and it´s hard to resist grabbing them when the boredom hits. People spend one third of their lives in front of television. Or the person who is trying to find reasons why they decided to quit smoking.  This is the place where we need the power of our mind and self-discipline.

How we could get enough abilities to be present and find ways to stay in that moment before our desire of comfort hits. We should ask ourselves, what really extinguishes the desire? Our basic life-desire is definitely not to scroll smartphones.
When we decide to let the desire to take over, or we avoid our tasks, we don´t always see the difference between what is restorative or overwhelming.
What motivates us to practice is the thing which depends on is our self-discipline making us freer or not. Are we driven by fear or joy?

Bringing yoga to life- book

Donna Farhi´s book is an excellent knowledge package to question our own actions. It is supportive, and practical and is full of examples from her own experiences. Other key subjects are for example slowing down and practice motivation.
The book is easy to read and it feels like it has been written to normal people, not only for old and wise yogis and everyone could get something out of this book for their everyday life, even tho they would not be interested in yoga itself.

Easy tips to start practicing meditation

Start from scratch. At meditation class we all got raisins and we had to inspect the raisin as we would be aliens, who had never seen a raisin before. We talked out loud about how the raisin feels, smells, sounds, looks and tastes like. We tried to wake up all the senses to this exact moment with us, so we could be fully present. When you do this exercise, it’s nice to notice that you literally think and do only that. This exercise is meant to take into practice to everyday life as that we could be more present on each action we do. For example while eating we could just eat and not scroll smartphones same time or watch television.
Another easy practice is when we are sitting or walking, we would try to find five separate sounds and loisten to them. It’s incredible how fast we can be immersed into those sounds and feel present.
Most important practice to me has been learning to breath. I try to stay still for two to three minutes and breathe. I usually close my eyes and try to listen to the sounds. Thoughts come and go and I allow them to do so.


A modern person can easily lose the ability to stay present but we are not lost souls! If we pay attention to this fact and try to practice it, we can still be part of the nature and universe and not only a separate side-kick.
Yoga and meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and an average person can find points what to use in everyday life, without needing to turn into a hippie.

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