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Preparing for yoga is an on-going part of practice, whether you have been doing yoga for 10 days or 10 years. Yoga teaches us we need to renew our minds and bodies daily. Yoga isn’t something you do and then stop when you’re “done” — it is a process of growth, learning, and expanding your being. The following beautiful thoughts from Swami Krishnananda, show us how we can continuously integrate yoga into our lives.

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Before we start seriously any kind of practice in the direction of yoga, we must be well up with the requisite preparations. The achievements in yoga are a gradual evolution, a systematic advance and not a sudden jump. It is not a revolution that we are setting up. There is no revolutionary process in Nature. Everything grows slowly, stage by stage, without missing even one link in the process of development, as we have grown from babyhood to the adult stage. How beautifully does a tree grow from the seed! How many years does it take? There is no abrupt skipping from the seed to the fruit.

So is yoga a gradual developmental process of the ‘wholeness’ of our personality towards an achievement of All-Being. We have, therefore, to be cautious that the necessary preparations are made. We cannot suddenly conceive of the goal without being aware of the preparatory stages. Apart from the techniques to which we shall refer a little later, five of the requisites may be noted with advantage among many others: 1. Place, 2. Time, 3. Method, 4. Regularity, and 5. Whole-souled devotion to the Ideal.

You must have a place which is suited to the practice. You must also have a time chosen for the practice. You should have a method which has to be adopted continuously, without changing it every now and then. Then the practice must be regular and there should be no break in it. And, lastly which is perhaps the most important aspect of it, you must have a whole-souled love for the practice. It is said in the yoga scriptures that one loves yoga as the mother loves the child and thinks of it the whole day and night, and there is no other thought in the mind except that. “How shall I get it?” This ardent longing from the heart is itself half of the success in the practice, and everything else comes afterwards.

How do you prepare for yoga? Is one of the five steps a special joy or challenge to you?
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