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Living the Yoga Life: Things you should definitely do and have in your life

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Make your house a personal spiritual haven and your heart a hermitage, as Paramhansa Yogananda continually advised.

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Watch and take care of your health, getting a medical and dental checkup at least once or twice a year. The moment a problem arises, get professional help. It is very unlikely you can cure yourself on your limited knowledge.

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Without health any form of life is difficult, including the yoga life. Do not be like a “yogi” friend of mine who decided she could cure diabetes with ginseng and other “natural cures.” She ended up in a coma, nearly dying, and spent the rest of her life an invalid on dialysis.

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Swami Sri Yukteswar told all his students to only be close friends with other yogis.

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Keep holy depictions or imagery throughout your home, especially the photographs of saints and masters.

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Follow a diet that is healthy and appetizing. No food that is repulsive or boring is good for you. (Yogananda really insisted on this, as more than one of his disciples told me.)

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Acquire an extensive Sanskrit vocabulary, but do not study Sanskrit itself unless you feel you must, for it is a years-long process in which you might have done better by reading good translations.

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Meditation will expand your consciousness, but the mind–manas and buddhi–must also be cultivated and expanded by spiritual study.

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As a yogi you will become very sensitive to the spiritual effects of sound. Especially seek out good religious music of both East and West. Unfortunately a lot of contemporary recordings of Indian music are sung in a raucous or phony style and loaded with silly sound effects and instruments–the worse being the vibraphone. Look for traditional Indian music played on traditional instruments. Avoid recordings that have heavy jungle-beat drumming–another curse of modern Indian bad taste. The recordings of Yogananda’s chants sung by the monks and nuns of Self-Realization Fellowship are very good, Brahmacharini Meera’s recordings being at the top, for she was a true saint.

Do not forget Buddhist and Taoist music.

If, however, oriental music sounds too peculiar to your ears, do not bother with it.

The Christian music of both East and West holds great potential for upliftment and calm. Whatever the style, acapella singing is almost always best. Recordings of Eastern Orthodox Greek and Russian liturgical music can be extraordinarily beautiful, as well as that of other Slavic countries. If Gregorian chant appeals, good, but if not it is just fine. (Gregorian was originally intended to be sung with a holding note or ison, and not monophonically. Also it was sung much faster and did not sound like the singers were heavily sedated all the time. Both these defects are modern aberrations stemming from the French monastery of Solesme.)

Do not disdain ordinary church hymns, some of which have a profound message when heard with a yogi’s perspective. Remember: Yogananda’s favorite hymn was In The Garden which, when looked upon as a description of meditation, is really inspiring.

Never listen to a piece of music like it is medicine–if it does not really appeal to you, listen to something else or enjoy outer silence.

Next in Living the Yoga Life: Spiritual Reading

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About to Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga

Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga

Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga: Introduction

    1. Living the Yoga Life: Climbing the Ladder of Consciousness
    2. Living the Yoga Life: Sanatana Dharma, Sanatana Yoga
    3. Living the Yoga Life: The Atman/Self
    4. Living the Yoga Life: Bhakti and Jnana
    5. Living the Yoga Life: Brahman
    6. Living the Yoga Life: Ishwara
    7. Living the Yoga Life: Breath
    8. Living the Yoga Life: India and Sanatana Dharma
    9. Living the Yoga Life: The Importance of Independence
    10. Living the Yoga Life: The Intelligent Path
    11. Living the Yoga Life: The Internal Life
    12. Living the Yoga Life: Japa and Sound (Shabda)
    13. Living the Yoga Life: Japa with the Breath
    14. Living the Yoga Life: Jnana
    15. Living the Yoga Life: The Jnani
    16. Living the Yoga Life: Karma and Karma Yoga
    17. Living the Yoga Life: Kundalini
    18. Living the Yoga Life: Liberation
    19. Living the Yoga Life: It Is All Up To Us
    20. Living the Yoga Life: Madness, Divine and Worldly
    21. Living the Yoga Life: Manas (Mind) and Buddhi (Intelligence/Intellect)
    22. Living the Yoga Life: Buddhi Yoga
    23. Living the Yoga Life: True Masters (And Not)
    24. Living the Yoga Life: Maya
    25. Living the Yoga Life: Meditation
    26. Living the Yoga Life: Prana
    27. Living the Yoga Life: Raja Yoga
    28. Living the Yoga Life: Reincarnation
    29. Living the Yoga Life: Religion
    30. Living the Yoga Life: Samadhi
    31. Living the Yoga Life: Sadhana
    32. Living the Yoga Life: Dedication to Spiritual Life
    33. Living the Yoga Life: Self-realization
    34. Living the Yoga Life: Shivashakti
    35. Living the Yoga Life: Spiritual Experience
    36. Living the Yoga Life: The Spiritual Teacher
    37. Living the Yoga Life: Subtle Anatomy
    38. Living the Yoga Life: The World
    39. Living the Yoga Life: Worship
    40. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga, the Body and the World
    41. Living the Yoga Life: Dharma and Adharma
    42. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga–The Supreme Dharma
    43. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga Nidra
    44. Living the Yoga Life: The Yogi
    45. Living the Yoga Life: Some Advice to Yogis
    46. Living the Yoga Life: Qualities of a Yogi
    47. Living the Yoga Life: This and That
    48. Living the Yoga Life: Touch Not
    49. Living the Yoga Life: The Gita Speaks To The Yogi
    50. Living the Yoga Life: How It Is Done
    51. Living the Yoga Life: Use your mind
    52. Living the Yoga Life: Some things it is wise to avoid
    53. Living the Yoga Life: Things you should definitely do and have in your life
    54. Living the Yoga Life: Spiritual Reading
    55. Living the Yoga Life: Gorakhnath Speaks To The Yogi
    56. Living the Yoga Life: And A Final Word From Me
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