By H. J. Klingman Most of us do more to care for our automobiles than our bodies. Would you put sugar in your gas tank? Of course not! But we’ll put sugar in our body’s “tank” day in and day out, though it can not process it as effectively as other fuels. Would you drive for miles on a flat tire and let your wheel rim grind into the ground? NO! But we'll let a persistent pain or injury in the body go untreated for years before taking action?
Taking action to participate in maintaining our health is not a luxury or a burden; it is our duty, a call to action, our Karma Yoga. Karma yoga is our duty to care for our bodies and our health. Bikram reminds us constantly of the importance of caring for YOUR LIFE. Nobody else can take care of your life for you, it is your own effort required to fulfill this aspect of your Karma Yoga.
The word “Karma” translates literally to “action”. When we begin to practice the physical, or “Hatha” yoga, we are taking action by caring for our bodies, fulfilling our Karma by doing our duty. Taking action to keep your body and mind healthy and functioning, allows you to perform the other kinds of yoga in your life. Both actions and the results of those actions are Karma. According to Bikram , “Karma Yoga is number one; nothing is more important in your life, in my life or in this world than fulfilling your duty. This is what maintains balance and harmony in the universe.”
By practicing Hatha Yoga (the physical aspect of yoga) and Raja Yoga (the mental aspect of yoga), we prepare the body for Karma Yoga. When we practice Hatha Yoga we can discover where our Karma lies, and how to carry out our life’s mission. So, if ever you are feeling lost or without direction, all you need to do is roll out your yoga mat and begin practicing Asana (postures) and Pranayama (breath control). When you care for your mind and body your mission will come to you. Through patience, practice, and persistence you can begin to perform your Karma Yoga and fulfill your life’s mission one posture at a time.