A long time ago I overheard a family friend asking a child ‘what is your favourite colour?’ and the child replied ‘the rainbow’.

The answer really touched something in me, and after all this time – you may even remember me referring to this in the past – it is still in my mind. What makes this comment so special was its innocence, honesty, and how it was truly spoken from the heart. The little girl was not going to restrict herself to one colour only. She felt that it was ok to choose a rainbow and all of its’ colours, with a child’s playfulness and their natural ability to be completely spontaneous and without inhibitions.

Some of us might have grown up with, and still hold on to the belief, that we can’t expect much in life. Some of us believe in scarcity, practice over-frugality, feeling we need ‘just enough to get by’. Or somehow that living in this way is the true path to spirituality, or ‘correct spiritual alignment’.

The Yogic scriptures share a very different point of view. We are meant to prosper and live in abundance; in fact, it is our birthright! The important understanding here is that we need to feel abundance and prosperity comes first from within. It stems from our internal attitude and flows outward. It is the sense of being full to the brim, to overflowing, a sense of enrichment. Being prosperous brings a ‘fragrance of security, grace, depth, character, and truthfulness’ (Yogi Bhajan). Together with this arise feelings of great generosity, a wish to share and pass these gifts on to our family, friends, and the collective community. We refrain from speaking ill of others, wishing only the best for everyone. We are kind to everyone; and we never speak ill of ourselves. It is this richness within us that attracts prosperity to us.

We can expect to flourish and prosper. The Yoga shastras – scriptures – refer to four ‘ashramas’, where the duration of our life is divided into four different stages, each with a different purpose. The first stage is called ‘brahmacharya’ and encompasses the years up to the age of about 25, when we are a student and learn from a trusted teacher. The second stage is being a ‘householder’ – ‘grihasta’, which is during the age of about 25-50 years, in which you are meant to accumulate wealth as well as leading some sort of family life. When we connect with an internal attitude of prosperity and abundance, we become like a magnet. The abundance of the universe flows to us, in all its many forms, and not just in the context of material wealth.

It is only with a solid foundation of ‘inner’ abundance and contentedness that we can prosper externally, attract richness on all levels, and pass it onto others and the wider community.

The universe is based on a continuous and harmonious flow of energy. Wealth mustn’t reside with only the few, it needs to flow, be received, then passed on and shared. Only this can bring about harmony and balance. So how can we become enriched, feeling ‘full to overflowing’, loved, loving, connected, and full of good intention and purpose? You guessed it, by practicing YOGA!

Ashtanga Yoga provides us physically as well as emotionally with this feeling of richness, fullness, and depth, or – as Liz Koch whose ‘Core Awareness Workshop’ I recently attended put it – a ‘plumpness and juiciness’ within all of our tissues. It is the practice of linking movement to breath, in which the breath enriches each posture, nourishes it, making it ‘juicy’, and alive. There is a sense of indulgence in the breath, which translates in the body to the feelings described above. With the focus drawn to the breath, our awareness naturally moves inward; not just to the extremities of our body, but also to its core. When practicing postures we ground ourselves, which is not naturally part of our every-day lives where we spend too much time in buildings, park houses, cars, shopping centres etc; disconnected from ourselves and planet earth. In Yoga postures we are getting in touch with our body, experiencing a distinct feeling and better understanding for every part of it. Energy, inspiration, motivation, strength and sensitivity flood our system. Followed by Pranayama (breathing exercises), we become aware of our life-force and our mental capacities, greatly increasing both with this beautiful practice. All of this is a preparation for meditation, which rounds all the previous practices of gaining spiritual insight and connectedness. There is the potential to reach a deep sense of contentment, understanding, fulfilment, ecstasy, and with it …abundance. With just a little input, you gain so much.

Come, join the club!

OM Shanti, Angelika