According to Swami Nitya, there are three categories of people travelling through life…
We could say there are three different aeroplanes that one chooses: a glider, a propeller plane and a jet-plane.
Swami Rama gives these three categories:
There are people who move through life not knowing why they live, not knowing what they want to do; where they come from or where they are going. They are stuck, unaware, tamasic.
Then there are goal orientated people – they can discipline themselves and apply themselves with determination, to go where they want to go; but their goal is in the material world only. “I want a car, a good job, a nice house, a beautiful wife/husband etc.” They are orientated to material goals and have the “get up and go” to get these. They go for it, they are active… rajasic.
Then, there are people who’re purpose orientated – whatever they think or do is orientated towards the purpose they have in life. They regulate their lives, discipline their lives (their habits and tendencies), they know what they mentally and physically need to fulfill their existence here on earth.
For them to maintain physical and mental health comes from the desire to tune the instrument of their body (much like a musician would tune his violin) so that it can carry out the purpose for which it is created and, to the best of its ability.
These people are rare, they are what is called sattvic. This state is what we are aspiring to in yoga, because we need a healthy vessel which to use as an instrument with which to make the experiments we call life – in order to give us answers:
Who am I/why am I here?
What is the purpose of my life?
From where have I come? And, where am I going…
In yoga, there is a very basic rule in how to live healthy: Study yourself and learn how to regulate your lifestyle and your dietary habits. Your activities and thinking have to be according to your capacity and your constitution… and for that to happen, you need to train your skills of observation and self-awareness through personal sadhana.
Your inner being has chosen a certain type of body to help to achieve a certain aim and purpose in life, to travel to a certain destination. If the plane is not maintained properly it crashes.
Health is not being without disease or disturbance – but whether we can get back to balance. Be connected to the quality of foods and how we eat our food. Take time to learn about good healthy food, appropriate for our constitution. Prepare and cook it with love and eat it with awareness of the shared divinity between the food and ourselves.
Once we learn to treat food with such respect, other changes in our lifestyle will happen naturally, and we become aware of our shared existence, ultimately helping us to navigate and steer our paths through life.
And of course, we need to practice ancient yoga wisdom, which is doing sadhana (our disciplined and dedicated practice or learning).
As Maya Tiwari says, “Every stirring within tree and animal, every stillness and transmutation within mountain and earth, every flow and confluence of streams and rivers, every leap of a kangaroo, flight of the deer, hop of a rabbit, gait of a tiger, fluttering of a sparrow, gliding of an eagle, every motion signifies sadhana. This is the pattern based on the memory of the universe. I propose we introduce (this kind of) sadhana into our lives as a wholesome guide to remembering nature. Sadhana stirs our cognitive memory and revives the lost art of beauty, grace and accommodation. Through sadhana we are able to garner the vibrations of the universe to help us meld with the earth body (and heal our earthly bodies)”.