The Principles of Karma

Posted on 02 July 2019

Karma is a term famous not only in the yoga community but in the world as a whole. Yet, very few people understand the meaning behind it and its principles.


Karma is an essential term in yoga traditions, and its principles can help guide us and make sense of different things in our lives.


But to understand it better, we first need to understand some of the core teachings behind it.


Karma at Its Essence


The yogic understanding of karma is that our actions and thoughts are transformative. Also, perhaps, more importantly, karma states that our efforts have consequences — a relationship between cause and effect, action and reaction.


We’ve all heard it before, but in its simplicity, hides its complexity. Since actions have consequences, we can use them to our advantage to grow and develop.


So, in essence, karma is the force behind all change - be it good or bad.


Our Choices and Thoughts Matter


From a yogi’s perspective, the choices we make and the thoughts we feed are a force we can use to evolve.


The culmination of our thoughts, beliefs, and actions so far have shaped us and our lives as we know it. And our current choices (often based upon our thoughts and feelings) are what will shape our future.


So, paying attention to our habitual thoughts can change our current and future actions, which can impact our lives profoundly. 


We Always Have a Choice


Prevailing wisdom claims that we, more or less, walk a path in life, predetermined by many different factors.


But we always have a choice about how to behave or what thoughts to feed. The principle of karma states that even if we’re putting our best foot forward and things aren’t going our way, our positive actions and attitudes will eventually pay off.


Building positive habits, breaking negative behaviors, and treating people with respect are all choices we can make now, and there is nothing that can stop us. We can also choose to believe that these actions will benefit us.


Past actions and beliefs could have put us in a bad place, but our current belief system can help us overcome it. In other words, every choice we make and every thought we have is a seed we plant for the future.

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