In Every Moment There Is Choice

meaning & purpose yoga therapy Dec 21, 2021


This photo really touches me and I thought it works in well with this post, and with this time of year.  Christmas is traditionally seen as a time of giving and helping others.

In yoga therapy we are taught about two Sanskrit words:  Preya and Shreya.

Preya is described as something that gives us pleasure, usually linked to instant gratification.  It is all about the individual making a choice, searching for that feeling of joy or bliss, grasping at it, yet it is always just out of reach, or indeed momentary if you do grab hold of it. 

Shreya is all about what is good.  Good for us and others.  Here we make choices that benefit us as well as others.  It is a long-lasting benefit.   Shreya helps us see how our actions, thoughts, or words, might impact us as well as others.  It is what gives us the motivation to live better, feel better and do better. 

Shreya helps us get up early and meditate or exercise, whereas Preya tells us that it's far too early and our bed is too comfortable.   Shreya helps us make a decision to eat a wholesome plant-based diet, whereas Preya tells us "you only live once so eat as much junk as you like and don't worry about the consequences because it tastes so good".  It's a choice we make, but every choice has consequences, as pleasure is never fulfilling our heart's desire, never filling our soul with meaning or purpose.   Pleasure happens in an instant and then it's gone.  

Choose pleasure, or choose what is good and beneficial

In every moment and every action we have to make a choice - Preya or Shreya.  

When we reach out to help another that is a decision based on goodness and one that benefits another.  When we walk right past someone in need because we don't have time to stop, or we don't see why we should help, then we are thinking purely of ourselves. 

Shreya is the road to healing

It is only through the actions of Shreya, of goodness and benefit, that we can find healing within ourselves, and cultivate a positive healing energy that can radiate out to heal others, our planet and all beings.

When you next find yourself faced with a choice, consider Preya (instant pleasure) and Shreya (long-term goodness).  You may still decide to choose Preya, but you will be more aware, and the next time this same choice pops up you may choose Shreya.   

Wishing you a wonderful festive season

Stay safe, and stop to consider your choices.  Keep Shreya front of mind.  

With love,

Silva x

*This article was inspired from reading Beth Spindler's book "Yoga Therapy for Fear". 

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash



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