What is practicing yoga? Most of us would answer that it is going to a yoga studio for a workout or stretching class. Though it is true that an Asana and Pranayama practice does strengthen and stretch out the physical body, that is just one very small part of practicing yoga. Practicing yoga is a continuous practice of striving to attain oneness within ourselves in order to achieve oneness with our environment and in turn with the Universe or God. It is a living practice for our everyday lives.
Karma Yoga is the yoga of taking action along with developing the awareness of the consequences of our actions. In other words, it is becoming more and more aware of the interconnectedness of things, living and non-living, and how each of our actions might affect others and ourselves in the layers upon layers of cause and effect. The eight limbs of yoga are guidelines to aid us in developing and practicing Karma Yoga so that we can take action in our lives out of joy, love, kindness, and service. Let us take yoga out of the studio and expand it into our lives by acting, doing, being, and living it everyday.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. – Rabindranath Tagore