Higher Self Yoga teaches enlightenment through self-awareness. We aim to use our Higher Selves to be the most fulfilled version of ourselves in this life.
Your Higher Self is essentially an accumulation of all of your positive characteristics. While there are many belief systems that explore the spiritual nature of the Higher Self, Higher Self Yoga also teaches you how living your life in unity with your Higher Self can transform your regular, everyday life.
This teaching shows you that by connecting with your Higher Self, you can discover who you are, what path you should be on, and where you’re meant to go. When you work with the Higher Self, you can explore...
- where your strengths lie and how to use them,
- how to identify the biggest challenges in your life and how to overcome them,
- what work you should be doing to be most fulfilled,
- what mission you should dedicate your life to,
- the kinds of relationships you should be forging, and more.
What is the Higher Self?
The Higher Self is an extension of yourself that is part of you and part of the Source—the ultimate higher power, the universal source of cosmic energy. This energy links us to everyone and everything. We are all interconnected through shared energy. And as this universal energy—this higher consciousness—is contained within each one of us, we can use the Higher Self to access this universal wisdom and knowledge from within.
Once you know who you are and where you want to be, you’ll likely find there is also a lot of work to be done to get to that place. This is a difficult but fulfilling process that can facilitate some of the most important and satisfying changes in your life.
In tandem with promoting spiritual connection, Higher Self Yoga also provides practitioners with practical tools, experiential exercises, and communication strategies from various schools of psychology to implement some of the changes they need to make in their life.
Every person’s journey is unique and we all have our own obstacles to overcome, but the first step is always learning how to connect to your Higher Self. We all learn and progress differently, and there is no one set path or series of exercises you should do or teachings you need to learn.
When your mind is overactive, it can feel like your thoughts are going in endless circles. The busier the mind is, the harder it is to focus, relax, and most importantly, connect with our Higher Selves. The purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind so that we may turn our attention inwards. Meditation is the most important practice to uncovering and assimilating our true inner selves. It is the key to understanding and communicating with our higher power, inner wisdom, and our Higher Selves, which holds the promise of inner and outer personal change.
There are many different forms of meditation, but at its core, it simply requires sitting down in a comfortable place away from everyday distractions and quieting our busy minds for a short period of time. This can be done in a comfortable chair; there is no need to sit cross-legged on the floor while making an “ok” sign with your hands. If you are new to meditation, start with five-minute increments, which can then be slowly increased up to about twenty minutes.
If you've never meditated before, follow along with this introductory guided meditation to get started!
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2. Find Your Vocation
Choosing the right career (your “vocation” or a “true calling”) may not seem like a spiritual choice, but it’s actually heavily tied into the Buddhist and Hindu ideas of dharma. One of the many meanings of dharma refers to the work a person chooses to do in a given lifetime. This work relates to the individual's evolving soul, and the work we do can help our souls go onward to another level of maturity. This does not mean that we have to achieve fame or amass huge amounts of wealth, as those are not true metrics of fulfillment. Instead, it’s only important that our souls feel they have done the best work possible.
Since most of us spend over a third of our waking hours at our jobs, it’s essential that we choose a career that’s aligned with our spiritual path. Those of us with a deep desire to help others can advance their progress with a career in medicine or social work, the creatively-inclined can often find a fulfilling career in the arts, and even the mathematically-minded among us can achieve spiritual fulfillment with a career in engineering or accounting. As long as you listen to your Higher Self when it directs you to your soul’s true vocation, you’ll find yourself nurturing a deeper connection to your Higher Self every day of your career.
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3. Nature and Sunlight
As simple as the concept of spending time outside may seem on the surface, there are ways we can use nature’s ancient wisdom to further our own spiritual journeys. There have been many scientific studies throughout the years that have proven how connected we are with nature and the sun. These positive feelings from nature’s vibrations allow us to connect with our hearts and ultimately awaken the Higher Self.
“Take half an hour to sit in the sun. Cover your head and always wear some suntan lotion. As best you can, feel the sun’s warmth coming into your body. Experience it flowing into your heart, through all your limbs, through your stomach, etc. Really concentrate on the sun’s energy permeating your body. Sun energy is very calming and relaxing. When you experience it, do so with an open heart and mind, and try not to think about anything; simply experience the warmth of the sun. You aren’t meditating, but just staying with the warmth of the energy and the feeling of your body. This can be very healing, especially if you are tired and under any stress.” – Higher Self Yoga, Book Two, by Nanette V. Hucknall pg. 149
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4. Strengthen Your Intuition
Do you sometimes feel like “your gut” is trying to tell you something that you can’t quite put your finger on? This subtle but persistent feeling is your intuition, and it’s the reason you sometimes feel drawn toward a decision without fully understanding why. In a society that largely values only what can be rationally or empirically explained, it’s no surprise that many of us ignore or repress the rather abstract sixth sense of intuition.
It’s not a negative reflection of us; it’s simply how most of us have been raised in western society. But as a result, we may sometimes feel as though we’re only working with a piece of our power instead of the full scope of hidden knowledge available to us. Learning to listen to our intuition is a key step of your spiritual development, and can further strengthen your connection to your Higher Self.
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5. Work With Your Heart
Wisdom traditions tell us that there is some knowledge that cannot be found through intelligence, but through surrender and experience. It is only through surrender to the heart that we discover our higher knowledge.
Listening to your heart’s wisdom is essential to progressing in your spiritual journey and developing a deeper connection with the Higher Self. When the heart is open, we become capable of the compassion, kindness, openness, and honesty we long to have shown back to us in our daily lives.
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6. Cultivate Positive Speech and Thoughts
As part of our journey to connect to our Higher Selves, it’s important that we remain conscious of what we say and think. It is within our lower nature to sometimes gravitate towards negative speech and thoughts, and the first step in making a change towards more positivity is to foster a heightened sense of awareness of what we say and think.
With time and practice, we can reach a place where more positive speech becomes second nature. Working on our speech and thought patterns will simultaneously improve our patience (a skill that we often lack), especially when it comes to promoting positive change within ourselves.
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Whatever paths you take to deepen your relationship with your Higher Self, you won’t receive the full benefit of your training without regular and honest self-reflection. It’s essential that we regularly take a step back, and think about the progress we’ve made and where we can improve.
Much like meditation, this is best achieved in a state of quiet, relaxed contemplation. The goal here is not to be self-critical or harsh, but simply to understand how your journey is progressing. Ask yourself what practices have been the most helpful, and how they’ve helped move you forward on your path. By the same token, consider which practices have been the least helpful. Is it because of the way you’re going about them, or do you simply need to replace them with different practices? Is your personal life outside of your spiritual training affecting your practice? Are there changes you need to make in your life, your career, or your friendships?
Tip: Journaling can be a valuable tool in this process as it helps focus your reflective sessions, while also creating a written record of your progress you can return to later.
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Working with the Higher Self takes time, commitment, and often, the encouragement and wisdom of others. A personal coach is an important part of your spiritual development. A coach provides valuable insights that facilitate growth and a deeper relationship with your Higher Self — for beginners and experienced yogis alike. No matter where you are in your journey, coaching is critical for learning, growth, and self-awareness.
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While nurturing a relationship with your Higher Self often revolves around learning new exercises and techniques, no spiritual practice is complete without traditional reading (like you’re doing now!). Check out our full library of Higher Self Yoga books below, or if you prefer shorter, online content, head over to our blog.
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10. Remember that your experience of the Higher Self is unique to you.
As you try the various methods throughout this piece, it’s important to remember that there's no right or wrong way to relate to the Higher Self. Everyone receives answers from the Higher Self in different ways and at different times. For example, you may not receive an answer in the moment of meditation but later on, through a signal, sensation, movement, or simple but clear feeling of knowing. Be open and mindful after having met with your Higher Self. Over time, you will learn how you and your Higher Self communicate.