Today I’m going to quickly teach you about a model used in Yoga philosophy that helps an individual see where and how they are supported by aspects of life and a variety of relationships.
What struck me is how different this view is from a western biopsychosocial model – often referred to as the Six Dimensions of Wellness. This model focuses on the individual’s needs, with limited attention given to relationships (in the social and perhaps environmental pieces of the pie). The Yajna Model really looks at the individual functioning within an ongoing study and appreciation for relationships of different types, to meet different needs.
If we think of either of these models like a table, each aspect is a leg on the table providing support to the individual. One leg weakened, we can get by. Several legs weakened and we begin to feel unsteady, uncertain and can’t move our own potential forward to serve others at high levels.
The Yajna Model has 7 aspects, listed here in no particular order:
Family – our lineage, and not only nuclear but also extended family; represents the greatest potential for joy and sorrow, and the least amount of choice
Friends – close friendships we can rely on; people we choose as ‘our people’; sharing vulnerability without judgment
Community – groups of people we may not know individually; like minded, through proximity or by association
Nature – what we eat, what we wear, and natural elements ranging from pets and houseplants to the wilderness
Partner – regular, close contact; intimacy; someone to witness our daily life and legacy
Personal Rituals – the habits we have/cultivate; choosing actions that enrich our lives and bring energy and joy
Teacher – elders, shamans, mentors, leaders, guides; someone to help you implement changes and achieve goals
As you reflect on these 7 aspects of your life, feel free to grab a sheet of paper and jot down where each of them stand for you personally. You can simply rate each area from 1-10, from negative or depleting to positive and enriching as you approach 10.
Do this without judgement and be as objective and honest as you can allow yourself to be.
Notice which areas rate highest and lowest. Be grateful for this moment to observe and reflect. The area of life that you rated the lowest presents you with an opportunity – ready? Develop practices, habits or an awareness around how you might improve that area. Start small and watch it unfold as you give it one month of intention and focused, loving action. I’m here to help you brainstorm, too, so reach out for support!
I’d love to hear which area you’re going to focus on first.
Comment below and let me know!
Thanks for reading and practicing with me. Namaste.