You don’t have to be an incense-burning hippie to be a spiritual person today (not that there’s anything wrong with that). In the last 5-10 years, the idea of spirituality has changed radically. One of the main gateways into spirituality is yoga. In fact, 44% of Americans consider themselves “aspirational yogis,” interested in trying yoga.

Most Americans often see yoga for the physical at first, for a workout or management of a physical issue, but the desire for stress relief is also fueling curiosity about the less obvious, spiritual side of yoga.

In yoga, we learn to control the breath and the mind to create more peace, contentment, and authenticity – a life more free of suffering. The busy, modern day person is very likely to say, “Well, that’s what I want!”

Asana (poses) is just one of the eight “limbs” of yoga.  Two limbs that precede asana in the yogic philosophy are focused on how to live a more ethical life – the yamas and niyamas (social and individual disciplines). In short, being a spiritual person today can be less about worshipping a god of your choice and more about staying true to a more noble, kind, and generous path through everyday choices.

Here are three (out of many) ways you can begin to access modern spirituality today through a 5,000 year old philosophy and practice called yoga.

Satya – Truthfulness
Satya is less about telling the brutal truth all the time, which can be harmful, and more about being mindful with your words to treat yourself and another person kindly. You might dislike your co-worker’s outfit, but it’s not necessarily satya to criticize or verbalize. Instead, when you grapple with the truth, take your time to examine what, how, and whether you will say something.

Sauca – Cleanliness
Have you ever seen a messy monastery?  It’s believed that a clear space in every sense leads to clarity in existence. Practicing cleanliness can mean creating mind space with meditation, detoxifying your body and maintaining a clean diet, or de-cluttering your home. Get clean and clear on everything from food, to your personal space.

Svadhyaya – Self Study
Svadhyaya is not psychoanalysis and obsession for what happened and why.  Self-study is practicing self-awareness and openness to a path of self-discovery, which can lead you to raise your own consciousness to its highest place. This is a path with many twists and turns, and it’s never-ending – so, stay committed to exploration.

While many Americans come to yoga hoping for physical benefits, what naturally ends up happening is a journey into the soul, making life a little more effortless and a whole lot more peaceful.