Self-Discipline and Energy
The initial stage of spiritual work is not sattva yet. It is rajas. And among the most important factors that determine success at this stage are energy and self-discipline, cultivating the ability to make efforts and super-efforts on the spiritual Path.
One can develop these qualities well by engaging in various dynamic sport activities, of which especially great are those that connect us with living nature (hiking, mountain climbing, etc.). Practicing oriental martial arts would also be very good for that purpose. But it is important to emphasize, that this practice should in no way lead to growth of aggressiveness, brutality and rudeness. Another important thing to understand is that the techniques of martial arts per se cannot conduct the seeker to spiritual heights: this can be achieved only by working with the chakras and through mastering the art of meditation, which are integral parts of the training in the best schools of this orientation.
In any specific kind of classes at this stage — be it karate, hiking, or something else — both instructors and students must pay their principal attention to increasing the level of their morality, which is based on causing no unnecessary harm to any living beings.
It would be appropriate for everyone to start thinking about and to make right decisions regarding their service according to Karma Yoga principles and change professional occupation, if necessary, or start studying in order to acquire a new profession.