One of my favorite aspects of yoga is that it is much more than just physical exercise. In fact, the asanas (or poses) are only a small piece of the whole picture; like the earth’s process in relation to the Milky Way galaxy.
I spend a minimum of an hour a day practicing hatha yoga – 6 days, most weeks. That’s great and it makes a huge difference in my life; however, I still find myself feeling irritable, stressed, and blue sometimes. That’s part of being human. I clearly see that yoga is much more than some exercises on the mat. It is a lifetime tool that is something to practice every moment.
Forgetting to live my practice can be a wonderful opportunity to remember the benefits of authentically being at one with everything and everyone. Before I left the Valley, a neighbor came to 2 of my gentle yoga classes. She had some bad neck pain and her doctor recommended that she try yoga. After the 2 classes, she never returned to class and rarely acknowledged my presence in passing.
I felt rejected and assumed that she hated me and my work. I took her actions personally. I never walked over when she was gardening to speak my truth. In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, he recommends that we do our best to speak our truth, not make assumptions, and not take things personally. When I remember this simple and elegant Toltec wisdom, everything is better.
Unfortunately, I forgot about Guru Ruiz’s guidance and went down a rather negative and superficial mental path. Deep down, I was loving myself up and doing my best to shift away from fear, but it was still there until my angelic mail man delivered a piece of mail from my alma mater to my neighbor’s house. She wasn’t sure it was for me because it had my maiden name on it and she walked over and asked if I went to Scripps. I said yes and it turned out that she and her husband attended college in the same area. She then proceeded to tell me that her neck was feeling all better. She complimented my teaching and was really sweet to my kids.
Through practicing yoga, I have learned that each and every one of us houses a miraculous light that lives in the center of our hearts. As we honor the light and goodness within ourselves, we inadvertently honor the fact that everyone has it. Even the people that we think we don’t like have super bright lights living in their hearts. As the recognition of the light of all integrates with our consciousness, we become kinder and more loving towards each other and we treat ourselves better.
Prior to dedicating my career to yoga, I constantly made assumptions, took things personally and the truth was an anomaly. I rarely did my best at anything. I was extremely disconnected and F.E.A.R. (false events appearing real) permeated my life. Since then, misunderstandings like the aforementioned are becoming rarer. I am writing about this because it’s the longest that I’ve held onto something in quite some time!
When this fear oriented thought pattern cleared, I was able to use it like rocket fuel to propel myself into union. Being in union with the inner light of divinity is bliss. It’s the ultimate panacea. Union heals our perspective which creates a better reality. Seeking union with the divine in each conscious moment creates balance and harmony in life.
The next time you are feeling triggered – or disconnected from the light in your heart, remember The Four Agreements. If you have not yet read it, it is a must to read! Chances are, whatever was triggering you will cease to be an issue. If there are an remnants of fear, authentically say “I LOVE YOU” to yourself and really mean it. Say it to the pain, say it to your friend, to your foe – even to your big toe. Find a reason to love everything despite your discomfort. I LOVE YOU. It’s simple and effective. As we come into a space of love for ourselves and everyone around us, we create peace in the world.
This is no easy feat. It may take effort to find love for the light that lives in the heart of the rude driver or robber or……I don’t want to go on with that here. Sometimes guides help us get to a space of balance and love. Even if it takes years, it’s well worth the journey.If this speaks to you and you happen to be in the greater Olympia area, please join me – on the mat – as we journey into love with the intention that it permeate and take over our lives. I’m teaching regular, intimate classes that are a fraction of the size of my classes at the Valley. The benefit to you is that you’ll receive the same personalized attention that you would in a group private at a fraction of the cost. I look forward to bringing peace into the world with you. Namaste.