There are so many interesting elements of studying a 5000 year old tradition and how it impacts your soul. It seems each day yoga offers a new reflection of living a better life and evolving to a greater, inner truth. There are so many aspects to recognize and learn from the healing of your heart, your physical body, to understanding the tools that will help you most. This tradition was spoken about in the bible. All the great sages and saints, such as Gandhi have been able to love and perform duty or service because of their lack of egotism and knowledge of Yoga.
A mind that is calm can do the most intense work for long periods of time without fatigue. It doesn’t become diverted by external distractions or inner disturbances. It remains focused on the work in hand. Many of us at some point or another waste our energy on useless petty egotistical arguments, or heated discussions about nothing.(this would be considered high school) Mental energy and in turn physical energy, is dissipated in all directions. Little or no power goes towards the work that is to be done. (This is what I call Politics..LOL) If it did, then large amounts of work would be done; each day and every person would be transformed into a Gandhi. Can you imagine a house of Congress filled with Gandhi’s? But the reality is that we would not learn our lessons and make our Beautiful mistakes.
As reaching Gandhi status would take a different amount of time for each of us and maybe I should add many lifetimes, his work and the work of many others have taught us to love ourselves, have strength in forgiveness, and seek unconditional truth. They have left us the tools to keep a clear head, even though it may take years to really learn how to use them. One thing I have learned specifically, is that sometimes a discussion is important to have, however, it is the energy , the words, and love we give to it that really gets to the bottom of truth and understanding. Sometimes it is important to pick life’s battles and possibly move on and as each situation is different this is where we gain our knowledge and wisdom.
I have read a lot about Gandhi and his life. There were many things that surprised me such as his approach to war, friendship, love. It wasn’t all what I expected, but most of it was insane beauty. There is so much to be learned from one man, but I would say in a nutshell he believed everybody should do their part to spread love and peace (even during wartime).
Many years ago when I first started practicing yoga, I along with many, thought that the asanas (poses) were yoga. I believed it meant you were strong in mind and body. However, now as a yoga teacher I know it goes far beyond the asanas, which many think is the full circle of yoga. The full circle of yoga is connected to the 8 limbed path that guides you to the tools you need to evolve. Much of everything else is just your ego trying to dirty the waters.
While going through yoga teacher trainer I was very blessed to have an amazing teacher. We became very close and over the years she has shown me mostly with her kindness and love what Yoga represents. One thing I always remember her saying is, “When you take this training you become a yoga teacher, not a yoga instructor.” It doesn’t matter where you teach, but you teach a tradition that has gone back 5000 years. “You are always a student and a teacher, never one without the other.” I have always remembered that as I have taught each and every class. Within each class the teachings silently lined the outer layer of my heart and continue toward the center to this day.
Teaching this practice is priceless because many times class becomes your own personal course of therapy, even though you are there to serve the students. You can feel the circle of support that begins each class. When you walk to the front of the room to begin class there may be 18 separate mats, each with its own yogi, each with his or her own problems, concerns, questions. Somehow through the process of class we all become one energetically sharing the answers innately with one another. I can’t explain it, even as I write it, it does sound a bit hokey, However, it is true. Any teacher will share with you the closeness and love that circularly envelopes the room, shifting the mood and emotion of everyone in class. It is truly magical, a magic that a mystic once said could span across many seas and still have the wisdom to redirect yet another.
One part of this practice that I spend time with, but not as much as I would like is Sanskrit. Not only because of its beauty when spoken, but because of the mystery that still remains at the hands of time. Today, Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages still in existence. In class I use the English first and then translate to Sanskrit so students can begin to recognize the poses by their true name.
About 3 years ago a friend and I went to an amazing Sanskrit Workshop in Chicago. The class was so amazing because it went far beyond just the teachings of poses. This scholarly Yogi taught us so much about how the language breaks down. It is just so beautiful, the more you learn the more you want to envision a conversation and the energetic vibration that left each word hanging from your tongue.
I have always wanted to get a sanskrit tatoo, but haven’t yet decided as there are so many beautiful words with extremely deep meaning. However, yesterday I was doing some reading of symbolic sanskrit and came across the most beautiful symbol which means “Beautiful Mistake.” As I said each word has its meaning, but then could be taken to a much deeper context as Sanskrit was a spoken language well before written.
Beautiful Mistake to me is simple, yet complex. It means that each mistake, each lesson, is so important to redirect you back onto a path of beauty. When your ego, inner dialogue becomes so negative that you drop off course, a “beautiful” mistake seems to take you to your knees. Then gives you the courage to slowly stand back up and make sense of the gift that was just handed to you. When we look into our past, there is only beautiful mistakes that have kept you on your path of truth.
Many think it is wrong to look back, that we should only stay in the present moment to guide our look forward. However, all the memories, mistakes, successes have made us who we are today, in this present moment. Tomorrow will be another day, a day to make beautiful mistakes to add to your list of life experiences, which will propel you forward in your learning. This could be simple or complex; the courage to change jobs, the day to “let go and let god.” Either way, I have had many beautiful mistakes for which I will always be grateful. They have allowed me to see, when I just couldn’t get past. Also they have allowed me to know the truth, when it is time to let go.
When I was going through my desk I came across some old poems and writings. I do not think I will every have a New Years Resolution as every day is a day to change and evolve. However, my desk will suffer due to this change. 🙂
I caught something that I thought was so beautiful that I want to share it with you. I think I wrote it….swear! LOL But it just seems so wise so I think it wasn’t meant for me to see till now.
My heart lives to inspire others and stays opened to be inspired by others.
I find joy in each movement of my physical and spiritual body.
I love and honor myself working each day to leave judgement reserved for history.
I see the best in everyone and when I don’t I know I need a restart.
I shed tears of gratitude everyday for all you have given me.
I ask you to lead us from untruth to truth and darkness to light, only sharing as much as we can handle in that moment.
Much love and light – Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
I hope you all have a blessed 2013.
I LOVE YOU!