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.