Sunday, October 28, 2007

real life yoga

More reflections from the Bryan Kest workshop:
While power yoga is a very challenging style of yoga, one thing to take from his practice is if you can remain calm and peaceful during a challenging yoga pose, then hopefully you can carry that sense of calm when faced with a crisis or a stressful situation. And that if you can be patient with yourself while working on a pose, then perhaps you can do the same when someone cuts you off while driving, while waiting in line at a checkout counter even if the clerk takes almost forever. And really, this is what yoga is about... it's not about who can get themselves into a pose like a human pretzel. Yoga does not end once you step off your mat. It's about learning to release judgment and unnecessary negative energy, towards yourself and others. The world has too much of that already. It's about creating and spreading joy and positive energy through our thoughts, words, and actions.

My friend/running mate/fellow yogini Jen says that whenever we feel like we are going to say something negative to someone or about someone, start by asking ourselves these three questions:
Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it necessary?

In a similar vein, when a stranger says something that could potentially be offensive, I try to ask myself, "Why does that bother me?" Many times, when I think about it, it really doesn't... and so I've gradually learned to preserve my energy for other purposes, instead of being angry about something that really does not matter in the larger scheme of things.

I have to say, I am a fan of fortune cookies. I don't really eat them, but sometimes I get pretty powerful and inspiring quotes from those tiny strips of paper. Here's one:

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."

Joy and light to all!

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