Lately when i think about yoga, and what it offers me and those around me I am continually blown away by the benefits and how if you let yoga into your life what it can offer you. Lately in my own personal life I have been working to find balance. Not just in how things are right now but in how I know they should be. My nature is to make sure others are happy and content and then check that with myself, however lately I am finding that this method in which I have lived most of my life does not work anymore. That the things I know that must be done or must become a priority will in the end make everyone a lot happier and allow me to give more of myself to everyone than I am right now.
But like I am sure all of you know, change is not easy, in theory yes, but in action not always. In my head my fears often speak up and say “Oh, they won’t like that”, and I wonder if the choices I am making are the right ones. So time and time again I am back to the philosophy of yoga and reminded continually of the guidance that has yet to fail me (when I actually listen)
Through Yoga we are offered what is called the Yamas & Niyamas or the Ethical Standards on how we conduct ourselves in life and our Self-Disciplines.
The one thing that I personally love about yoga philosophy is that we are not told we are bad, or sinners or that something outside ourselves is the root of the issue, but rather we are asked to look within, and at our actions out on others for solutions towards balance, love and harmony.
I will just pull from a few of the Yamas (actions towards others) today in the hope’s of clarity.
The first two Yamas are Ahimsa or nonviolence and the second one is satya or truthfulness. When I initially look at these two yamas I am thinking O.K., don’t kill your neighbor, I can do that. And secondly, truthfulness, O.K. don’t lie.
“sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”.
In remembering this saying, and applying it to the Yamas of Yoga, I am brought to the conclusion that this saying is crap. Yeah a stick to the eye hurts, but a harsh word to the heart hurts worse. I am by no means perfect, as just this weekend I unintentionally said something in the heat of a simple moment that I should not have said to someone I love deeply, afterwards my ego got in the way and my apology was a bit lame at first, but after a few moments and my heart felt horrible, and I had to step back and learn from the situation and also learn from the other persons reaction as well.
“Do onto others as you want them to do onto you”.
How true that is. Now in Satya, or truthfulness, we are asked to act honestly, and we can do this by owning up to our actions, words or shortcomings. The ego would prefer us to stay ignorant and prefer us not to change, the ego likes you acting blindly in life, however, once exposed to the elements of a yogic lifestyle we are not just asked but required by our higher consciousness to own up to what we now know.
I find it extremely challenging to call myself out on my faults and shortcomings, however the more I do this and do this honestly and nonviolently, I find it becomes easier and as a result the hurt that may have come back your way through sticks, stones or words has been stopped dead in it’s tracks.
So as you go out today ask yourself in all you do, is this helping or hurting, who benefits from these actions or words, and who is hurt? Yes, some things must be said, but though ahimsa it is how you say it, something that I have learned to do much better than in my past. And finally, be honest, if you have wronged someone, don’t cover it up or white lie about it, sure the ego will be bruised but it is much easier to keep track of the truth than it is of all your lies, no matter how big or small, take it from me, it’s exhausting.
In Health and Harmony on and off your mat!