I would like to share a story with you which touches on the essence of yoga.
King Arthur was once a young prince and during his youth he dreamed about one day becoming king. Arthur thought the most enjoyable part of becoming king would be to rule and have power over all his kingdom.
The wizard Merlin decided Prince Arthur would benefit from a powerful lesson. He changed the boy into different people, animals and objects that he would be ruling in his kingdom, such as a peasant, a wealthy person, a beggar, a fish, a cow, a tree and the water. Arthur FELT what it was like to actually be those different beings and was able to experience life from their reality.
He therefore began to understand that his most important job in being king was not to rule and have power over but to SERVE from a place of understanding & compassion.
The word YOGA is Sanskrit and its translation and meaning is to ‘yoke’ ‘unite’ or ‘connect’. Through coming to our mats we are not just doing a little stretching and strengthening. The ancient science of yoga through our breath, our awareness, our movement and our minds is specifically designed to create unity.
We live in a disconnected world which is unfortunately filled with separation. Body disconnected from mind. Mind disconnected from heart. Heart disconnected from spirit. Human beings disconnected from our home, the earth. Racial, political, religious & belief system separation. All creating fear, violence, abuse and blame.
The microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm. This is why the work must start with little individual us (the microcosm) to have impact on the world at large (the macrocosm).
Through coming to our mats we begin to create unification within. We turn in, we get quiet, we let go of all our distractions and we courageously become more intimate with ourselves. We look at and get to know our own dark and hard to face places. We see where our own belief systems are limiting and controlling us. We gently begin to hold all of this through the eyes of compassion and slowly our minds begin to open, our hearts begin to have a voice and our view of ourselves, others and the world begins to expand.
Through this process we begin to feel connected & whole from within. This wholeness is not determined by how ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ we are. This wholeness is not about burying or pushing to one side the difficult experiences that have shaped us or the parts of ourselves we are challenged by but by recognising that we are ALL of it.
To live in a human body means we are part of nature, therefore like nature we experience polarity. The good the bad, the beautiful & the ugly, the stormy weather and the sunshine. This does not mean that we do not have a choice which parts we focus on and allow to flourish. It does although mean that we recognise we have flaws, blind spots and challenges and that is part of the human experience and these things do not make us ‘bad’ or ‘not enough’.
So if we have all of this… then so does everyone else!
We begin to see others not as ‘the other’ through the eyes of separation & ignorance but as another human being. A human being that has also been shaped and influenced by their own experiences, belief systems, challenges, hurts & joys. A human being that also has experienced suffering and has feelings, insecurities & longings. These sufferings, experiences & feelings may be different from our own yes, but does that make them any less valid, any less of a person or any less worthy than ourselves?
To that yoga and I gently reply, no it does not.
So here is to showing up for ourselves and for all of life. The work is in our little individual hands. It is not small and it is not insignificant. You have the power to deeply impact your own life and those around you.
You have all the love, courage, compassion and peace you need.
It is inside of you.
Together WE have the power to create a better world, one of greater unity and understanding.
I welcome you to your mats, exactly as you are, with my heart, eyes & ears willing & open.