Sunday, 7 April 2013

Keeping on the straight and narrow

Today, normal is good.  Average is fine.  Routine and predictability are to be celebrated.  These are all hallmarks of my life which looks rather different to how it might have done.  If you always do what you've always done, you're very likely to always get what you always got.  If nothing changes, chances are, nothing will change.  These little snippets, whilst not the most grammatically exciting, are observations from the school of life.  I didn't learn them at any of the five universities I have attended to date.

Yoga and meditation are important components of my week.  Without them, something is likely to feel incomplete, or out of balance.  So I try and show up.  My practice is not sufficiently developed, and my focus not always terribly easy to gather and direct, so I benefit from instruction.  I practice alongside others.  We have a collective purpose.  A shared intention and a common goal.

We begin each class the same way.  With the om.  Alongside the physical practice, we seek to practice the values that underlie Dharma Mittra yoga - those of humility, compassion, understanding, humour, selfless service and non violence.  Fundamental, yet easy to let go of in the hustle and bustle outside the yoga studio.  We remind ourselves of these each time we come together, and offer our practice up - in the spirit of transcending our 'selves', in order to evolve both individually and collectively.  

Offering my practice to those I love, those I've lost, those I may have hurt, and those who are suffering, is an act of humility that invites reflection upon my actions and omissions, my thoughts, words and deeds and provides an anchor to come back to whenever distraction tempts me during the sometimes challenging practice.  My search for right alignment, goes well beyond the physical domain and the rewards of my practice far exceed improved posture.   

"Essentially, if you control your mouth - what you put into it and what comes out of it - you've controlled much of your mind already."  - from Asanas, by Sri Dharma Mittra

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