We had an amazing time at our book launch for “Yoga Off the Mat” at Sydney’s Samadhi Yoga Studio last Friday.
Thank you to all who came!
Kuddos as well to Katie Spiers for such a powerful and inspiring dynamic practice at the workshop preceding the launch. The practice tested comfort-zones with three-point head-stands and many delightful and unique Jivamukti asanas – such as the one-legged-side-lift!
As requested, here’s the inspiring extract from Katie’s book, “Yoga Off the Mat”, which had us all inspired – a perfect ending to the beautiful asana practice:
“Our yoga asana practice can be an excellent mirror for this. On some days we may feel like we are making excellent progress and the body is light and free. On other days we are tired or grumpy and progress feels hindered. The lesson is to get on the mat and do the practice anyway. To set a goal, clearly defined and to do our very best to see that goal through to completion. The practice will have to be flexible to accommodate various factors such as our level of health or our age for example, but it should be done with a sense of willingness and belief in the positive benefits for ourselves and others even if they are not immediately obvious. This is difficult for us because we live in a time where we avoid uncertainty and expect instant results. It is a challenge to train ourselves not only to let go of instant outcomes but also to believe in results we can’t always see straight away.
Buddhist teacher Geshe Michael Roach, an extraordinary man and teacher who has authored several wonderful books and runs a school called ‘Diamond Mountain’ in the USA has a simple yet powerful analogy for this cultivation of intention and karma – gardening. He describes that just as a tomato seed will never grow into a mango tree, a mango stone will never become an oak tree. The seeds that we sow in our lives (through our karma – our actions) will ripen according to the type of seed planted. Good deeds will lead to further good karma and vice versa. In his book ‘How Yoga Works’ (co-authored by Christie McNally) he puts it like this,
“Nothing we ever do, nothing we ever say, nothing we ever think fails to plant a seed. And each of these seeds will wait patiently in line, for years and years if necessary, to ripen upon us. They never ever ‘forget’ … from now on, we need to be careful only to plant good new seeds and never negative ones.”
An important aspect of this teaching to keep in mind is that the intention behind an action can either heighten the positive karma accrued or lessen negative karma. Again from ‘How Yoga Works’,
“What we do to help or to hurt others is at the bottom of everything. Nothing works, not yoga or any other thing we ever do, unless we have been careful to plant the seeds in our mind to see it work.”
What this teaching means to me is that we have to believe in ourselves. We have to believe in our ability to change, to evolve as a human being, and ultimately to believe in the potential within each of us for enlightenment – before we can see that potential blossom we first have to imagine it, and believe in it.