July 21, 2010

Failing Spectacularly: Reporting from the Front Lines of a Yoga Practice Gone Haywire

Love. Passion. Satisfaction.

Happiness. Bliss. Nirvana.

What do you want?

This question, and the one that follows—How do you get what you want?—has been a strong theme in my life, and recently on my blog, over the past few weeks. Conversations with friends have turned around to this subject. It’s popped up in blogs I read, in magazine articles, and themes in books I have on the go. And when this kind of trend happens, I’ve come to accept it’s the universe (remember the Greater, Good and Wonder-full?) trying to get through to me. Over much of the past month, I was trying, and failing spectacularly, to stand back and live my personal life within my yoga- space. That is, I was trying to get out of my head, be in the moment, breathe deep and just let things be.  Did I mention I was failing spectacularly?

Because, like many other people I know, I’ve got this tendency to run-run-run after what I want-want-want. Even though I’ve seen it proven time and time again that when I don’t do this what I really want comes right to me. I still get caught up in planning, in striving, in trying, in analyzing, and in working working working at it. And nothing, or exactly what I don’t want to happen, happens.

Want to know what I’ve learned from all this? Especially over much of the past month?

WE GOTTA LET GO As my friend, yoga teacher and healer Sara Mullin, says, “Claim it. Then stand back and let it go.” As yogi and inspira-woman Reema Datta says, “When you want something, give it to someone else.” And as that song that keeps running through my head goes, “When you love someone, set them free.”

WE GOTTA LAUGH As my teacher-mentor-friend Swami Maheshananda Saraswati says, “If you cry at a trouble, it grows double. If you laugh at a trouble, it disappears like a bubble.” (This from the guy who’s as wise as an ancient soul and as happy as a baby.) As Sharon Gannon wrote, with David Life, in their book Jivamukti Yoga, “If we want to fly, we first have to learn to take ourselves lightly.”

WE GOTTA LOVE Do you want unconditional love? Give it to someone else. Neato benefit:  I’m learning that if I practice giving this to someone else, it’s easier to give to myself. Bonus: As yoga teacher and dating explorer Jeffrey Platts says, when we feel good, other people are drawn to us—simple as that.


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