This decision has brought a lot of division and with each side taking stands against each other it has made me ponder where does the philosophy of yoga stand on this? Every yogi knows that one of the ethical restraints of yoga is non harming, and that is what we work on, but wait there is more. Each and every one of us has been birthed for a specific reason to work out some specific karma we have accumulated. What one person does to eradicate their karma may be at odds for us to understand, but is crucial for their spiritual journey.
For instance. I sometimes eat meat, mostly fish. This goes against the ethical restraint of ahmimsa, or non-harming. I have gone vegetarian and have felt quite bad, not just once, but many times. My physical body needs protein. This is part of my karma. I cannot keep up my practices or energy level up without protein, and believe me I have tried, in all sorts of different ways. Recently, I took a yoga retreat with a gal from Miami, and she told us many stories, but one of them was her disclosing to her guru/teacher, that she eats meat. Her guru said, well this is part of your karma on this birth cycle.
After some more thought about the philosophy, and what yoga stands to teach us is really this. Stay in the middle. If you want to keep your body healthy stay in the middle. That means no crazy fasting, then eating a bunch, or doing yoga for 10 hours a day for a year, then nothing for the next year because you are injured. The sweet spot is in the middle. But what if I applied that to my world, my thoughts about others, and about myself?
We cannot judge others, because we are not living in their body, and living out their karma. What one person decides to do might be against what we would do, but yet, we are not in their body, and living out their karma are we? What if we applied, “staying in the middle” and gave each person the grace to do what they wanted, and not to judge them, but to love them. In high school both of my best friends got pregnant. One decided to keep it, the other abort it. Although not in touch now, I stayed friends with both at that time, because I understand both of their decisions, and understand life is sometimes gray, not black and white. Both of them felt strongly about their decision, and I hope still feel comfortable about that decision today.
After the yoga has worked on your mind, what is left at the end of the day is love. Patience to extend to others, patience for yourself. Often it takes many births to kill the karma each of us has accumulated. Once we know this for ourselves, we can simply love. Go past the judgement and ranting. Just be love.
See you on the mat,