Our physical yoga practice is a great metaphor for how we show up in the world and how the world shows up in our lives, or you could say, how you do one thing, is how you do EVERYTHING. A couple of weeks ago, my 2 boys exchanged some heated words. Because they work together, it’s sometimes hit or miss, but in the end, they always love each other. I noticed how I was in that moment.
My oldest came in the house, dropped the baby in my arms, and went to go find the youngest, and have a “talking”. During the argument, I noticed that I just “checked out”, and went to the other room, away from the conflict, because that is what I do. In yoga texts, philosophy, they talk about this, because I’m guessing a fair amount of us do it. What they talk about, is stopping violence with loving effort. That means stepping in, and actually stopping the person who is being the most confrontational, and in that moment, if you can do it without being violent yourself, a tremendously good seed will be planted in your mind; that stops violence from happening around you permanently. Yes, what that means is this:
“in your presence all violence will cease”.
Can you imagine a better world that this? I cannot. After everything settled down, apologies were made, I noticed my response. When I was holding my granddaughter in the heat of the argument, she started crying, which made me try and comfort her. Anyone of us would do the same, and offer hugs, especially to little ones who are upset. What would have stopped the strong words immediately, would have been my granddaughter, because everyone has a soft spot for her. Instead of running away (my typical response) I should have walked in with the baby, and believe me, those boys would have stopped fighting immediately.
The yoga practice we do off the mat can be more important than the time on our mat. If we can notice our behavior, and then try to change our thought patterns, we are truly making excellent strides in the practice of yoga; a body that is free from dis-ease. It’s not easy, it takes a humble heart of noticing what you are doing, as you are doing it. Looking at past mistakes, and try to make things better the next time around. At first you just have to recognize your behavior. That is a huge effort. (We all want to think we are above everything, and don’t need to change a thing about ourselves!). After recognizing the way you are, you can visualize a different ending scenario. This helps when this argument happens again. If you don’t recognize how you are “feeding” this energy, it will happen over and over again, until you “get it” or understand this is for you to change about yourself.
This is how we change our world around us. This is our yoga practice on and off the mat. In our yoga practice are we being kind to ourselves?
See you on the mat,