April 11, 2011

Life is yoga, yoga is life….get off the mat and into the living

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
…If holy water- the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.”
– Ganga White

I just can’t get enough of this quote. When I found this it was as if Ganga had reached across the universe and plucked the very thoughts from my mind. Right down to my absolute favorite question “What if” . I read this quote in my classes a few weeks ago.

You see I was moving and physically leaving behind a dedicated group of amazing students and fellow teachers. Off on another adventure and to create a new kula. I wanted something that would embody my philosophy, some kernel that they could hold with them. I had already given them my manifesto, but I wanted something more universal, grander even…and something that took it away from me as teacher and they as students. That reminder that they had everything they needed inside themselves.

I don’t even remember how I finally stumbled across the quote, I wondered at the time how something so perfect for me hadn’t appeared in my life before this moment, and then I remember that I needed it now and I was just grateful it was there. Now that I am in a new town and starting to teach a whole new group of people I am going to read the quote this week and START here.

I can’t think of a better embodiment of the idea that yoga is life, it’s the air we breathe and the thoughts we think, it’s the way we connect.

You don’t have to be able to do hanumanasana (the splits) to know the love and faith that it represents, you don’t have to study the gita to experience the majesty of oneness (although it is fascinating and fun)… and what if….

What if we were all so present and aware and connected we could simply experience the clarity that asana and meditation bring in everything we do?

For me, yoga is something that happens most OFF the mat. The work on the mat is to create the knowing and awareness so we have the ability to experience yoga where it matters – IN OUR LIVES…..

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