“Don’t let anyone walk through your mind with their dirty feet”~ Mahatma Ghandi
I love this quote but actually this post is not about other people’s feet 🙂 – it is about YOUR footsteps in your mind and the imprint YOU leave there and retrace. I choose a Ghandi quote because he was a great proponent of AHIMSA or non-violence.
This doesn’t just mean non-violence or non-aggression towards others, but also towards yourSelf. This one is very close to my heart because I learned this one the hard way and I KNOW there will be many new practitioners just like me in their early days (in fact I see it frequently) browbeating themselves through the class and after, forcing rather than efforting, frustrating their Yoga practice by over analyzing and self criticizing, exhausting themselves in the first backward bend and leaving little reserves for the rest of the class. Setting into a negative ‘self chat’ for the class …
Yes, I say in class, see your toes, foot, calf creep up behind centre of your head in the mirror (Standing Bow) BUT this is Yoga teaching in action, using words as guidelines, a putting together of words to describe an effect of using a technique. Don’t be rigidly fixed on that destination of ‘creeping toes’ as a source of happiness; if you focus on such things, believe me when you see the big toe you will immediately fixate on seeing the calf, there is no CONTENTEDness to it if you practice in this way. These ‘sights’ will happen as a nice side effect of using the right technique but they may not happen today. So don’t see your happiness as some future ‘dependent’ event. Take your HAPPINESS now from turning up for class, refining your technique today, doing your best in your present. Treat yourself to some LOVE and COMPASSION. Know that you are WORTHY. When there is a shift and you get this realization this will be a TRULY defining moment in your Yoga practice. I am pleased to say I talk from a place of experience. Start listening to your body. I don’t want injury to be your teacher. I want YOU to be your teacher.
Another quote: “IF YOU WANT TO MAKE PEACE YOU DON’T TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS, YOU TALK TO YOUR ENEMIES.” ~ MOSHE DAYAN
If you are your own worst enemy start working on it now. HOW? Make your practice strong with intention balanced with mindfulness and meditation. If you’re going to have thoughts during the class, keep them in check or practice using KIND thoughts to yourself.
Om Om Om PEACE, LOVE, YOGA