Sunday, December 24, 2006

Serenity Now

Because of my stressful life, my family doctor suggested, yoga or drugs. The whole zoned out approach to my life never had much appeal to me. So I opted to go the Yoga route.

I have been accused of being a quadruple" A " workaholic control freak. A harsh assessment. There may be a grain of truth to the label. Just a grain. What is so wrong with seeking spiritual enlightenment in a week?

Like any practice, you are to find the right form of yoga for your spiritual journey.

The teachers I encountered ask who you are and what you do for a living. Most of my classmates hailed from corporate America. The men in my classes were there with their wives or with the encouragement of their ex-wives or coworkers.

My first teacher looked at me with his piercing blue eyes and told me that the point of the class was not to be competitive and to work at sane pace. He warned me that if he sensed me being competitive, that he would make me face the wall. I tried to muster a smile but I did find myself looking away with a pout.

When I relayed this story to a friend of mine, he asked me "What color is the wall?"

Once I permitted myself to slow down, I found myself really enjoying the classes. The kinks in my body are worked out through a series of poses. By focusing on the poses it stills the mind in preparation for meditation.

After eight weeks with Francois, I moved due to life's circumstances, which left me without a teacher.

Once I settled into my new community I found a home to practice my yoga. To my delight, Francois was a student of the teacher who founded this institute. The same firm philosophy and gentle approach. You hear horror stories of psycho-nazi instructors that push folks and injuries occur.

I usually go to class on Sunday morning. It helps me through the week.

Each class begins with a word or concept to focus on. Non-violence is a concept that seems to surface in every class.

I never considered myself to be violent per se but I discovered, that when I make mistakes I have found myself assaulting me verbally. Wow. It is something that most of us do. A whacked version of humility or self-evaluation. We would never say to someone we love the things that we say to ourselves in a typical guilt ridden thought loop.

I found that each week, the word of the day always strikes a cord. One week it was aversion. According to my teacher, annoying people are sent into your life to teach you compassion. I guess that explains my current boss.

On this Christmas Eve the class was packed. I guess I wasn't the only one who needed a break from the holiday insanity.

Today the word was intention. My intention now and into the future is not to permit anyone take my joy.

I have let too many people or circumstances steal my joy. I recommend yoga for anyone trying to get through the day.

By the way, the wall at the yoga studio was baby blue.

Merry Christmas!

No comments: