The True Meaning of Vinyasa
I ran a workshop this weekend to correspond with the monthly intensive. This one was on the true definition of vinyasa. We got to talking about the meaning of yoga and why we do it. We talked about the breath and the locks, and the asanas and how they make us feel. We talked about the importance of centering, clearing the mind etc. It was a great workshop and I came away inspired by the students there but also extremely pensive.
The Luxury of Yoga Practice
There are many people who truly don’t have the time to practice yoga. There are many who say they don’t but really do and then there are the people who are working 3 jobs and have kids and are barely scraping by. As we sat and talked about yoga the other day, I realized that it was a great luxury to do so. But with that luxury comes responsibility. Now, I guess I lean to the activist side of things. I believe that if we have time and energy to put to our yoga practice, we have a responsibility to also try to use that to be a stabilizing force in the world. Most people are walking around in chaos. Walking down a city street can be like being bombarded with noise, sights and experiences. Is it possible that we yogis could actually help to create small centers of calm energy moving around the world?
Work in Progress
Personally, I am a work in progress. A friend once said to me, “Mimi, you always feel like you have to be working on things, working on yourself.” “You are right,” I said,”I need to work on that.” I don’t believe I have all the answers or any at all. I do believe that it is worth it to try to change the balance in world. With all this talk about vengeance killings, tornadoes, drug wars, and commercials for things that we don’t need, is it possible to create a bit of balance with yoga off the mat?
Do It Because You Believe it is Right
I don’t believe we can or should put positive energy out there with an expectation of a result. I do believe we all should do what we believe to be right even if it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Many people ask me, “Why do you bother being a vegan. You are not going to change the world. You are not going to get people to stop eating meat.” To me, that is not the point. The point is to do what I believe to be right. Beryl Bender Birch calls this “right action”. I call it living with integrity. To integrate your beliefs with your actions, to place each step carefully, to pay attention to what you say and do, and to do what your heart tells you is right. That is the meaning of vinyasa krama.
I don’t have time!
As I said earlier, many of us say this but it really isn’t true. The cool thing about taking yoga off the mat is that it doesn’t take any time at all, it only takes choices. It actually takes up more time and energy for us to fixate on our own problems. Making a point of bringing a sense of calmness, peace, and compassion out into the world builds energy and prana! Will it make a difference? I don’t know but I do know that I feel better when I live my life with integrity. One of my favorite clothing companies, Herbivore, has a shirt that says, “Eat like you give a damn!” I would like to say, “Live like you give a damn!” As always, I love hearing from you and learning more ways to live like you give a damn. Please share your thoughts. peace, Mimi