Angry little food stealer on top of the roof of the German bakery where we were having tea.
Hanuman, the Monkey God, opening his chest to show that Rama lives inside his heart.
Me in front of the Ganges after a rigorous Ashtanga Vinyasa class. I was smiling because I didn't realize that I was soon to be in severe pain. It felt so right when we were in the class....
First week and a half down, four and a half more to go.
Right off, let me say that the program has been all that I hoped for and more - amazing classes and teachers, wonderful students, and extraordinary growth in my yoga practice. Folks have been asking about the program so here are a couple of links to my school: www.rishikeshyogpeeeth.com and http://www.starlim.co.in/files/yoga_teachers_training.htm.
Over the past few years, my mind has been filled with resistance to what is. I constantly replayed the same negative thoughts: I don't want to be at work right now; I’m too fat; Why is this happening to me; This should be going better; I need to push harder; I can’t believe I said that; I'm so angry that he did that; and on and on and on.
Just one week into Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) has taught me that the best way to be happy is to love what is rather than constantly focusing on what I'd rather have, or be, or be doing.
Example 1: My three-month old computer was broken due to an aggressive lack of knowledge of how to get it to accept a wireless password that it was ostensibly rejecting. I was upset and annoyed. My new computer! The guy didn’t know what he was doing? Why’d I let him make the change instead of trying myself? Why’d I even bring my computer? How am I going to get my blog posts up? I lost so many business files and pictures!
Once I pulled myself together, I realized a few things: (1) my thoughts were making me angrier, so I needed to stop them before they drove me crazy; (2) the computer is still under warranty so it’s fixable but not until I get back to Amsterdam; and (3) life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. My computer breaking was a reminder that I came here to relax and unplug…and the universe helped me (against my will) to do just that. I can no longer sit on my computer in my room, I have to use the public computers. As a result, I leave my room more and am much more social than I probably would have been. In addition, when I am in my room I am able to focus on more important things than whether Anthony Weiner really sent a pic of his manhood to a 21 year-old via twitter. So loving the one you’re with means radically accepting the things you cannot change (thanks, Anne!).
Example 2: Yoga is also teaching me to love the body I’m with. Before beginning this program, I was constantly pushing my body to do things that it had no desire to do. My old goal was to beat my body into submission. Here, we are taught to do each asana “with love.” This means that instead of pushing my leg into some ungodly position that it’d rather not be in and likely pulling a muscle, I take my time with each pose and I work my body only as far as it is willing to go. After a week, I’ve seen more progress with love than I’ve seen with years of aggression. Training my body with love means that I respect and appreciate it for all that it has gotten me through, that I care about it enough to take the time to make it even better, and most importantly, that I listen to what it tells me. What a difference from where I was.
Next time I'm dealing with a situation that I can't change, I hope that I'm able to see the positive and realize that "what is" is probably greater than anything I could have imagined. And next time I find myself in a situation I can change, I hope that I employ my new understanding: namely that: negative energy does not and cannot lead to positive results. Good luck on your personal journeys!