Getting Off The Roller Coaster Called Life
It was the second week of a yoga teacher training as we settled back into the room after lunch. There were more than 30 of us, and we had gotten so close as you do on a journey such as this. Some were snuggled under blankets resting to the gong bath apres-lunch while others were enjoying checking their messages or quietly chatting.
The gong finished and we took a spinal twist from left to right, rubbed our hands and feet together to awaken the energy, rocked forward and back on our spines a few times and made our way up to seated.
Our teacher sat at the front of the room ready for our afternoon session of meditations and discussion. One student raised her hand and asked about what to do when someone is suffering from a terminal illness. Was there a kriya (yoga set) or meditation that would help?
I'll never forget his answer and I'm sure the same is true for everyone else in that room: "Enjoy it!" he said. Our faces showed our feelings of shock. How could he have just said that? How rude and insensitive, said our "egos."
"Look, you came here to enjoy life. Make the most of everything," he explained. Even the time you have left with a loved one who might be ill. Whatever you do - from a walk in the woods to a quiet time at someone's bedside - whatever IS, make the best of it.
Once the ego calmed down, it made so much sense and I saw the Truth of those wise words.
The practices of yoga, meditation, pranayama and mantra help us to move into this larger, more universal eye. The eye that sees the bigger picture.
As we remove stress and conditional filters through these daily practices, we can see more clearly what's really going on. Our divine flashlight (the always "on" light) can now shine more fully and show us the way out of the darkness, the maya (illusion).
It's illusions that make us suffer. And we buy into them big time.
Yes, someone may be very sick, that is true, but isn't it sometimes an illness or a larger life lesson that brings people together or causes them to have a spiritual awakening that might have never happened otherwise? There's a bigger plan at work.
When we awaken, we start to see that we are supposed to be going through something for our soul's growth. Until that revelation, we suffer from the daily roller coaster of life. We get on willingly, take the ride and become a hostage.
Donna Farhi writes in her book, Bringing Yoga To Life, that yoga helps us to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, secure with the insecure and steady with unsteadiness.
When you're in that pose that doesn't feel too good or one where it's scary to be upside down, dealing with the feelings IS the practice. The practice for real life. These practices are amazing tools for assisting us in leading the life we really want.
A life that isn't scary when it might look upside down, and a life that can also be full of unlimited love, joy and potential for success at the same time. Better relationships, better health, better handling of everything!
The poses are not the yoga; they get us to the yoga, which is how we respond to whatever comes our way. To move into your higher self and trust, allow, accept and let go to the flow!
Get off the roller coaster to True freedom. Keep coming back to the mat. It's the key.