Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
One of the benefits of being a yoga teacher is having a captive audience to share your stories with. When something happens in my daily life that teaches or affirms a yogic lesson, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to share that with my yogis!” And of course I like to get as much mileage as possible out of a good story, so you may have already heard this one (and it’s absolutely true – my girlfriend Ada says I should write a book entitled “You Can’t Make This Sh-t Up,” but that’s another story….).
One Sunday on the way to teach Karma class benefitting the Children’s Attention Home, I stopped into Starbucks for my standard “venti passion tea lemonade, 3 pumps classic one pump raspberry, light ice please.” The place was very busy, and as I stood in line with my yoga mat in tow I “rehearsed” in my head the things I wanted to say about Karma before class. In one context, Karma is simply the selfless giving of your energy to another. That energy can take many forms: money or material resources, service or time, prayer or mantra, for example. I planned to explain that a really nice act of Karma is dedicating your asana practice to someone who needs it – maybe to the children of the Children’s Attention Home, maybe to someone else. Just as I was thinking about this, an older gentleman came up to me. He wore a military veterans baseball cap, walked with a cane, and struggled a bit to get to me. When I smiled at him he nodded to my mat, and said “Would you do me a favor? When you go to your Pilates class today, how about doing some Pilates for me?” I said “Actually I’m practicing yoga today, but I would love to practice for you – what’s your name?” “I’m Dave,” he said. “You got it, Dave. I’m Ann, and it’s so nice to meet you. When I’m on my mat today, I’m going to be thinking about you and practicing yoga for you – it will be an honor.”
On the outside, Dave certainly didn’t look like your typical yoga guru, but in just those few moments, he taught me so much about being present, being thankful, having perspective, and about connection. A great yogi, Desikachar, said, “yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” Everything is connected. We speak a lot about connection in yoga. The very word, "yoga," means connection or union. We connect body, mind, and spirit. We connect movement with breath. And ultimately we find that inner peace, that place within where we connect with the universe, our light, our source. How often have you experienced those wonderful little coincidences? A friend calls just when you were thinking of them, or you make a new friend at Starbucks at the exact perfect time. Yoga teaches that these things we call coincidences aren’t chance happenings at all, but proof of the profound connection we all share. Judith Lasater says “Wisdom is the ability to see the connection of all things. Our connection with the universe has existed, exists now, and will always exist. When we look inside ourselves for this connection, we will always find it. We are a reflection of it. When we can live with a deep faith in our connection to all that is, we fear less, want less and need less.” When you make yoga a part of your daily life on and off your mat, you can’t help become more aware, more sensitive to this beautiful connection. We are all connected by the light and love that dwells within each of us. And we honor that connection by saying to each other…Namaste.