This picture just makes me happy; it has nothing to do with the post. I was merely just listening to him as I was writing ∞∞

A mentor of mine once said to me “you know that yoga is really reaching you when your personal relationships start changing…for the better”. Up until hearing that, yoga, for me, was a solo endeavour. Yoga gave me space; cleared my mind; made me both physically and mentally stronger. Good lord, with all of the me, my’s, and mine’s, how could there be any room left over for anything but the ego?

Yoga is experiential, yes. It is a canvas to articulate one’s own truth and findings, no doubt. Yet asana and philosophy arent just for thy self–they are tools utilized to help connect with others on a level of understanding, compassion, and truth. Just as our practice changes from day-to-day, so does our relationships with others, and furthermore, their relationships with themselves. Removing oneself from reactivity, but rather relating on a level of understanding, yoga has sustained the intangible thread that melds us all together. Ironically, that thread is the commonality of universal difference.  How often do we react off of our own personal emotions alone; how often do we judge people based on our own conditioning and upbringing; how often do we scratch the surface to attempt to build a connection before fabricating our own stories, beliefs, and judgements? Through having compassion for our own selves, bodies, and states of mind we develop a new sensatory system of our own that allows individual acceptance to bleed to the universal. 

But isn’t yoga about developing a personal practice? Yes. Here lies another seemingly dualistic quality of our practice. Yoga is a balance. The Hatha branch, a sect of Tantric yoga is the balance between the moon and the sun; of light and dark; it is your metaphoric peanut butter to your jelly (awful reference– I’m le tired!). In yogic principle, the front portion of your body (your face, your front ribcage, your thighs, heartspace, etc) is the individual body. Your back body (buttocks, calves, heels, backspace of your heart, etc) is the universal body. Yoga practice helps align the individual with the universal and is an ever-constant battle not to let one body take preference over the other. Marinate on that!

A meditation I like to play with. Repeat as needed, yo.

Waking this morning, I smile,

A brand-new day is before me.

I aspire to live each moment mindfully,

And to look upon all beings

With the eyes of kindness and compassion.

May you, and all other beings, be happy and free from suffering.