Looking at things differently: Lessons from my yoga class- March 2, 2012
I joined a yoga class this week. It was the missing piece that fit into the only empty slot I had in my life, for now
It is a class that my mum has introduced me to and the slot it is filling is the one reserved for working out. Filling this slot and keeping it filled is my nemesis. I have tried a number of things, with mixed outcomes. I hated gym, I like walking but it gets monotonous after a point and I haven’t really been able to leave home early enough to find empty roads to cycle on. I loved the Shiamak dance classes I did for two years, though, because they taught me about balance, presentation, emotion, interpersonal skills, grace and most importantly, they taught me to let go and become a child, be in the moment, simply enjoy.
I have a great feeling about the yoga class. First, because I love the stretching, toning sort of workout. I’m not a great one for the huffing and puffing and streaming sweat! But more because yoga is taking things up from where I left off at the dance classes. The focus of the class is on developing self awareness and through conscious, disciplined movement, the aim is to achieve calmness of the mind. Through yoga, my teacher says, we can train our minds to think positively, convert negative emotions to positive ones. We can also discipline our minds such that we are able to clear our minds of residual thoughts and start a new task with a fresh slate. I find this fascinating as a concept. If we could achieve this, think how much more efficient we would be in the workplace; we wouldn’t lose our temper at our kids when we get home after a grueling meeting; we would be able to enjoy each experience to the fullest, and so on and so forth.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. My teacher also said that most of us will not be able to achieve this within this lifetime, but she assured me we would ultimately, a few lifetimes from now! Now that puts a different spin on things. My eyebrows rose up sharply at this, I think. For the next discourse was about karm yoga. The concept of doing your best without thinking about the result. The minute you focus on the result, apparently, you lose focus and derail whatever you’ve set out to do!
This, I think, is the toughest for us city dwellers to practice. Everything in modern life is engineered around the process of first setting expectations, then doing stuff to meet these. The goals come first; then we plan to achieve them and finally we take action. Karm yoga reverses this, literally turning life on its head!
This is why the yoga class is auguring well for me. It is allowing free reign for me to question the very basic principles I have led my life on. I am at the exact stage in life when doing this is a very pleasurable aspect of the journey I think I am on. Let’s see where it takes me!