The Wisdom Within
By Suzette Scholtes
“You delight in the movement on Earth when you dance together. The pain is when you bruise each other. But do not worry. It’s not long-lasting. Take two aspirins and call God in the morning.”
-Reflections of an Elder Brother by Bartholomew
Quality not Quantity!
When I hear a yoga teacher just guided a class through two dozen sun salutations, I wonder what’s going on. Karim and I have built the success of our 24-year yoga studio on quality not quantity.
For the athlete maybe there is a place for such intensity. I wonder what may be created for most folks: maybe injury (especially rotary cuff); a dislike for yoga; and misalignment. We experience little attrition of students for two reasons: they are having fun allowing the prana to flow free in the body and we teach yoga from a depth of knowing and trust. It keeps it enjoyable, safe, rewarding and soothing while still offering new challenges.
Ask these questions of yourself in early 2007 to foster new enthusiasm and trust in the process of learning and growing with yoga or related modalities:
Do you leave your class or mat ready for a nap or ready for new plans, new ideas, and new dreams? Are you refreshed? Do you get in your car after yoga and crank out at the traffic or are you serene and composed? Do you look forward to seeing your family and friends or colleagues or are you irritated by duties and obligations?
If the answers are negative, I suggest your yoga IS NOT working. One of the key messages from the great sage Patanjali, the father of yoga over five millenniums ago, said yoga fosters harmony, peace, and happiness. In Verse 42 it reads in simple translation: “As the result of contentment, one gains supreme happiness. It is worth analyzing those occasions when we feel truly happy. The days that make us happy make us wise.”
It goes on to say in this verse that our happiness from yoga comes when “For this or that reason, we temporarily cease to feel anxious; when we live in the depths of the present moment, without regretting the past or worrying about the future.”
My yoga is what I call “organic.” There are so many issues among so many body types. The skilled teacher has an “eye” to see the issues in his/her sudents’ body. I may plan a vigorous or challenging class, then throw it out on the spot when I see someone with tense necks/shoulders or complaining of an achy back. The greatest challenge for any teacher is to create a class that works for so many body types present.
My own yoga is slow, deep and releasing. I do not jump around a lot but do many standing postures for my hips and legs. Backbends and inversions are fundamental to my daily practice. I may often practice just 20 to 30 minutes and then upon occasion there is that long, luxurious practice with long luxurious savasana (relaxation pose.)
Patanjali speaks a lot about our ego. “The ego alone creates many minds.” Others say that negative ego goes on auto pilot to judge yourself or others as bad or wrong. Our thoughts are constantly affecting our moment-to-moment energy.
Patanjali talks a lot about attachments such as lust, ignorance, lethargy, laziness or dullness. I prefer the psychological approach to understanding our negative ego: Are we struggling? Are we in pity? Are we comparing ourselves always to others without a sense of ourselves? Do we always doubt? Are we stuck so deep in our martyr and blame we cannot find optimism and hope? Do we feel better than another? Do we feel less than another? Do we fear more than trust?
Yes. We are all so tenderly human. Yet until we RECOGNIZE what is in our own thought/feelings we are stuck. The worse? You don’t even see it for yourself while the ego stuff is at some level punishes self and others around you.
Hatha yoga is tool to create health and happiness. My yoga feeds me, lifts me, and breaks me free of physical or mental pain. To be free of pain is an indicator of enlightenment, says the friend.
It’s the month of love, this February. May together we make a happier world of contentment and peace with quality not quantity.
Learn to deepen quality of life by touching your inner resources for more health and happiness. Reserve at (9l3) 492-9594.