Recently I have been thinking a lot about what Yoga is and what are the roots of yoga. How authentic is yoga here in the U.S. Finding authenticity in yoga has led me to go to India and to study Astanga yoga at Sivananda Ashram. You can check out the blog from this journey on this website.
I have known the answer to the following question for a long time. What does yoga mean ? Yoga means to yoke together or union. Union of body, mind and spirit. Ok, so that sounds great and it is one of the right answers to the question, but the following question is a lot harder to answer and it is much more relevant.
What does yoga or union look like in our modern lives?
We live in a world that seems to value self care and union of the body, mind and spirit as only a way of selling us something that gives us quick results, comes with a high cost and allows us to not have to work at it. This almost always seems to leave us let down and unsatisfied. Union and peace is not something that can be bought or gotten quickly, it is something that takes work and dedication. Yoga means work, it means action. So this week in class I have talked about Karma Yoga.
Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action. It’s the actions that we send out into the world. Sometimes these actions come back to us in other ways. Hopefully our actions are good and what comes back to us is good, so that we cultivate positive karma. These actions should be selfless with no expectations of anything coming back to us. It is where we put ourselves to vibrate at a level of yogic union not only in ourselves but also in the universe, with each other and all living things. So here is my self assignment that I am doing this week that I would like to share with you. Feel free to join in if you would like. So with great excitement, here is to taking yoga beyond our mats. Feel free to post your answers, results and comments in the reply section at the bottom of this page.
What action can you take today that can make the world a better place? (Even a small part of the world will make a difference)
What random act of kindness can you do?
What secret gift can you give someone?
How has practicing Karma Yoga changed your day or week? What did you notice?