100 Days of Yoga, Day 19

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September 9, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam

If you look to others for fulfillment,

you will never truly be fulfilled.

If your happiness depends on money,

you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;

rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking,

the whole world belongs to you.

~ Lao Tzu


Wouldn’t it be great if we were taught this at the same time we learned, say algebra.  Think where we’d be today in our lives if we could just be content exactly as, where, with and who we are at this very moment.  AT THIS VERY MOMENT.  (In case you didn’t read that the first time.)  At this very moment, and this moment, and this moment — everything is exactly right.  It is one of the ways life can become so difficult: living, in our minds, in the past or the future.

There is a saying: those who live in the past left their last life with regret.  Those who live in the future, left their last life with fear.

There is another saying:  Try not to let your last words on this earth be: “oh, shit!”

If you’ve studied world religions you will see that at one time most, if not all, religions (yes, Christianity too) believed in reincarnation.  Religions from regions where people couldn’t have possibly known one another: Navajos and Tibetan Buddhism, for example.  How could this have come about?  I don’t think the concept of reincarnation belongs to any one religion, in fact, I don’t think it is an example of dogma at all.  At one time it was simply a given.  Many great thinkers acknowledged reincarnation, Plato, for example.  But, it is not my job, responsibility or desire to convert you.  And whether you accept or reject the concept is really quite irrelevant to our discussion.  But I’d like you to at least understand the concept as it pertains to Yoga, and further, to happiness.  If we are worried about death, something that will inevitably happen to all of us, then we need to figure out a way to live so that we can put that worry aside and get on with our lives.

A very wise child once told me: “what you believe will happen to you when you die is exactly what happens to you.”  I don’t want to name names, but my daughter may have known what she was talking about here.  Imagine the misery of knowing you’ve done something you, or your religion, deems you get a free “go to hell” card for.  Wouldn’t you hang on to life with every ounce of will you have?  So, if you can find a place around death with which you feel comfortable, you can take the topic off the table.

As Ram Dass says: “We’re all just walking each other home.”

And one more quote for today:

     “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”  

~ Mary Jean Iron

I think yesterday’s discussion on Pratyahara pretty much covers the topic.  Just like it took a long time to begin to understand the concept, I think it takes even longer to make it part of our lives.  This is, again, where we talk about being mindful.  If we can “withdraw our senses” before we take any action, say any word, think any thought, then we can avoid that next morning feeling of “Oh, man.  I messed up again-ness.”

PRANAYAMA:  Mike and I are planning to run our first 5K of the season today, so it is time for ocean breath, also known as Warrior breath.  It both energies and heats the body.  Here is a link if you are interested in learning more:

ASANA:  Today will be all about expanding the lungs and stretching the hamstrings, quads and calves.  We’ll do some standing lunges, some cow face poses and then strap work, making lose the large muscles through the low back and legs.  Here is an examples:







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