Saturday, June 17, 2017

Continuing My Yoga Journey

My journey to becoming a yoga teacher continues. I completed Level 2 training this past weekend, and I walked away feeling surer than ever that I'm on the right path.

My favorite part of the 20 hours of instruction was the discussion of the Yamas and Niyamas. Though it was just a small part of the training, the delving into the philosophy behind yoga offered up much to think about. Now I am reading more about the Yamas and Niyamas from a variety of texts, and I am thinking about them often as I move through my days.

Yamas: restraints. Do no harm. Be truthful. Don't take what isn't yours to take. Keep life simple. Let go of the stuff.

Niyamas: observances. Live a pure life. Be content. Be disciplined. Never stop learning. Live with an open heart.

Both encourage the self to keep an eye on the self, monitoring behavior, adjusting, working to become a better version of the self. When we were asked which Yama we needed to work on most, I knew instantly which one it was for me: Ahimsa, nonviolence. The anger I've had and still have needs attention. For the Niyama, I mulled over Santosha: contentment. When I think about what makes me content, what comes to mind are physical things--my kids, Ado, cycling, gardening. How do I find the contentment from within, from the nonphysical things?

Now, so many questions pop up during my days. Am I practicing doing no harm? Am I being truthful? Is my truthfulness harmful to another? If so, I need to back away in order to do no harm. I especially am drawn to how if one Yama is being violated, it impacts one or more of the others. Living the Yamas really is a delicate, graceful dance. I'm finding the more I think about what I'm doing at any given moment that might be out of sync with the one or more of the Yamas or Niyamas, the more I am forced to live actively rather than passively.

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