Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
Blessings in Disguise
Boy, this has been the longest month we've ever had in a week! So much has happened. Like many of you, we are all trying to process this new reality.
One thing that has completely transformed my mood has been the ability to check in with people all over the world. From Chicago to Hong Kong, we are working on preventing the spread of this disease and staying sane at home.
I think it hasn't been easy for any of us. But as the daughter of parents in their 70s, I am humbled by the efforts of my neighbors to keep our precious elders safe. It is also remarkable to see everyday heroes coming through in all capacities.
Nurses, doctors, and first responders working long hours in risky conditions, to protect and heal others. Grocery and drug store workers showing up and risking their health and the health of their family for us, even though they get none of the glory. Teachers learning to teach remotely for the first time, on the fly. Parents, learning how to be a teacher on the fly. Think about all those amazing IT people keeping us connected in our Zoom meetings!
All of us have been asked to be more flexible and wear several different hats. To take care of others and ourselves better. To be compassionate and patient and generous. To learn what we can do without. To discriminate between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the impermanent These are all yogic values.
That is why yoga and mindfulness masters go on pilgrimages - from Buddha to Swami Satchidananda. To get away from worldly desires and connect to the true self within each of us.
At this time especially, I am so blessed to have the support of a guru, or spiritual guide. Guru means remover of the darkness. I think this translation of guru is an important distinction. What does it mean?
It means that whether we realize it or not, there is always light. But our monkey mind clouds our heads with thoughts of darkness: things we desire and don't have, things we don't want and avoid, things we have but are afraid to lose.
The guru is the entity (whether in the flesh, passed on from the flesh, or the guru that resides deep within each of our hearts) that removes those thoughts of darkness and reveals the never-ending source of light within us. Which is peace. I promise you, you have that guru within you.
So although things feel extremely difficult right now, remember that this is all temporary. Eventually, this will pass and we will be left with the lessons we've learned. Pain, surely, but not necessarily suffering.
You have a choice. You can let your monkey mind cloud your thoughts and emotions with darkness. Or you can use this time to listen to the guru inside and take better care of yourself, others, and your surroundings.
We are here to support that. This is what yoga does best! So we are thrilled to offer a HUGE variety of free and donation-based online programs for our community. From an intro to yoga class, to a breathing and meditation practice, to a chair yoga class, to kids' yoga classes, to yoga for reducing eye strain (after all those hours looking at a screen...) Keep your eye out for other, future free offerings.
Meanwhile, our regularly scheduled classes continue streaming online. This has been quite an experiment for us but has also been very successful so far! We'd love to see you at those classes too. This is a hard time for small businesses, but with the support of the community, we can get through it.
Thank you for your support now and always.
Mantra of Peace
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Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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