Unfolding on the Mat
Expanded Content and Thoughtful Guidance
I'm here to tell you:
You CAN handle the truth!
In fact, not only can you handle it, you ARE it.
But sometimes we can't see it. We do not see by the Light of Truth within, so we can't see the Light of Truth around us. Things like inner conflict, lack of sleep, poor diet, increased stress, and lack of movement cloud our perception. We start to see the world as ugly, lacking, and dark. We are more easily fooled by the illusion of separateness and scarcity. Attachments and aversions creep in and create suffering.
We get a lot of dross covering up our golden joy.
In this week's podcast episode, I discuss the second YAMA of SATYA, or Truth. In its most basic form, SATYA takes the form of controlling speech so as not to lie. But beyond that, when you establish your life in Truth, it "burns away the dross"(B.K.S Iyengar, Light on Yoga) and reveals a life of abundance.
Or, as Nischala Joy Devi puts it in The Secret Power of Yoga,
"The power (shakti) of truth is created through the alchemy of personal integrity, knowledge and humility"
Now, as Sanskrit might have it, there is a word for the "dross" that covers our joy: MALA.
MALA means "dirt." This "dirt" is the toxins we carry around in our body and mind. It covers up True perception.
Any of those thought patterns you have that came not from Truth but from parental/societal/cultural programming can act like dirt on your window to Truth.
Here's a great practice to reduce this MALA within you and get closer and closer to Truth:
Remember, this dross has taken time to build up. It will take time to break it down. There are no short cuts in yoga. But if you practice regularly and consistently, you can accumulate it's benefits and gain a life of clarity.
May the world you see around you reflect the beauty of the truth and abundance within you.
P.S. I want to give a personal shout out to long-time student, Julie M. She is my very first podcast supporter! Her monthly financial commitment encourages me to keep putting this written and audio material out there. It shows me that she feels the podcast adds value to her life. I am truly humbled. Thank you Julie!
If you would like to follow in Julie's footsteps, click the "Support this Podcast" button on my Anchor Podcast page. And THANK YOU!
Here we go! It's YAMA time!
These are the first five ethical disciplines of your yoga practice. Fun word, bummer topic ;)
Actually, I really enjoy studying these teachings and thinking about them as I engage in society.
The first Yama is Ahimsa, or non-violence. Upon first glance, one might say, "Yep! Got it! Don't be violent. I shall not kill. Check!" But you know it's more than that, right?
In this week's podcast episode, we are informed by BKS Iyengar's Light on Yoga to help us wrap our heads around going beyond non-violence and into love of all. We are encouraged to EXPERIENCE what we believe, not just think about it.
Start by experiencing it in your own body--pain can be thought of as the body's signal that there is some violence going on. Stop, back off, breathe, and re-enter what you are doing with more attention, ease, and self-compassion. Or perhaps change your activity entirely. Sometimes it's helpful to treat your body the way you want your best friend or partner to treat their's.
Then take the practice to the world.
We're all complaining that the country is divided, right?
Do your part to practice love of ALL.
Besides, how do you feel in your own mind, body, and spirit when you are thinking or speaking of someone in a violent or negative way? It blocks your joy! It makes you no better! There's no shame to it--this happens! The key is NOTICE it, and apply the opposite.
Try this the next time you catch yourself thinking negatively of someone or a group of people:
Let me know how it goes! I love to have stories to draw from for my teaching. Your experience could help someone else, so don't be shy!
May the world you create within and around you be one of love, compassion, and non-violence.
Jessica lives, has a family, and teaches yoga in Austin, Texas.