Sep 082015
 

yogaIt’s early September and as I look out my kitchen window I notice the first of the leaves falling from the big beech tree. The evenings are cooler and I am tempted to light the fire.

Over the last few weeks I watched the swallows prepare for their long migration flight. The pair of swallows that had been nesting under the eaves spend days encouraging and showing their offspring the skills of flying in and out of their nest. Many times the young ones hit my kitchen window as they tried to navigate their way back to their nest. Now they have gone and my window is clean for now and life moves on.

Nature is a great teacher. No matter what goes on in our lives nothing ever stays the same. The seasons change as do our own lives.

For us yogi’s autumn is the start of another yoga year. New beginnings, maybe an opportunity to get to know ourselves better, to accept ourselves as we are and where we are in our lives or an opportunity to change and embrace that change.

There is a lot of turmoil in the world at the moment in particular the refugee crises.  It has surprised me in one way the huge interest there is in Yoga recently and one might ask why. Is it just for physical benefits or is it something more?

The ultimate power of yoga lies beyond what the eyes can see. There are many different forms of yoga. The type of yoga I teach is Hatha Yoga. The purpose of yoga is to help us on our journey within for all knowledge and wisdom resides within.

This work requires no Sanskrit knowledge, no chanting to deities or reciting of mantras. These things are not wrong, and are very helpful for many, but they are also not required to transform yourself.

I may make reference to God or Buddha or energy but it does not matter to me what your religious belief is or isn’t and I’m not here to influence your own religious beliefs in any way.

*However in these times of religiously motivated wars and carnage, it is clear that we must re-establish the consciousness of unity, to see our similarities over our differences. To fight over names and regional customs was clearly not the intention of the great prophets of the world. This sort of religious-based violence indicates that what is desperately missing in our modern world is humility, for a humble person would never think of ridiculing another person’s form of worship. We may not always be of one mind but we can be of one heart. May we all become teachers of peace, and teach in the only way possible: by example. *A Life Worth Breathing by Max Strom

People are asking the big question “What is this life about?”

Over this term I am offering you the opportunity to take an inventory of yourself. Exploring who and what we are. Asking the 4 soul questions

1.   Who Am I?

2.   What do I want?

3.   What is my purpose in Life?

4.   What am I grateful for?

When we are asked, ‘Who are you?’ We usually answer; I am the wife, husband, daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father etc. but who are we when we let go of the labels.

*Behind every face there is a secret hidden inner life. Each of us is known or recognised by our face.  There are no two humans that inhabit the same world. We all inhabit the same world physically but internally each world is completely different.

No one else sees the world the way you do. No one else sees it from the prospective that you do. Even though similar things have happen to you as with other people the context that they find in your heart and mind is different from everyone else.

Thoughts are not visible so your inner world is completely hidden from all others.

No one else can look out for your inner life but yourself. We never see another person’s experience all we see is there behaviour.

If you don’t look out for your own inner life then no one else can.

Everything we do is guided by thought. What are the 7 thoughts that govern, shape and determine my life? What are the 7 thought(s) that you keep coming back to. The world that you inhabit is shaped by the way you see it and the world that you see is shaped by the way you think.

If you really want to change your life the best way to achieve this is to change the way you think. If you change some of the furniture of your inner world and your mind then you really change your life. So instead of looking outside of ourselves we look at our thoughts and the way we see life. *John O’Donohue

One of the messages of yoga is that we do not need a “bunch of stuff” to make us happy; instead yoga teaches us that we already possess everything we need to be happy within ourselves.

Remember if we do not love ourselves no matter how corny that sounds we cannot truly love another. If we do not take care of, respect and look after ourselves then we cannot care for, respect and look after others.

For what we seek is within and in yoga this is where we dive head first so take this time to get to know the real you.

There may be a day over the next 7 weeks when you feel tired or in bad form or are worried, anxious, fearful or burdened or you have had a bad day at work and you just haven’t the energy to come to your yoga. That is the morning or evening that I would encourage you to come to your yoga class. As the monks say ‘there are days when I lean on my brother’s practice and then there are days when my brothers lean on mine’

This I know for first hand to be true because since this very day last year four members of our family have passed away. My own meditation and yoga practice helped me through this year but more importantly was the support I received and felt from those of you who were in my yoga classes and for that I will always be truly grateful.

In this room of people we do not know the world that goes on behind each face. It may be a front, a camouflage. You are going to share an hour of your week with the same group of people. Everyone is here for a different reason. Maybe over the next 7 weeks you could make eye contact, smile and even say hello to someone you don’t know in the room. On Marian Finucane’s radio program last Saturday she interviewed a refugee from Syria. She asked him ‘What is the first thing you need when you arrive on safe shores after your long hazardous journey from Syria?’ His answer which took her by surprise was “A Smile and maybe a Hug”.

I’m not saying you have to become best friends with someone in the class or invade their personal space but a friendly smile could make such a difference.

So let’s start with ourselves by showing kindness to ourselves first and then by showing kindness to others it will ripple out into the world spreading peace.

My wish for you this term is that you will be touched by the true essence of yoga and that it will have a very positive influence on your life. That you will connect with the core of your being and find happiness and peace that resides there.

Namaste Carmel.