We tend to see our Yoga practice as the part that we do well, our favorite postures, that one that feels just right, the one that looks cool.

Our higher practice is actually the postures that challenge us the most, our least favorite, We’ve all got one that feels like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree:

tree pose, vrikshasana - don't try this at home...

Now this, is a tree that we can work with…

These are the places where we can learn ourselves, if we dare to look.  Who do we become when our feathers are ruffled? 

I was filling my stainless steel water bottle at the Yoga studio today and found myself getting irritated, willing the water to move quicker. There it is, in that moment, noticing how I was being, The water bubble became my teacher.  Guru Sakshat,  What’s happening right now – in this moment, becomes our teacher.  

I was able to come around pretty quickly, and used the time to practice my Mantra, and gratitude for my access to unlimited clean water. These bits of mindfulness bring richness to our lives, and all we have to do is pay attention.

Of course, Many times our challenges have much bigger impact, and are much more challenging to see in this way.  Practicing with the little ones, will help us deal with the big ones.

I’ve also found that the depth of the teaching is proportional to the depth of my inconvenience.  I’m sure that I’m not alone in my experience of major letdowns turning out to be a huge favors with passing time.

Much of our suffering is avoidable.

There’s a Yoga Sutra for this. Here’s some homework: Lookup Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra II.16. Google: Heyam Dukham Anagatam

Buddhist teacher  Tich Nhat Hanh, never hurries, for anything. This irks his entourage at times, cause they miss many planes, He says “Why hurry, We’ll have more time for meditation.”  I’m not saying we should all aspire to this level of patience, but a little goes a long way to reduce the stress in our lives.

Practice patience, make way for ducklings

What’s your least favorite Yoga posture, What’s your pet peeve?, Who irritates you the most?  These are gold nuggets of opportunity. They are your teacher, they are your Guru Sakshat.  If you slow down, and allow them to be.

All Day Yoga 

Next time you’re frustrated, or your Sun Salutation feels like a rusty-hinge, let your discomfort become the meditation chime. Ask, “what can I learn?” This is the Yoga you can do all day.  This is the Yoga that will bring depth to your experience of this life.

I got another chance to practice at the supermarket. Molasses moves faster than this cashier! This time, I was ready for her.  Cool as the cucumbers I was buying, I thanked her, and meant it.  Slow down…

Om Shanti, I’ll see you in class… and let me know what you find out about that Sutra II.16

-j

P.S. Yes, Joy can be a great teacher as well, next post…