There is no revolution without casualties. We’re living in a time of revolution. For most of us, we are observers to the momentous happenings in the world. It is as though we have bought tickets for the theatre without checking what we’re going to see. Some of the happenings in the world are horrendous, sickening, vile. Death is visiting our planet and we watch, like a theatre audience, barely believing what we’re seeing unfold.
‘No man is an island’. What happens to folk in the world is happening to each one of us. Like an audience that is moved and stirred by a play, we are involved in the news; we are involved in the deaths; we are involved in the protests. It is impossible to live through this time of history in the making without being affected.
I have always believed that yoga teachers and committed yogis are the healers and the cleansers of the planet. I did a straw poll on how yoga teachers are sleeping right now. This was amongst a Facebook group of some 150 yoga teachers. We’re all experiencing the same disturbed sleep patterns. We’re being called to help, we’re being used to heal. I play the Gregorian Chant everyday on my landing in an effort to calm down the energies in my home. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility that I carry. Life is so far from the world that I would choose right now – a world where kindness, compassion, love, peace and contentment are experienced by all. We need ease. Ease is the opposite to disease, and right now we don’t just have the disease of Covid 19, we have the disease of murder, racism, domestic abuse, neglect, poverty and injustice.
How people are managing right now without yoga is beyond me. Yoga will help to bring the ease so desperately needed. We need a massive army of yogis to combat the negativity, to bring deep healing, to re-establish balance, to restore mental health.
Will there be a greater body of spiritual people when this is all over? Will people take the lessons learned into the future? Will we be able to surmount the ever-growing chaos? Can we move from being audience members to being centre stage? Can we move all people, stir all people, finally make people realise that whatever happens to one of mankind, happens to us all. ‘No man is an island’.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
My latest book is now available on Amazon! It’s a novel way to navigate the ageing process, and uses story to spread the teachings of yoga.
Buy your copy of ‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’ now! They’re selling fast…
Click on the cover to purchase.
‘Home from OM’ employs the ancient yoga technique of story-telling to put across spiritual teachings, the infinite wisdom. Following the progress of ten occupants of a residential home, we engage with their lives and their pasts. Can living in a yoga community bring grace and fulfillment to their last years? Could this be a way for the elderly to progress instead of diminish? Or will new challenges emerge from the experiment? Carole Kerton has been teaching yoga for forty-one years. She believes in using humour and anecdotes to facilitate learning. Whilst yoga supports all age groups, the elderly in Carole’s classes thrive on their practice.
As we grow older, we need to check ‘what it’s too late for, what it’s just right for, and what it’s too early for’. When we get the balance right in our lives, when we know who we are and where we are at, then we can feel ‘gracious and fulfilled at the end of the day’.
That feeling of being totally in the moment, at one with yourself and comfortable in your skin comes from yoga practice.Home practice is wonderful, but being part of a group is even more wonderful.
There’s a lovely saying – if you can’t find an hour a day for your yoga practice, you need an hour and a half!
I wish everyone a happy, joyful and peaceful new year…
One of the greatest joys of being a practising yogi is being surrounded by like-minded people. I have taught yoga in the States, in India, in Spain and in Ibiza. Yoga travels well and yoga groups are always a joy to be with. When we lived in Kentucky, U.S.A., we discovered a whole new yoga community. They welcomed us with open arms.
Yoga means union. All yoga students come to understand that feeling of ‘oneness’. Coming out of a deep meditation, anywhere in the world, you feel total connection with those around you. You may not know the last name of the person next to you or, indeed, anything about them. That matters not a jot. You are one with them. They are your spiritual family…
I love this word ‘oneness’. Indeed, it is to be the theme for our annual retreat in July 2016.
In Isha Upanishad we learn: ” To the illumined soul, the Self is all. For him who sees everywhere oneness, how can there be delusion or grief? The Self is everywhere. Bright is he, bodiless, without scar or imperfection, without bone, without flesh, pure, untouched by evil. The Seer, the Thinker, the One who is above all, the Self-Existent – he it is that has established perfect order among objects and beings from beginningless time.”
We’ve met the Gunas before, but this is the way that Krishna explains them: ‘ From Prakriti the gunas come forth, Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas: these are the bonds that bind the undying dweller imprisoned in the body. Sattwa the shining can show the Atman by its pure light: yet sattwa will bind you to search for happiness, longing for knowledge. Rajas the passionate will make you thirsty for pleasure and possession: rajas will bind you to hunger for action. Tamas the ignorant bewilders all men: tamas will bind you with bonds of delusion, sluggishness, stupor.’
So, these three energies govern all activity in the Universe. They are entwined, like a rope. We need all three states, yet we need to be aware of all three states. Notice. Be alert and curious about which sdtate is governing you at this moment.
Krishna continues: ‘Let the wise man know these gunas alone as the doers of every action; let him learn to know That which is beyond them, also: Thus he will reach my oneness. When the dweller in the body has overcome the gunas that cause this body, then he is made free from birth and death, from pain and decay: he becomes immortal.’
I just love that word ‘oneness’. One love to you all…
In chapter 6, Krishna utters these rather wonderful words: ‘ Let him who would climb in meditation to heights of the highest union with Brahman, take for his path the yoga of action. Then when he nears that height of oneness, his acts will fall from him, his path will be tranquil.’
I love two words in that piece – ONENESS and TRANQUIL. There is that moment, profound and beautiful, when in a deep meditation you experience that feeling of being one with all that is. Now there you find tranquillity.
Krishna says: ‘On earth there is no purifier as great as this knowledge, when a man is made perfect in yoga, he knows its truth within his heart. The man of faith, whose heart is devoted, whose senses are mastered: he finds Brahman. Enlightened, he passes at once to the highest, the peace beyond passion.’
Yoga is a way of life. It is so not just a once a week class. ‘Yoga Prescribed’, my little easy to read book, describes a yoga family who live with and embrace the yoga philosophies.We can all do this. Remembering the health tips and yogic tips leads us to a state of peace, health and oneness.