Kindness

The way we do anything is the way we do everything. – Richard Rohr

Time and time again while I am teaching classes, I ask the participants to notice how they are doing a pose, how they are breathing, and how they are treating themselves while practicing yoga. I bring this to awareness because what we’re really practicing is not just a set of poses strung together with the breath, we are also practicing how we interact with our outer world. And so the relationships we develop with the poses mirror quite well the relationships we have off the mat. I can’t tell you how many times I have been able to correctly predict a person’s personality based solely on the first few breaths of a class. And we just can’t seem to help ourselves, really. Our personality seems to be coded into our DNA. 

Our unique and individual personalities are something at first to notice and to become sensitive to when practicing asana, meditation, and contemplation. Only when we become aware can we begin to transform. So, as we head into a sequence of poses, we begin to notice the inner dialogue, which then evokes emotional patterns, which then turns into our individual reactions, and that becomes something that we embrace or avoid in the future. The same could be said of just about any task we undertake. Yoga is not an exception, it actually in many ways is the magnifying glass. We get the chance to look at how we react. What a gift!

This week I am going to invite the practice of kindness in classes. We’ll explore how to transform our critical inner dialogue to be non-violent and supportive. We will take a look at the possibility of using our practice to nurture self-love and self-respect. Then we’ll actually be able to bring all of those new qualities out to our relationships and treat everyone else with kindness by nurturing, loving and respecting them.

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? – RuPaul


Much love and many blessings!

Tom