Today in Teacher Training we started talking a bit about the sutras. These are the practical instructions for how yoga (all eight limbs of yoga, rather than just the asanas, or postures) should be practiced. Right off the bat, this appealed to me. I was pretty sure that this book with all the Sanskrit in it was going to be all philosophy with no real practical application, as much of philosophy is.
I am going to digress for a second here to give you a little bit of historical information about me – I hate philsophy. So very much. I had to take it in college and I am actually pretty surprised I did not fail. I had to write every paper with my finger constantly on the delete key because of how often I wrote variations on “Who the eff cares?!?!?” I think (hope) I ended up deleting all of those…
Aaaaanyway, the discussion began with the assistant talking about how her sutra book was her constant companion. Anytime she needs guidance or is feeling down, she opens the book and reads whatever it opens to. Like people say happens with the Bible, the passage she happens upon somehow always has some implication for her life. Oddly enough, the same kind of thing happened to me with one of our assigned sutras tonight. One of them discusses the belief that the way we see the world colors our entire perception of the world. Duh, you say. Of course our own personal thoughts and beliefs affect how we see the world.
However, we do not always think about the fact that we can change our perception of the world at any time. You think nothing is going your way? You have no luck with relationships? You feel gross today because your butt looks fat in those pants and your shirt clings in all the wrong places and you are bloated and your hair is greasy and you have 16 pimples on your face and you have a black eye and your camel spit on your white shirt you on your way to work and then you fell in a pile of hippopotamus poop. Ew. I know it is hard (and in some cases nearly impossible) to change one’s own perception of things, but it is the only way for anyone to truly be happy. Just let go of your judgments and make the best of what you have. It can’t help but seem at least a fraction better. With the short amount of time we have on this earth, wouldn’t you want to make it as pleasant as possible? Kris Allen (or the dudes who write his songs) said it well - Our hearts are hungry for a food that won’t come / And we could make a feast from these crumbs.
Love yourself, love your neighbors, namaste.