Personal perspective, yoga-style! So, lately I have found myself thinking, talking, dreaming, and writing about shifting one’s perspective a lot in my “Nutrition” world. I thought I should give my inspiration to this way of thinking credit where it is due. YOGA. There are just so many places that this simple little idea of making a small shift in perspective can make life better. In some shape and form it all seems to be practiced, taught and thought about in yoga. We can make a subtle physical shift in a yoga posture and notice how significant that tiny shift feels. We can make a choice to listen to that little voice inside telling us to go to that yoga class instead of bringing work home. We can decide to clear our minds and give ourselves the gift of just being present. We can decide to not react. We can choose to accept our bodies, our family, and all of the things that are beyond control just as they are. I once read a passage saying something along the lines of “spring will come and the grass will grow, all by itself. No matter what we do, or don’t do, spring comes and the grass grows…. I like this because it gives me permission to choose to do what I can and to really let go of trying to control things I cannot. A simple shift in MY perspective changes everything.
If you have ever been to one of my yoga classes, (and if you haven’t, please do!) I start each class with a reading from one of several Meditation books. I randomly open a book and trust that it will be relevant to the practice for those who are there. I am still amazed at how this always seems to work out. I think it is because I have let go of trying to “decide” and simply trust that it will all work out. Students are allowed to form their own personal intention for their practice but it offers something to think about when needed.
Recently, probably due to all of the New Year’s Resolutions, I keep coming into contact with conversations and questions about Karma. I read an article that was centered on what I perceive as a overly simplified and elementary understanding that Karma’s purpose is to go after those that harm us. An eye for an eye. What goes around comes around. You get the idea. Based on my yoga training and personal experience, I believe that Karma is a universal attraction of energy. Like attracting like. This is where being able to consciously shift your perspective is amazing. You can choose how you feel about any situation!
What is currently annoying you? The person ahead of you in traffic not going fast enough or sitting at a green light? Did you decide that the repairman overcharged you? Do you choose to think about, what awful thing did I DO to bring these terrible things to me? More often than not, Karma is used to wish ill will toward another in order to pay them back for causing you trouble. It works both ways, right?
Consider this, you can change your version of any story. Is is possible that the person ahead of you is not moving through the light because they are having a medical issue such as a heart attack or a child in the car is choking? Wouldn’t that change your anger into empathy or at least understanding? Can you consider that the repair that ‘only took 5 minutes’ was something that you didn’t know how to do and that repairman used 100’s of hours of training and experience to get really good and so he didn’t spend all afternoon in your home while charging you by the hour?
Yoga teaches us to connect. Connect to yourself, that deep down authentic self. Connect to your breath, notice how it sounds, feels and moves your body. Connect to those in your community. Shifting your perspective to make conscious choices to give others the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best about others’ intentions and in turn, according to the laws of Karma, they will see the best in you.