Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wise lessons from a Yogi

With dreams of becoming a pro-female boxer after a couple years of being dedicated to the sport, I was forced into trying a yoga class that was sworn to change my life. I still remember walking into my first moksha studio in Toronto and thinking to myself, what the hell have I gotten myself into and what time is the next boxing class so that I can bolt outta here early. It never dawned on me once that, that one yoga class would change my life. And yes I know that sounds a bit  dramatic, but proof is in the pudding y'all , my dreams of going pro in boxing quickly changed after that class to wanting to be a devoted yogi, teacher and studio owner at some point in my lifetime.

Now while I have never forgotten my yogi dreams, I can tell you that the lesson that I learnt on my first day of class about life is something that I often forget, but am always quickly reminded of. And as I sit here in this Boeing 747 enroute back to Toronto and read "The Last Lecture", its happened again - I have been slapped by one of the bestest lessons I ever learnt through Yoga.  And here is the story that is to blame -

"Jai sent me out to buy a few groceries the other day. After I found everything on the list. I figured I'd get out of the store faster if I used the self-scan aisle. I slid my credit card into the machine, followed the directions, and scanned my groceries myself. The machine chirped, beeped and said I owed $16.55, but issued no receipt. So I swiped my credit card again and started over. Soon two receipts popped out. The machine had charged me twice.  At that point I had a decision to make. I could track down the manager who would have listened to my story, filled out the form, and taken my credit card to his register to remove of the $16.55 charges. This whole ordeal would have lasted 10-15 minutes and would have been zero fun for me. Given my short road ahead, did I want to spend those precious minutes getting that refund? I did not. Could I afford to pay the extra $16.55? I could. So I left the store, happier to have 15 minutes than $16 dollars."

Now I know what you all are thinking - how does this story even remotely tie to Yoga? Well the truth is that for every yoga class you take you always walk out feeling a bit wiser about life thanks to the life lessons that the teachers tend to share. And this story resembles my first Yogic Lesson - Time is finite, so breath in the positive experiences and moments to help let go of the negative ones clouding your judgment.  Why waste your life  bitching, whining, complaining and getting angrier. When you can spend it turning all your negative thoughts and experiences into positive ones? And I know we are not all saints and often get consumed by all the anger, fear, resentment, pressure and worries in our heads, but it is a possible state to achieve, maybe not all the time but at least 85% of the time. I mean why would you spend time being afraid of what could go wrong, when you could spend time being positive about what could go right?

To add to this thought, I read somewhere that for every positive experience/thought you have it is 100 times more powerful and more effective than any negative thought/experience. And while I am also guilty of letting my stresses, emotions and pressures of letting people down get the best of me at times, I always try and turn the situation around even if its just in my head. A little bit of talking inside your head never hurt anyone. And there are so many things you can do. My favorite one is starting off your day by saying something positive about whatever you are feeling negative about. And then instead of thinking anything negative, you just focus on that positive instead. They say that you can turn a lot of things around by clearing your head of the negative - so why not try it? and whole heartedly? What do you have to lose? Because not trying it can hold you back from something so positive that you just failed to let yourself believe, due to clouded judgment. Often times people let some of the best things go because they are so caught up by the stresses of the moment.
Anyhow, that's my take on that. I think the one thing this has really taught me is to always see the positive in people because focusing on the negative just brings you down for those moments and also stops you from really seeing the entire big picture. I mean think about how many times you have met people and hated them immediately and then spent some more time with them and then grew to like them - It's because you cleared out the negative :)
So on that positive note, I end this post and get into bed. Do me a favor and when you all read this in the AM - think of something, someone or anything that has affected you lately and try to think of something positive in relation to it instead and focus on that. Let your belief in the good take over, because the negative with time will always subside and go away. Just gotta believe.
Nite Nite :)

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