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Nothing is permanent in life but change.
It is constantly present- in our environment, surroundings, relationships, our thoughts, our bodies, our cells and so on...Change is constantly present in us at every level, physically, energetically and mentally.
How come we feel such a reluctance to change in our lives even though we can’t avoid change? Change has been ever present in my life and has continued to transform me in ways I never expected.
One year ago we lived in Dubai and tried ‘to make ends meet’ and rebound from our financial rock bottom hit six months earlier. I returned to a ‘normal’ office job and sold ads for a yoga magazine in the Middle East and taught about 14 yoga classes per week. It was challenging but exhilarating at the same time, and I was very grateful I could continue to share our beloved yoga teachings in Dubai. In December we decided to return back to France and start all over again here at the French Riviera.
Wow… from being busy with full classes in Dubai we come to a different culture with a few main yoga studios in the region and yoga teachers trying to make a living with outdoor and private classes here and there. Surviving is a priority and can we still believe in abundance here? What a change!
At some stage in our yoga practice we learn the notion of abundance and creating a sangha (community) to support each other rather than compete with each other. Trying to apply the concept of abundance and believing in it is always challenging. Especially when our obstacles (kleshas) such as forgetting ourselves and not seeing clearly what lies within ourselves (avidya) and letting our egos (asmita), desires (raga), aversions (dvesa) and the fear of loss (abhinivesha) and change take over ourselves, our judgments will be clouded hence our decision won’t come from a place of discernment (viveka). This means our actions will come from a place of non-clarity and fear rather making a conscious decision with discernment and from a place of love and kindness. I was very lucky to have guidance from my fellow teachers and practitioners to remind me what our teachings share. Yoga offers us a great tool such as Kriya Yoga – the path of action to deal with change, our obstacles and bring about the transformation which further deepens our relationship with ourselves. It is a great tool to help us remember who we really are and I try to apply it on a daily basis.
We use self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya) and trust in our own inner wisdom to apply the outcome of our experience. These three ethical guiding principles (niyamas) form a tool that brings about action and transformation.
Looking at the idea of self- discipline closer, it entails the willingness to show up for oneself and commit to our practice without being attached to the outcome. Since our modern society demands from us to be result driven, show performance and receive our awards, tapas does reflect exactly the contrary and focuses on the our journey and how we are able to move step by step (kramas), steadily with ease (sthira Sukhasanam) and enjoy the ride even in hard and challenging times. This journey can be rocky and unpleasant and we will feel effort and situations coming up that won’t feel comfortable at all. The question is how can we deal with this heat, which is a byproduct of our efforts and change?
This is when svadhyaya, the concept of self-study comes in our journey. Can we show the willingness and have the courage to look at all perspectives, observe, read, study, and gather all the information we need to come to a wise decision, which is brought up by discernment (viveka) rather than uninformed judgment?
Once we have done our study, trust is so important in our lives as we need to trust in our own ability to learn from our experiences and listen to our inner wisdom, inner timeless and wise teacher.
Maybe we have noticed that we sometimes come to similar crossroads in our lives and we are asked again and again to make decisions. How many times have we made a similar decision time and time again and still the same crossroad comes in our way..? If we are aware of it, Kriya Yoga can offer us a tool to break the cycle and come closer to who we really are and find contentment in each moment of our lives and believe in abundance.
Beloved Yoga Teacher Training Manual (Yoga Sutras)