Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yoga Dose

Heard in Class:
"This practice is about how you get grounded; how you are able to inspire other people in your life to get grounded; cultivating things in yourself that you can share with others in order to be there for yourself and also for them in a different, more natural way."

Author's note:
The above quote brought two things to my mind: a renowned yogi and a motivational handicapped speaker.

Upon hearing the above words in class, I was reminded of something I read in "Light on Yoga", one of the definitive modern guides to the philosophy and practice of yoga. First published in 1966 by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world's greatest living yoga masters, the introduction (summary provided here) provides readers with bold insight in to the history, philosophy and world of yoga. Now 93 years old, Iyengar has maintained a daily yoga practice for more than 75 years. He turned to the practice after experiencing a difficult childhood that left him weak, ill and with physical ailments.

I believe that the message my yoga teacher was sharing above was related to the below sentence from "Light on Yoga":
"[The yogi] knows that his life is linked inextricably with that of others and he rejoices if he can help them to be happy. He puts the happiness of others before his own and becomes a source of joy to all who meet him. As parents encourage a baby to walk the first steps, he encourages those more unfortunate than himself and makes them fit for survival."
This morning, I saw an example of someone who may or may not be a yogi, but who obviously exemplifies and lives this ideology. Kyle Maynard is a quadruple amputee who is now an accomplished motivational speaker and champion athlete. He is currently embarking on a mission to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the video clip below, Maynard demonstrates extreme fortitude, mental strength, and spiritual clarity in the face of challenges that would likely cripple or even destroy most people. The message that he is sharing goes beyond that of hope and towards that of purpose and enlightenment. It's hard to not feel uplifted by his own leadership, inspiration, courage and sacrifice.

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