Monday, May 19, 2008

The Yoga of Being Nice

Turns out, the featured yoga pose today, isn't actually an asana at all. It's a good deed.

Many yogis in America (an estimated 15 million) don't realize that yoga practice as we know it, involving poses of the standing, seated, twisting, binding, and balancing varieties, represents only one form or "branch" of yoga; there are 7 others. Asana practice is known as "hatha" yoga, but today's "pose of the week" derives its inspiration from karma yoga.

The word karma translates to mean "action," and karma yoga encourages a "disciplining of one's actions," a commitment to being selfless, a willingness to do something meaningful for others without regard for the reward.

So, here's a suggestion- however hackneyed it may be- do something meaningful this week, no matter how small and with no interest in how you might benefit. That's your yoga. It's not glamorous. It won't make you look better in a bikini. You'll never see giving up your seat on the T to an elderly passenger on the cover of Yoga Journal.

But, it's the most important type of yoga that we practice. This week, practice often.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being nice: what a novel idea. I was driving on a little country road (okay maybe not a little country, but a lot country and no rock and roll) when I saw a small speck on the road ahead of me. It turned out to be a snapping turtle trying to get to a pond on the other side. Without thought, I stopped the car in the middle of the street to help it along. Remember OG, this isn't Comm Ave. People in the country can stop their cars and it doesn't result in massive honking. Or does it? After setting the turtle carefully next to the pond, I realized that a car approaching from the opposite direction was screaming words, saved only for rush hour road rage, in my general direction. I guess that they didn't read your blog. Any advice on how to handle situations like this?