Everyday we are bombarded with all sorts of propaganda and messages trying to tell us what we need. We need face creams to look younger, we need money to feel sexy, we need to own a house to be a good parent, we need brand name clothes to feel like we fit in. We need, we need, we need…but do we really?
Beyond being told what we need, we are constantly being told who we are. We are the 1% or the 99%, we are the upper class, we are the middle class, we are looking for a handout, we are stealing from the poor, we are urban, we are rural, we are uneducated, we are wealthy. Our family puts labels on us, our friends help to enforce our identities…but who are we really?
What I love about teaching yoga is that when you come into the room and set yourself up on your mat, it is just your mind, body, and spirit. It does not matter to the yoga how much money you make. What car you drove to the studio has no effect on the discomfort you feel in your body. What yoga clothes you are wearing does not make a difference on your patience and focus.
Who are we?
We are human.
Everyone feels pain. Everyone struggles in Bhujangasana (cobra pose). Everyone sweats. Everyone’s heart rate rises. Everyone struggles to stretch their hamstrings. Everyone has difficulty balancing on one leg.
Yoga simplifies things in such a beautiful way. We all have a body we are figuring out how to live in. We all have a mind we are constantly stimulating and discovering. We all have spirits we are trying to keep happy.
How do you know what really matters?
You could have the most beautiful house in the world, but if the house you carry around with you everywhere (your body) is a mess, then you will be miserable. You could even have the best body in the world but if your mind is a mess then you will also struggle. When the mind and the body suffer, so does the spirit.
It is a process. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. It’s a lifelong journey (literally!) Thank yourself for the body that brings you where you want to go. Thank yourself for the mind that allows you to always be striving. Thank your spirit for its patience, one day the body and the mind will figure it out and learn how to get along.
Turn off that TV and go do something that makes YOU feel like YOURSELF.