It’s not every day that folks chitchat about yoga philosophy. It’s not everyday that folks even bother to associate yoga with philosophy.
It’s just a bunch of stretching! It’s just a lot of tricks! It’s awesome pants and playlists.
Well, fine. It’s a good way to start. Get your stretch on and groove. And fine, fine, fine to enjoy a moment on your head if you can do it safely and well.
And if you’d prefer to proceed from that position, please do. It’s a good metaphor – an upside down stance – from which to consider the following: are you capable of savoring every moment?
For example, let’s say you’re behind a slow car on the freeway. What would it be like for you to offer a word of thanks instead of scorn to Slowbie McSlowberson? You may think you’re in a rush and you may think your tasks are very important but maybe Mr. McSlowberson is offering you a much needed moment to take a breath and enjoy a shift of pace. Maybe Mr. McSlowberson is saving you from a high-speed chase down the road. Maybe Mr. McSlow is reminding you that someday you too may need to be slow, for whatever reason, and this little experience is a teacher in patience. Wow. Thank you, Slowbie! That was a good moment.
In the Yoga literature, the guidance to shift your perspective comes in various forms. The Yoga Sutra recommends that we learn to cultivate the opposite of any arising negative emotion. It also recommends that develop an attitude of friendliness toward those who are doing well, compassion toward those who suffer, forgiveness toward those who wrong us and ambivalence toward those who just don’t get it right. In the Chandogya Upanishad, we’re reminded that we become the reflection of our deepest desire. If your deepest desire is tethered to some future longing or past correction, you won’t savor this moment. If your deepest desire is to appreciate what you are, you will celebrate the abundance of right now. It’s all you ever have.
See what happens if you look around for a moment. From whatever position you’d like to take. Look around and savor this very moment. Notice everything here for you now. Not just your loved ones and shelter and food. Not just the earth and sky. Notice every breath. This is the culmination of your life and it comes and goes with every moment. Savor it!