The thing which most excites me about yoga is not fitness or even well being, though those are huge benefits. What really excites me is that it causes the practitioner to become self-responsible. I don’t know whether I am unusual, but in my life there are a lot of people who cannot handle their own sadness, anger, health issues…. I have great compassion for others who suffer, but I cannot hold them all together, all by myself. There are too many of them, I work full time, and I suffer from ME and must manage that.
‘If only you would do yoga!’ I say to them, again and again, offering them a free place in my classes or recommending a good local teacher…. Anything to get them onto a mat.
Some of them do start yoga, and immediately ‘get’ how much it helps them. Others resist – being self-responsible is not comfortable to some, they prefer to rely on others.
Relying on others when you can in fact help yourself is frankly selfish. The ability to rely on yourself and help yourself comes from yoga. Yesterday I got myself very stressed over something – it doesn’t matter what – but I was so bogged into it that my adrenals were on overdrive and it was difficult to breathe, let alone to see my way through the problem. Believe me, the last thing I felt like doing was something ‘sensible’ like yoga. I felt like having a good rant at a friend, and large glass of shiraz, followed by another.
I did enjoy some wine, but I did some yoga first. Miraculously, after about 15 minutes of gentle intuitive practice, I felt my self-love and inner balance flow back, as if from an inner well. I was able to sort out the stressy issue from a place of strength and sanity, without overloaded anyone else. Yoga ALWAYS works like this, so why isn’t it on the National Curriculum?