I started this blog because I wanted a place to talk about yoga off the mat. Everyone comes to the mat for a different reason. Maybe it’s fitness or a desire to meditate, or maybe your friend dragged you along and you loved it because it was the one time of day your mind stopped racing. That was me. I was so concentrated on following along with what everyone else was doing, I didn’t have time to be anywhere but in the present moment.
The gurus say that everything done with awareness is yoga. That’s one of the reasons kids are such great yogis – they know how to be in the present. Every other moment is a memory or a projection, right? In fact, you can’t even prove that those moments exist. The only moment that exists is this one. So why not sink into it?
The more I practiced, the happier I became. And it’s really just that simple. This practice soothes me, it has strengthened my body, enriched my mind, and soothed my spirit for five years. When I traveled to Maui to complete my 200-hour teaching certification in January of this year, I wasn’t even sure I would ever teach an asana class. (Sidebar: I do teach asana, and I do love it.) I kept hearing from my fellow trainees that I was doing a good job, that they liked being taught by me, but still I hesitated. I had only ever seen myself as a yoga student.
Our philosophy classes changed that for me. My academic background is philosophy, and even though I say I see myself as a student, I studied it with the intention of teaching, which is still a goal of mine. Fear holds me back, but that’s a topic for another day. What happened in yoga philosophy class was that I kept looking around at a bunch of blank faces, and I felt compelled to help, the way you do when you walk by a hungry person and you know you have a granola bar in your bag. I knew I had what they needed.
Yogic philosophy is so obviously right to me. It is a system that encompasses everything I love about Kant’s metaphysics, Derrida’s différance, and care ethics. And if all of that reads like gibberish to you, then you are in the right place, because all I want to do is teach.
And write about things.
And read what you write about things.
For me, to live higher means to live your best life, to be a student and a teacher, to have a deep respect for the planet, and to contribute to its wellbeing and the wellbeing of its community. To live higher means to practice, every day, whether it’s karma yoga, in service of your community, or svadhyaya, self-study, or sankalpa, setting an intention.
So, feel free to write to me. And if you feel like writing about yoga, I might just post it here too! The point is to spread the good word, to use our yogic toolkit to learn to live higher, teach others, and get better at navigating this world. One by one, if we choose to live higher, we will achieve lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu… May all beings everywhere be happy, peaceful, and free.