Casting Stones: Yoga & God
I think we all know that Yoga isn’t about the cute colorful clothing, yet, I love cute and colorful clothing, and in my normal everyday life, I wear black and tan as a massage therapist, and when I’m not doing that and wearing THAT, I’m teaching or going to YOGA and I GET to wear something more fun. Something that I or someone else created from an artistic and mindful place. Personal photos : courtesy of Stephanie Moors Photography.
I think most of us knows that Yoga isn’t about taking selfies of poses and putting them on public media sites. Yet, I find it fun to have a photo shoot of me and a Marine/ Cop (who I finally persuaded that yoga isn’t just for girls), and a horse named Bella, or doing poses at The Botanical Gardens or just about anywhere that is different. Is it because I’ve stepped out of Yoga and into EGO? No. It’s because I love Nature and animals and Yoga and I see that the body is art and that poses are inspiring and together, the art of the body and the inspiration often is breathtaking. And what’s not inspiring to see a Veteran or a First Responder doing YOGA? And for YEARS I was ashamed of my own body and expressing myself through my own voice. Yoga and God provided me the freedom to break out and begin to love myself AND my body. Do I need to show it off? No. But I need to express my freedom from that old pattern of shame and slavery.
Yoga has expanded my ability to reflect on my issues concerning these things.
And I’m allowing myself to tear down the walls or at least sit on on top of them.
I think we know that Yoga isn’t about money. Yet, everything in life costs money and I don’t know about you, but it costs me lots of money to be continuing my education for Yoga for trauma victims, TBI victims, First Responders, and whatever else it is I’m called to. And studios have to pay rent. The workman is worthy of his or her hire. You don’t see Doctors doing all their work for free. Well, Yoga teachers offer an amazing service to the WHOLE person, body, soul, and spirit, and it takes money to do that. I wish we could all just give it away, but we can’t. It’s a balance for sure..
Yoga is first and foremost about INTEGRATION of the human being, Non- Judgement, Acceptance, The Yamas and the Niyamas,( ways to live) and it leaves space for each person to search their own hearts and motives, not for others to do so. Why is this? Because no one else lives in YOUR body and YOUR head. Just like every religion, each person has access to have their own relationship with God, and people seek that out for their own particular needs. It’s the same with Yoga. One size fits all but not everyone will like one style or one piece.
As in religion, some people jump in with their WHOLE hearts, selling all they have to serve others and they live on the generosity of others to do so. Other people just give what they can while they live their everyday lives. We wouldn’t expect everyone to follow the same religion would we, or the same exact calling of someone else? It’s the same in Yoga. Yoga is for each person and the relationship they have with it, just like another’s relationship to God is PERSONAL. That means, it’s OK if you disagree with me. It doesn’t have to separate our fellowship with one another. If one doesn’t like the studio principles where they go, just like Church, one can find another that is closer to what they value. If we are against people forcing their religion down other people’s throats, then we can be against the same thing in Yoga. Just walk on and keep YOURSELF free by not judging another’s motives, likes, and dislikes.
WHY am I writing about such things? It’s because it’s everywhere, this judgement, both from religious views and now, Yoga. Teachers are quitting teaching because they are against what they see in the States concerning Yoga. What would we say to a missionary who quits because the Church down the street doesn’t “do it my way”?
Are people needing attention and so this is why they do what they do? Maybe. Maybe not. ” To ones own Master one stands or falls.” We don’t have to see everything EXACTLY the same in order to be FRIENDS.
Yoga and God are for everybody. Let each person find what they need. And if they need to wear colorful clothing or any old thing to their PEW or MAT, let them be. If it’s distracting to someone, then the invitation is to facing the issue that’s yours. Just like a beautiful women who is attractive in Church isn’t HER problem because some guy is distracted by her. It’s distracting if that same beautiful woman starts bouncing up and down and carrying on while everyone else is not, and all attention is drawn HER way and not what everyone else is there for. So, it is in Yoga. When someone else doesn’t follow what the Teacher is displaying but drawing attention to themselves with all kinds of wacky poses no one else cando, that’s distracting. But the issue is, rather than judge them, pull them aside quietly and ask them to JOIN in theclass you are teaching, not their own. We come to class to JOIN each OTHER just like we do in Church.
Then there is this whole deal of “Christians” can’t call themselves THAT and do Yoga, ( and all that nonsense that’s been going around for years.) It’s time to get over it. ANYONE can do YOGA, and ANYONE can make it their OWN.
Judgment is in the eye of the beholder. When we see it within ourselves, THAT is the place we need to go and deal with it. Who do we think we are to judge another and tell them what they CAN and CAN’T do?
“Let my people go” is anappropriate statement here. If you don’t agree with something in Religion or Yoga, YOU get to do that. It’s a free country and people are free to think on their own, but don’t make it other people’s issue. Own it as your own. And then work on your OWN heart and motives and you will be too busy to try casting stones or getting logs out of others eyes.
I love Jesus. I love Yoga. I love cool and colorful Yoga clothes. I love my Yoga studio where I PRACTICE. I love the space in which I teach. I love designing Warrior Posse Designs, “where your message is WEAR you live”. I love Yoga Photo shoots ( freedom shoots we call them) . I love people. I love LIFE.
Let’s get on with LIVING our own LIVES abundantly and break free of any molds that have held us back from truly LIVING and experiencing all that God and life has endowed us with. The way to do that? Stop arguing because the POINT in it all is JUST. DO. IT. and The Yamas and Niyamas and God will reveal what’s in your own heart.
BE FREE by letting go of stuff that makes YOU suffer in your own head. Open your heart to life itself and to others so that maybe you can have the “invitation” to speak into their lives having your OWN views but freeing yourself from “OTHER” JUDGEMENT.
When it all comes down to it, both God and Yoga offer a very important thing and that is the NAMASTE’ idea. ” The sweetness, the light, the divine in me acknowledges, bows to, and honors the sweetness, the light, the divine in you.”