Our yoga teacher told us to gaze at the edge of our towels as if they were the most beautiful things we’d ever seen. I did. It was. That edge was beautiful because it took us away, in that moment, from everything.
For centuries, the practical core of yoga’s wisdom has been relinquishment, and on this foundation many have found peace. We are capable of peace, especially when we can shut down anxiety and worry, but Western practitioners struggle with a void. We need a focus and that’s the beauty of softly gazing at a towel in meditation.
It’s tempting to find a comfortable meditative cocoon in yoga, and once there, ignore social problems. One ne just criticism of yoga has been its escapist tendencies. And it’s true that the reality of crime and bad intent is not welcome in a meditative cocoon.
Truth and Yoga
But social problems and the world’s bitterness exist. Writer Aimee Lin’s words, diagnosing the human condition, are honest and wise, “Truth contains beauty, balance, empathy, mercy, love and insight, but also horror, brutality, and desperate need.”
Getting away from the world and its ‘desperate need’ during yoga, and seeing the edge of a towel as a beautiful thing, is something I look forward to. It’s a good way to recharge my spirit and optimism.
I’m not alone in my wish to be hopeful, to find the beautiful, and to invest in better ways of living. This is illustrated by more people taking responsibility to tend to their own health and growth through new modes of self-care and positive thought: acupuncture, natural medicine, organic food, yoga, self-generated health investments, life-coaching movements are growing.… read more...