Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yoga thoughts

We spent this past weekend in Palm Beach.  I've tried to put into words here some of the stark contrasts we experienced.  Because Pete Seeger died yesterday, CBC played many of his songs today.  One of my favourites is "Turn! Turn! Turn!".  The lyrics struck me in view of the lessons of the past several days.

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together 

I was at a Yin workshop with renowned New York yogini Sarah Powers, during which time Joe had originally planned to golf, to people-watch and to gaze at the Atlantic Ocean.  Well, the golf did not happen.  He wasn't worried, however, since people-watching, ocean-gazing, and hopefully some boat-ogling would fill his time nicely while I was in class.  The ocean did not disappoint, especially on Saturday:

Neither did the cars, something he was entirely unprepared for. He was the most animated I have ever seen him about all the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, even a MacLaren SLR and an SLS Roadster, and many, many more.  We're talking half a million dollar or more cars.

A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 worth anywhere from $500 000 to $1.2 million

He spent a little time gazing at the yachts, and had some great people-watching stories.  We have never in our life seen such opulence up close and unabashedly on display.

Meanwhile, there I was, soaking up the teachings of Sarah as she led us through pranayama, meditation, and both yin and yang yoga asanas, feeling serene and simple at the end of each class. . . and leaving the hotel where the workshop was, seeing another Rolls or Land Rover go by, then driving past estates worth $50-100+ million. . .  I said to my daughter, Dayna, that our jaws were sore -- from dropping open so much!!

I've been contemplating Sarah's teachings over the past few days: her thoughts on the importance of knowing yourself, of accepting yourself, of being of benefit to all others, basically finding a balance in life, a balance between the yin and the yang.  She also said that to celebrate someone else's happiness, and/or success takes a tremendous amount of maturity.  This is something at which my sister Linda excels.  So perhaps that's the lesson: not to be jealous or disapproving of all that wealth; rather just enjoy the gazing! Be happy and grateful for your own riches.

One of the nuggets of wisdom Sarah imparted was "No matter how privileged in health and worldly possessions we may be, these things are both tenuous. We need to remember that."  I think she didn't mean for us to obsess about the potential of losing our health and our riches, but to be appreciative of all that we have.  For my part, I am so thankful for such a wonderful husband.  I have such gratitude for all the navigation he did all weekend:  I did not have to stress about where to park, how to get to the hotel, how to get to a restaurant, how to get back to the highway to get home...

The physical side of yoga is about lengthening, creating space, and then softening; this is how we should try to live our life.  Meet life from the softness of the belly, as opposed to the hardness of the head.  Easy to say, harder to do in all situations.

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late! 

I LOVE that second line!  Unfortunately I did not sew at all this evening; I spent over two hours composing this!  Sigh.  Note to self: write shorter posts.  I did manage to get in a good amount of quilting today on "Merry Cat-mas"; I have finished all the 'cards' and was about to start the border feathers.  Tomorrow is going to be "a time to sew"!

1 comment:

  1. Why, thank you! I've been telling you how much more mature I am than you, though 4 years 5 months younger in age hehehe hehehe ;)
    Great pics and post! :D


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