At my old yoga studio, our teachers would often read passages from Meditations from the Mat at the beginning and end of class. Sometimes the words resonated with me and other times I didn’t listen at all. Kind of like class. Or church.
When they hit me, though, they hit me hard. As the cheapie I am, I refused to buy the book myself and instead carried around a borrowed copy from the library for far longer than I’m sure they would have liked until Stew took pity on me and bought it, as he so often does.
I used it as a guide during last year’s 25 Days of Yoga and am back at it again. The idea is to read one passage per day for 365 days. I’ve read the book in its entirety but never over the course of a year. Because I tend to revisit the first half of the book over and over and over again, this time I decided to start on Day 185… because that’s the page that fell open on Day 1 of 25 Days of Yoga 2010.
While I certainly won’t copy anything in its entirety because I think Rolf Gates did a tremendous job gathering all of the excerpts and organizing them into an inspiring sequence, I will share some snippets, my reactions and my best persuasive tone when I say, “Buy this book.” That sounds fair, right?
Some things I’ve enjoyed this week:
- “We can practice yoga simply as a means for physical well-being. If, however, we choose to make the asana [poses] an integral aspect of our spiritual path, the stakes become very high.”
- “If I am unwilling to give up a few of my rights–my right to potato chips and cream cheese brownies, for example, or my right to the money I can earn by overworking, or my freedom to stay up until three to finish a good book–then I will not realize my full potential on the mat. It’s that simple… When I am eating the wrong foods, my practice is directly affected… I lose strength, focus and sensitivity… I am forced to reconsider my definition of freedom.”
- “For each of us, sauca [purity] is a journey of discovery. What works for you? Dairy, no dairy; meat, no meat; lots of sunshine, very little sun; lots of stimulation, or quiet solitude; long ambles, or power walks. We each find our own way to health and balance.”
See my 25 Days of Yoga 2010 page for more information on my December challenge, and please, please, please consider donating to my fundraiser for The Water Project, which brings sustainable water to the neediest places in the world.