There’s this thing that often comes up in yoga when the instructor asks us to offer up the merits of our practice to another.
Though I’d heard it many times in class, I never really got it…how can the merits of MY practice be given to someone else? It was so unclear.
For days, my brain wondered how the strength, balance, flexibility and overall mind / body connection experienced in my yoga practice could impact another. Obviously, I couldn’t give those things to someone.
Then one morning, after class, I had the good fortune of finding myself alone with my teacher. We were chit chatting, and then I just threw it out there —
How exactly does this work– offering up the merits of my practice to another?
Without missing a beat, she went onto explain that we’re all connected to the oceans, the trees, the animals…to each other. And when we do something to elevate our energy, it has an immediate impact on everyone / everything else.
This idea of us all being connected is a big one in yoga that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Her answer didn’t really fulfill what I was looking for…it was a little too out there, even for me. I needed something more tangible, or dare I say…practical.
Then she went on to say that we can use the benefits of our practice to be of service to others.
Okay…that was starting to make more sense.
When I hit the streets after class, I usually feel more calm, cool and connected — I can transfer this vibe to someone else with a simple act of kindness. Or when I get home, I can transform the softening created from the practice into an easier disposition (and less irritation!) when I see the huge mess left by the kids. The opening, or space that comes with yoga can enable me to listen, and stop interrupting my friend with me me me versions of what she’s trying to explain.
It can go even further — to all of my self-care practices…not just yoga.
Carving out me-time isn’t selfish. It’s giving yourself space TO-BE so you can express as you wish.
Years ago, another mom said it so well to me. Her family believes in the trickle down effect…when the parents are happy, the kids are happy.
So it’s something like this–when you take care of yourself, you can be better with everyone else around you.
And then perhaps they can better with others too.
And so on.
And so on.
And so on…
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This is a beautifully written and important post! We all acknowledge that there is a VICIOUS CYLE – using anger at something or someone comes back to negative energy at ourselves eventually. So maybe there is a KINDNESS CYLCLE – we are kind to ourselves which leads to more caring of others which brings the positive energy back to us “and so on” (to quote you).
I believe it! And yes, I can’t always do it…….but I keep on trying.
Yes! Well-written post Elysha, and I like how you brought this lofty concept to a down to earth place for us to digest.
You got it, Elysha. Kinda like eco-yoga if that analogy works for you.
Are they your clever children doing the wheel? My daughter often teases me, because there is no way I can do it – and it’s so easy for her. Today I am taking a day off. My second father had a terrible accident on Monday and is on life support. I have been supporting my mother and attending his bedside as well as all of the other related tasks at such a time. I rang and told my mother I would be staying at home today as I was beyond exhausted. She has other people to support her. If I don’t rest when I am tired, I will have nothing left for when I am needed. That is what I have learned from yoga – rest when I am tired, eat when I am hungry, nourish myself when I am depleted.
GGW, I do think it works that way– kind of like paying-it-forward. But I think many women (moms!) feel selfish when they take time for themselves, and don’t see how it helps them to be better moms, etc… Thank you for sharing your thoughtful insight– I love seeing you here!!
Thank you, Lorien! I appreciate your acknowledgement that it is a lofty concept. So the more digest-able we can make these ideas, the more people can put them into practice.
Eco-yoga — Love it!!
Thank you, Terry.
That’s right Sara — attend to your needs and then you can better support everyone else. My best wishes to you and yours during this difficult period. x o
And yes, those are my kids. 🙂
Yes! Lovely and wise post, Elysha. I was just expressing something similar to a fellow dancer, but one who is thirty years younger than I. I totally believe that when we are more centered, inspired, ALIVE, we pass that on in countless and immeasurable ways. Thanks for spreading the word so effectively. Xxo p.s. Love the photo 🙂
Thank YOU, ST! I’m grateful to be on the receiving end of your active + passionate project to spread kindness. x x
I’ve only ever done Yoga once before, and my girlfriend is starting to get into it, so we’re reaching out to friends in our area to see who else does yoga, as we feel it would add a level of physical activity to our lives that we’ve been craving!
I have also been meditating for 10 years, so I completely understand the importance of taking care of your mind, body, and soul!
I also try to share with others what I’ve gained from my meditation sessions, so thank you for sharing this wonderful habit we should all have!
Hi Sean, sharing the insights from meditation is just another way of spreading the practice. Same goes for yoga. Also it’s another way to keep the inspiration alive. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing here.
Great tips in this post – we definitely rub off on each other.
Nice post Elysha. To all guys out there don’t be shy to try out Yoga. It definitely has perks and amazing benefits to our overall health. Taking care of your body doesn’t always mean dead lifting for us men. 😉
That’s right, Paul. Yoga is for everyBODY. Thank you!
Thanks for this nice post Elysha, I think everyone should learn Yoga.
I drop a comment when I like a post on a website or
if I have something to add to the discussion. It’s caused by the fire
displayed in the post I looked at. And after this post Your Self Care
Practice Not Only Benefits You, It Helps Others Too.
I was actually moved enough to drop a commenta response
🙂 I actually do have some questions for you if you tend
not to mind. Is it just me or does it look as if like some
of these comments come across like coming
from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at other sites,
I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you
list all of all your social sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?