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…