The postures that we do on a mat are called “hatha yoga” or “asana”. The intention of practicing in this form is to twist and churn the body into a place of honorable/optimal alignment such that the consciousness at all levels of our being can spill forward, AND such that we are accessible to life spilling in and unfolding us to the fullest. Being a lover of the body, I find it such a dynamic practice of gratitude. Flowing through a series of postures wether on my own or in the company of others, feels like praying with my body. My heart swells.
But hatha yoga is just one way of expanding our experience of yoga with the world at large. An equally powerful form of spiritual growth is Karma yoga—the path of service. The word “karma” is derived from the Sanskrit “kri” meaning ‘to do’. The word “yoga” from the word “yuj” translates as “to yoke or join”. Thus, in it’s most basic sense, karma yoga means union through action. The practice of Karma yoga is to be available to serve in whatever capacity is needed in the moment to keep the current of life flowing smooth.
On a personal level, service work offers an opportunity to experience how we see ourselves fitting into the big picture. It is only through engagement that we unfold all aspects of ourselves: stereotypes, fears, graciousness, perceptions, talents, misconceptions, skills, knowledge, judgments, etc… In making a choice to see ourselves honestly, we become empowered to live from the deepest expression of love within.
On a global level we learn that despite differences in culture, landscape, life style, and perspectives, the basic needs of all of life are the same—to love and be love, to engage and to be engaged with, to appreciate and to be appreciated—ultimately—to live full. May we all make life choices that support a world where all beings are empowered to be their best and to do their part such that we can all rise together!
Seva Saturday projects coming soon!