“We spend our days badgered by voices that tell us to judge others, fear others, harm others, or harm ourselves. But we are not obligated to listen to those voices, or even to take responsibility for them. They may be where we come from, but they are not where we are going…Ahimsa is the practice of listening to that voice of lightness, cultivating that voice, trusting that voice, acting upon the that voice.”
Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Day 19 – Rolf describes yoga as “a great first step toward happiness.” Through my journey in this practice of daily yoga (in whatever form it takes from hatha, pranayama, meditation, dance, etc.) and book study, I have learned a lot about myself and new ways to share kindnesses. Like Rolf, I also have found that I hiding behind that feeling of hunger for more is really a thirst for continued practice; it is my foundation. It is esoteric and subtle, but real nonetheless. In this way, Rolf describes yoga as “a way for human beings to remember how to feel if something is true.”
Truth is the gorgeous waterfall hike which Fred and I visited (and I discovered on my Spring Break solo camping trip). It is the joy of watching your children become adults. It is the love of my partner, whose eyes still twinkle for me and who reminds me I am beautiful. It is the miracle of community and shared belief in something positive at school, at dance, at crossfit. It is sometimes buried beneath the more fragile moments of the day (especially my 7th period class), but it is there. Yoga allows us to access this truth and reflect upon it, instead of reacting. It allow us “to find thirst hiding under what I thought was hunger in the same way that sadness or fear can be hiding under what we thought was impatience or anger.”
Today is the day to be kind to yourself, to your loved ones, to others, to our world. Truth and lightness become footsteps.