By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Does the subject of abundance in Yoga give you conflicted feelings? Have you been overlooking opportunities because of programmed thinking? Some people, even Yoga teachers, feel they do not deserve opportunities. They scratch out a modest existence, because they have been programmed to believe they should settle for for less than optimum results. Many of us have learned about aparigraha, which is a Jain virtue and a yama discussed within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. The concept of aparigraha is based upon non-attachment, non-greed, and so on. This is a great foundational concept and a deep subject.
Did you realize that many people don’t want to let go of “things,” such as negative energy, guilt, and hate? My point is to make you aware of the many different things we should not be holding onto. If we have a surplus, we should let go of the negative things and share the good things. It is the storing of excess things we just don’t need that is harmful. When we consider wealth or money: The gathering of wealth for the sake of vanity is a waste of energy in many ways. Yet, wealth is not the only thing people become obsessed with. In fact, wealth is not evil, because the proper use of money prevents a lot of pain, disease, starvation, and poverty. Charities improve the quality of life on this planet.
Putting Abundance to Good Use
Some will still say, “abundance in Yoga is a very bad thing.” What a loss of creativity to humankind it is; to have a mindset, which reinforces a lack of action, in the face of opportunity. Some people of extraordinary character are humble, and this is a wonderful quality, but a solution that can help all of humanity should not be withheld for the sake of humility. If one has a recipe to feed the starving people of planet Earth, why would he or she keep it a secret. Why would that same person voluntarily starve and live in poverty? To help anyone, we must have the education, skills, and tools to do the job. Teachers, ashrams, wellness centers, and studios have made a difference in the past and will continue to do so, long after COVID-19 has moved on.
Teaching Hatha Yoga – Your Impact
As time has gone by, there are new Yoga teachers with fantastic mental, spiritual, and physical talents, who contribute more for the common good of humanity, just by taking positive action that calls to them. If success, abundance, and achievement were bad things, why do so many people spend their time day dreaming about them? In fact, teachers of all kinds tend to be givers. I’m sure there are some exceptions, but I meet a lot of givers who have compassion for others and make a positive difference in many ways.
A dream is a start, because an idea, in the form of a dream, has the potential for real possibility. Every human made a creation that started as an idea or a dream. Medicine, philosophy, mathematics, language, and much more, sprang forth from ideas and dreams.
Patanjali put his own ideas, and those from the past, into print. Should he have withheld the Yoga Sutra from humanity for the sake of humility? Of course not, and creativity should not be stifled, as long as it falls within moral and ethical guidelines.
What can any of us contribute to humankind? Our ideas should be applied to solve the problems, which plague mankind. If you want to help, but cannot understand where you fit in – you might want to make a list of the talents you have.
Now, how could you apply your talents to help one person or a group of people? If you are already a teacher, you can see a lot of potential to help others, and Yoga training is not all you teach. Everyone teaches someone, something new, every day. You do not have to be a Yoga instructor to teach life skills to others.
Abundance is Under Your Nose
Therefore, we can share our time with others, but be prepared for positive and negative reactions. If you know in your heart that your ideas will result in positive solutions, move toward the end of suffering, and they will not harm anyone, then you cannot sit on your hands. Do not be afraid to take a chance, when you have a good idea, which can help others it should be put into action.
In the words of William Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true.” Take the time for self-realization and get to know yourself. If you think abundance will corrupt you as a Yoga instructor, make plans to contribute your windfall to a worthy charity.
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