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 less-than-optimum results. Many of us have learned about aparigraha, a Jain virtue, and a Yama discussed within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. 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? I want to inform you 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 don’t need that are harmful.
About Wealth for Vanity
When we consider wealth or money: The gathering of wealth for vanity is a waste of energy in many ways. Yet, wealth is not the only thing people become obsessed with. 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 of Yoga is a very bad thing.” What a loss of creativity to humankind, to have a mindset that reinforces a lack of action in the face of opportunity. Some people of extraordinary character are humble, which is a wonderful quality, but a solution that can help all of humanity should not be withheld for humility.
Ability to Help
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 to 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 daydream about them? 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.
Dreams and Creativity
A dream is a start because an idea, in the form of a dream, has the potential for real possibility. Every human-made creation started as an idea or a dream. Medicine, philosophy, mathematics, language, and much more, sprang forth from ideas and dreams. Patanjali put his 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; 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 list your talents. How could you apply your talents to help one person or group? If you are already a teacher, you can see a lot of potentials 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.
The Conflict Within
When considering abundance and success, Yoga practitioners can sometimes have hang ups. This is because Yoga is often associated with simplicity and lack of material possessions. However, there are many practitioners who have worked for abundance and success without compromising their practice.
Some practitioners may have internal conflicts about abundance and success due to the misconception that Yoga is about self-denial. Yoga is actually about striving for balance. It is possible to find balance between work and spiritual health. There are many teachers and students who are also humble and down-to-earth people who have found success in life.
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; it should be implemented when you have a good idea to help others.
Purpose of Money and Power
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, make plans to contribute your windfall to a worthy charity. Lord Acton’s quote, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” holds deep wisdom. The historical temptation to abuse power and wealth is within each of us. It takes special people to handle abundance during good times or challenging times.
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