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सेवा करना sevā karnā, “to serve, to take care”

Classes Resume Monday, April 24th 2023

Hi Guys,

I really really don't like when I have to cancel classes for an extended time, but my family in Michigan has asked for my help. I have had to cancel another week of yoga classes and resume them on Monday, April 24th with the normal schedule. I am leaving late tomorrow night on a red-eye flight to Detroit.

I'm sitting here writing this thinking, it's true, I don't like to cancel my program for any amount of time. I am invested in each of you and I fear the negative impacts when your practice is interrupted. My business is already losing revenue. This is the 1 of 2 jobs I have which truly brings me joy. Will my students lose interest or be disappointed in me for abruptly running off for an extra week after I cancelled classes already during Easter? Is my corporate job going to be in jeopardy because I am abruptly taking time off? By this point I'm spiraling down quick into anxiety over the whole trip and I have to tell myself "Yogi, get your shit together!".


First of all, practice what you preach:

Fear originates through the dual laws of like and dislike, attachment and aversion; this is the cause of our own suffering. I mean, I am telling you guys this stuff all the time and here I am stewing in my own monkey mind.


Gandhi is credited with saying, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” By lose yourself he means losing our attachment to ego. He's referencing a Vedic ego, not Freud's ego; but an ego nonetheless.


"Hey Yogi, what have you figured out about ego?"

You will never ever 'get rid of' the ego but you can let go of your attachment to it. Quieting the mind chatter, I remember that my ego is a lot like an office. I can close the door and lock it up when I do not need it which would be really nice if that was most of the time. What I must remember is that if I unlock that office door and step inside it, it is a brief visit to sort out and discriminate about life in the present to help me let go of my attachments to fear and emotion and follow the path of right action.


Through meditation and grace, divine consciousness penetrates us, transforming us into higher consciousness. Once that happens, the mind is no longer confined, narrow, with almost no room for anything other than your thought constructs, your own preconditioning, your own prejudices and preoccupations, your fears and worries. Now it becomes filled with divine consciousness. T


he heart can be so small that it may not have room to share with others at all, or it can expand to accommodate the entire universe.


In order to overcome fear, make your heart as big as the universe.


In my Astanga practice we follow the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as a guideline for our practice in yoga and in life. Patanjali refers to Karma Yoga in Chapter 4 verses 29 and 30:


प्रसंख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य सर्वथा

विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः समाधिः ॥ ४.२९॥

29. Even when arriving at the right discriminating knowledge of the essences, he who gives up the fruits, unto him comes, as the result of perfect discrimination, the Samadhi called the cloud of virtue.


ततः क्लेशकर्मनिवृत्तिः ॥ ४.३०॥

30. From that comes cessation of pain and work.


Selfless Service without personal expectation is known as Karma Yoga, the yoga of action. Performing actions for the sake of others is a path to health and happiness. Thinking beyond our own needs cultivates empathy and giving creates feelings of purpose and joy.


So, I will go forward, make my heart as big as the universe, remove aversion and attachments while I selflessly serve my parents and focus on their health and well being during their difficult time.


Thank you for your understanding. I'll see you on your mats Monday, April 24th.

Forrest












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