Yoga, Compassion and Seva – Overviews

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Yoga, Compassion and Seva – Overviews

Yoga is a science. It is a study of the mind at its various states, be it the physical or the spiritual mind. Yoga believes in there being 6 states to the mind, one of which is the physical body. And this brings about questions on how that can be when we know the physical body is body and mind is a thinking thing etc.. It is true that the body and mind are one however it is a paradoxical truth. This study and practice of Yoga (the living science) enables one to break through the psychological state of mind’s perceptions of separation and understand the paradox of ourselves being one yet part of the many, and actually realise it holistically. It is this state of union or Oneness, that Yoga calls Samadhi, (being one with the object of query / meditation). Samadhi being the 8th limb of the practice of Yoga then helps the practitioner move toward freedom from the human bonds on their earthly life as a human being. There are several states of awareness past Samadhi and we can discuss those later on other blogs / in person / workshop….

This may still all be a little much to grasp for those new on this journey but the simplest way to understand it is that Yoga helps unite the mind with matter or whatever the mind feels it is separate from. It may be a mental or a physical thing. It goes like the good ol’ saying “We are all waves of the same ocean!” Which means if per se our bodies were bottles, the waves being part of the ocean bottled individually, we are all still ocean just contained separately It is a paradox to be the great yet the small. But it is possible to be the greatest to live through this space of knowing our highest self (the ocean) and the magnificence of being so adaptable, through a set of conscious choices and actions. Yoga encourages this type of conscious action from our highest potential space (the ocean) as it then encourages the wave to actualise into its true self, being the ocean.

This brings me to Seva, and this word in Sanskrit or Hindi simply means Service. We all want to serve and be of great service wherever we may be situated. More specifically we want to serve those that we care about and are nearest to us. However as our nature is naturally a giving kind, we end up serving the whole world daily and sometimes lose integrity to a high level quality service containing our full attention. The service quality can become of a wave level rather than the ocean. And this is because we lose touch with who and what we are and we forget to be of service to ourselves. The quality of service that we offer to ourselves is a direct reflection of how we are serving others. This is because we are all one (the ocean) whether we are experiencing it individually or not, our individual actions still impact the many – Can you see where I am going with this?

When I felt my calling to lose myself in this vast field of yoga I realised that in order for me to really learn this living art, I would have to unlearn quite a lot despite being raised in India, knowing much of the Yoga Philosophy, language, living Hinduisms and all the rest. Through my practise I understood how much compassion I actually needed to offer myself to truly get to know my own needs and relate to myself to be of service to me. And this process helped me identify how little I knew about offering my service genuinely to those I cared for most. Furthermore, I also understood that practising compassionate service meant living a high standard quality of life and lifestyle which promoted best health for me so I could be of best service to others. I quickly realised the meaning of Oneness and how responsible I was in helping my extensions and that I was the gateway for my purpose being fulfilled. I see Compassion as my own need for me and I feel that this is how I want to serve and relate to all else.

Service is a verb! It is action and is movement! Being Compassionate is an adjective and it is feeling and the part of having felt! I leave it you to feel it out now, what my Motto Compassionate Action means for you.

My Yoga Idol Sri T. Krishnamacharya was a master, yogi, healer, linguist and a family man. He never imposed a yoga posture or form on his students. His teachings were always focused on functionality and feeling for the body or mind and that to me was pure compassionate action. Spending time in India solo and finding myself consumed by this passion and the guidance of this lineage of yoga, I decided to take the next step. Serve by guiding others to find compassion for themselves. Help people serve others by being their highest quality selves.

Yoga and Compassionate Action go hand in hand in my views. It is a practice and attitude from a conscious and responsible space.

Restorative Yoga on Friday nights are a nice way to slow it down, find out a little more about an ongoing physical or mento-emotional issue – releasing some of the stuck-ness through various yoga, breathing and meditative exercises. Check out the timetable on the website

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