Yoga Tip: Playing the Game where no one has to lose in order for me to win!


Last night while watching Duke defeat Arizona in the NCAA basketball championship game, Lauren asked me if I could design a game with the excitement of fullcourt basketball in which no one would lose. Even though she is not an avid sports fan, Lauren appreciated the passion, brute athleticism, and the beauty of these young men pitting their skills against one another. It was a close exciting game. As I taught class this morning and gave thought to Lauren’s question, I could not help thinking of the collective group energy created each time we practice yoga in our humble yoga studio. There is so much positive energy. Did you know that Bikram’s name means “Eternally Victorious One”? At my yoga teacher training, Bikram invited each of us to absorb this vibration of eternal victory…not just for ourselves…but for our loved ones and for all individuals who would attend classes at our yoga studios.

One afternoon seven years ago I was meditating by gazing directly into the rays of the setting sun. In order to do this, there were certain breathing exercises which I performed on a regular basis to clear my energy channels. After going through my breathing ritual and making a direct connection with the sun, I made a silent lifelong declaration to the universe that the only game I wanted to play was the one in which all participants were assured of victory from the outset….in another words, a game in which no one had to lose in order for me to win…a transition away from the old tribal consumption consciousness which states beat or be beaten…eat or be eaten…but rather a new cooperative life-affirming consciousness. As I completed this heartfelt declaration, I felt the tiniest seed land on the crown of my head. I was standing in open space. The nearest tree was at least 100 yards away. Where had this seed come from?

Lauren and I were captivated by the zeal and skill demonstrated in last night’s game. But what kind of world could we create if we invested that kind of energy into our yoga practice? Clearly our planet needs a radical shift on the part of its human inhabitants. Otherwise our collective tribal need to get bigger and stronger and safer is only going to result in more overpopulation, more excess consumerism, more chest-thumping violence in our homes and nations. I believe that a huge transformation is beginning in myself and in individuals who come to Yoga Passion and in other sacred hearts and sacred places on the Northshore and elsewhere. It is up to us to bring heaven-on-earth. Isn’t it? But what are we waiting for? The truth is that many of us are no longer waiting. Each day we are taking actions which demonstrate our courage and commitment to reshaping our bodies, our minds and our lives.

Amrit Desai (my former guru) used to say, “Company is stronger than willpower.” What he meant by these words is that it is very important to surround ourselves with a community of people who share our highest intentions. When we do this, we get nourished to the core of beingness and we naturally share what we have received.  At Yoga Passion it is our intention that each person who attends classes feels this level of sacred space and complete safety…to be nourished and contribute to the group vibration…ride the wave…surfs up…let the games begin…and please know that, each time you come to yoga, I invite you to take on the attitude that you are as much a champion as anyone on the Duke University men’s basketball team. Allow the attitude of the champion to be one which empowers you to love yourself by rebuilding your body and by sharing this love with everyone in your life.  It’s an opportunity. It’s a choice.