Yoga Tip: Why vs. Why Not!


One year ago on the day of my departure from New Dehli Grace and I were blessed to receive the private darshan (being in presence) of The Honorable Esteemed 12th Tai Situpa Rinpoche. Within Tibetan Buddhism this man is cherished as an illumined wayshower for millions of devotees. So to sit alone with him for a half hour was a precious capstone to our India trip. After introductions were made, he asked us what country we were from. When we told him, this man beamed at us with a boyish smile. “I love Americans,” he proclaimed. “The rest of the world always asks, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ Americans ask, ‘Why not!’ And then they just do it.” Today as history was made in Washington and Presidential power transferred from one man to another, I am reminded of this Tibetan holy man’s words about Americans. Regardless of political affiliations I hope it has become abundantly clear that the residents of our country and planet are facing unprecedented challenges. And I am not talking about stagnation in GNP. These challenges require seeing our place of interdependence with all sentient beings on this planet. To keep our oceans alive and our atmosphere and water supplies reasonably clean, we will need to harness energies and restrain our consumption of resources in new ways. To keep our hearts free from fear and hatred, we need to align ourselves with authentic expressions of spirit and love that see past differences of personal faith and worldviews. Yoga offers a practical means to heal ourselves. While we can’t solve life’s problems on the yoga mat, yogis can shift the way we see the world. We can open up gateways of consciousness. And, even when we do open up, it is humbling to recognize that most of these opening will close. Like a pulse. Expand the heart … contract the heart … expand the mind … contract the mind …. Expand the nervous system … contract the nervous system. To the degree we can make our peace with our own places in life and the people and other beings around us, we can participate in the local and global shifts that will be necessary to live in balance with our planet. Today President Obama’s magnificent inaugural address inspires me to believe that the kindness and ingenuity of ordinary people can trump the money and influence of a few privileged individuals. In a healthy society leadership must emerge from the consensus of wisdom. While yoga holds no monopoly on consciousness, I hope you will come down to Yoga Passion or your local yoga studio and celebrate this remarkable era by utilizing the opportunity to wake up on your yoga mat.