I used to teach chair yoga where my 88 year old mother lives, a community for "active seniors" and if you call it a nursing home she will most definitely take you down, all 4'10"of her. But I am getting off my topic of choice. I loved seeing all the little ladies come into class all styled out, heavily dosed in Chanel No. 5. Hats, broaches ( decorative pins for those of you in a younger age group), scarves, they were adorable. There were a few men here and there, but just like other yoga class, the ladies dominated. And if you think you can't work up a sweat doing chair yoga, you my friend are sadly mistaken. try it sometimes. Again I am getting off the topic.
Truth be told, the only reason my mom would attend the class was because I was teaching it. She loved to show me off to her lady friends, just busting with pride. There were times when she wouldn't let me start class until I showed the students how I could do head stand. She and I would argue but of course she would win and up (or upside down) I went. She would just gush and everyone would clap. Only then was I allowed to start class.
I thought of this recently when I was trying to remind someone yet again that the true essence of yoga isn't about getting up into handstand, even if your mom makes you. It's about the breath, it's about practicing Seva (selfless service), it's about being there when someone reaches out. It's so much more than the physical practice. If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I bring this up time and time again. But it needs to be. We get so caught up about the "what about me" mantra that we forget where true happiness comes from. Not happy in your current life, good chance that it's all about you. All about showing off in handstand, headstand or what ever advanced pose that you can do. Here is a simple formula for you to follow: you + Seva = happiness. Get it? Got it? Good!
If your ego is attaching your happiness to the pose of the month, what happens when you find yourself in a chair yoga class. Don't think that's going to happen to you, guess again people I guarantee neither did any of the lovely ladies in the class that I taught.
Moral of the story, stay active, move, eat right, practice yoga, but most importantly practice Seva....and don't forget to breath.