The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body." -Jason Crandell
After every yoga class, something magical happens; your body feels lighter, more vibrant, and longer than it had before you rolled out your mat. The resistance of daily stress and tension of upcoming demands dissolves as quickly as your first exhale into sun salutations; your mind, body, and heart are suddenly relieved of the modern day "slump!" If you're like me, you're probably feeling a lot like the woman up there-- happy, lighthearted, and giddy!
Not surprisingly, it takes investments and time to cultivate such a natural sensation-- the achy back and anxiety do not cost us a penny in today's world. Wouldn't it be nice if it were the other way around? Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD, wrote that "happiness is our birthright [..] each of us is given everything we need to be happy and fulfilled. The greatest lie in our culture is the one that says you are broken, incomplete and need something outside to give you happiness." With more mindfulness based practices gaining more momentum and popularity, we're beginning to realize the impact that gentle reminders have on our well being. Health is wealth, not the other way around!
A job may provide material wealth to fulfill your material needs, while your internal needs are neglected in favor of a perceived urgency to deliver a material assignment to a conglomerate that is outside your reach. Imagine the impactful change that direct and mindful work can employ for hundreds of thousands of people across the planet-- by shifting the focus from that to this, we can start to design a world that is rich with motivated and inspired people working with drive in their mind and their heart!
Why are you your greatest occupation? Because, at the end of the day, how you feel about yourself will directly influence your behavior and decisions. How you show up for others, at work, and in the community will evolve into your mindset and perception of who you are at the core. What makes your heart sing with happiness? How are you incorporating hobbies, passions or dreams into your daily life? Which decisions can create an abundant balance in your mental bank account? By choosing more of these decisions, your physical bank account will begin to transform. No longer will you feel tormented by the impending responsibilities and obstacles that lie ahead of you-- you will instead feel prepared and able to weather any storm that may come.
Gurucharan Singh Khalsa touches on the importance of a healthy mindset as your starting point in daily life. "A meditative mind is essential to be perpetually happy and is one of your built in capacities. The only challenge is that it is not automatic. You must do some practice to evoke it, train it, and cultivate it. It is your hidden genie—your inner power to go beyond conflicts and enjoy every moment of life, to express your uniqueness and be happy. When you are awake and conscious, you can develop an attitude of hope, victory, joy, gratitude and contentment. You can be perpetually happy."
The next time you're in yoga class, try to catch yourself sliding into the slippery slope of Stressville, or Tension Trail. Remind yourself of the valuable experiences in life that condition and strengthen your mind, body and spirit. There's only one occupation that you can't afford to resign, and it's you.