Today marks number 40 of 90 straight days of hot yoga at Moksha Yoga LA and it also marks opportunity. As I entered my 40th day, I also entered a day which has many different options. We all make plans and then those plans shift and we have to go with the flow. I have learned and continue to learn to fly with it. Be with it. And most importantly as I am with it, whatever it is, I am called to be gentle, kind, and compassionate with myself. Because if I am not gentle, kind, and compassionate with myself, well then I will expect you to give me that, because I don’t give myself it, and then I become powerless. But I am here to liberate myself, not be powerless.
I laid on my mat and decided to practice with the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth. Wonderful to add to my practice and very helpful with keeping me calm and relaxed in the poses. It really helps with calming the mind. I use this when I meditate and decided to test it out today. It also helped with relaxing my face and allowing me to breath deeply.
Our teacher today was Lisa, she brought up something early on which I loved, “Meet yourself on your mat.” Which really added to my day. We spend so much time meeting others where they are, we forget to meet ourselves right where we are. Lisa was wonderful with helping us to align in the pose, with being gentle, and guiding us with kind reminders. It helped me see that we are so kind, helpful, and compassionate with others, that it reminded me to speak to myself that way. You and I are very important to lots of people. Now I might not see that all the time, but I am pretty sure my 5 year old daughter see’s me that way. So I am an important example to my daughter on how I treat myself. I did this challenge because as a Dad, my daughter is watching my actions not my words. So if I am kind, gentle, and compassionate as things are unfolding then she will see the importance of loving yourself, and caring for yourself, and knowing that our word matter, that we matter.
So I am an example for a future leader, contributor, and lover to this planet, who is always watching me. I love sharing this story and as a teacher myself sometimes it is a great reminder of true teaching. A mom brought her son to see Gandhi and asked him to tell her son to get off sugar, and so Gandhi replied, “Come back in 30 days”. So 30 days later she came back, and Gandhi saw her son and said, “Get off sugar.” The mom inquired, “Why did it take you 30 days?” He smiled, and replied, “Because I had to get off it first.”
I can’t tell my daughter to be kind, share, have compassion, forgive, love, if in fact I don’t walk that way myself. I can only tell her what I know, my experience. It starts with me. I must be kind, compassionate, and gentle with me. The lesson for me as a parent,single Dad, friend, son, teacher, student, speaker, counselor, facilitator, writer, blogger, and all the parts I play in between, is speak what you live. If we don’t know the answer, then we don’t know. But we will learn. In yoga when I fall, I fall, and then I get up and learn. Yoga is life and life is happening here, right here, so lets practice kindness for ourselves and each other. And only speak what we know for ourselves to be true.
On to day 41…Namaste
David Matthew Brown