As the New Year approaches, it is a good time to reflect upon how fortunate we are to be on the path of yoga. There is a beautiful Buddhist teaching called “leisure and opportunity.” It reminds us that instead of focusing on our perceived limitations and challenges, we can instead recognize how extremely lucky we are to have the chance to practice.
Not everyone is interested in yoga. Yet we are lucky enough to be drawn to the subject. We have developed some desire to improve our health, learn to relax, and develop deeper self awareness. It is a huge blessing to feel the inner call to practice.
Interest cannot help us much unless we also have leisure – free time and energy to spend on practice. If we have the time and financial resources to train and study, we should rejoice!
To pursue yoga, we also need opportunity. Many people wish to study yoga, but there is no teacher available, or no transportation to the class, or any variety of obstacles that make it difficult to study.
The final important factor is to be lucky enough to encounter a genuine spiritual teaching from a highly evolved master. To have been born during the lifetime of BKS Iyengar is an amazing thing! In one hundred years, students will be studying Light on Yoga, and perhaps thinking, “What must it have been like to have lived during his life, or to have met him, or studied with him?” Being alive during his life span has given us a vey direct connection with his teaching, and it is almost impossible to express what a huge boon this is.
I feel deeply blessed to have encountered yoga and the method of Iyengar Yoga in my life. I appreciate the love, guidance and support that I received from Mary Dunn, and that I continue to receive from Dean and Rebecca Lerner and Laurie Blakeney. These teachers are like beacons, calling me on to pursue the yogic path, not with struggle, but with joy and appreciation for the chance to grow.