Friday, April 15, 2011

more on cultivating the four attitudes

I've continued teaching on the four attitudes this week in class. Over the past couple of days I've been pondering my "part 2" to this post. What I've decided is to spend today writing on cultivating these attitudes on the mat. Then another on cultivating them off the mat. Thus a part 3 was born. Or is to be born. :)

It should be noted that I'm not a yoga sutra traditionalists in some ways. I love, love, love the yoga sutras. I love looking and reading different commentary on these lil threads of wisdom. Some I am challenged by. Some I are perplexed by. Some I am inspired by. Some I stand in awe of.

But I'm at a place in my own yoga journey when I can read the words and cipher them into some form that makes not only the most sense to me but in a way that resonates most to me. Some yogis would frown upon this. But hey, that's how I roll. Or flip, or twist. Or fold. It's yoga and all.

As my BF Bon Jovi says in the song I've recently been obsessed with...
"I don't give a damn
how it's supposed to be.
That might work for you,
It don't work for me.
You write your truth
And I'll write mine...

Sorry, had to throw that in there.

In most things I've read pertaining to Sutra 1.33 we are cultivating these four attitudes to deal with four different types of people. And I LOVE that! But I am a yoga teacher and I want to bring these attitudes not only into my practice but also my students practice.

There is so much wisdom in the yoga sutras. One of the most profound concepts I've learned over the years is to live the very best I can in the moment by investigating how I'm using my thoughts, words, and actions.

So my question is how can we cultivate and embody those four qualities (friendliness, compassion, joy, neutrality/I also like acceptance although they are different) in how we speak, think, and act?

We certainly think and act on the yoga mat during practice.

When you experience physical resistance and tension in your body can you meet it with friendliness?

When you find yourself getting frustrated by what your body can't do that day in class or in a pose can you cultivate compassion for yourself?

If you look around and witness yogis whom you believe to be more "advanced" than you rather than feeling inadequate can you celebrate them from your mat, tapping into the joy of the practice?

Can you explore the poses and when confronted by the limits in your body (the tight hammies, the weak shoulders, the lack of balance) can you be accepting of what all of it is, which is only a practice? Can you be accepting of you pose, your body, your life?

Things to ponder on a Friday morning. What do you think about cultivating the four attitudes? And particular attitudes you are sowing this spring?

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