At least twice a year I recommit to stop buying books on Amazon.com and instead read one of the many I already own (and this is one of those times!). Regardless of this commitment, almost daily I pick up one of my many versions of either The Yoga Sutras or The Bhagavad Gita – both are key if you wish to delve deep into the philosophical heart of yoga.
So while the rain poured and poured outside this morning, I huddled reading a few slokas (aka verses) of my favorite version of The Bhagavad Gita (The Living Gita by Sri Swami Satchidananda). At the same time I have to thank the power of Mother Nature for her subtle reminder to take the time to reflect and remember the Sutras and Gita truly contain all the answers on how to best live a fulfilling life.
Take Chapter 6, The Yoga of Meditation (which just happens to be one of Sri Dharma Mittra‘s favorite chapters). Clearly by the title it offers advice on how to meditate…which it does. Though even if you’re not interested in meditating you can still get plenty of nuggets on how to experience a greater sense of peace, joy and happiness in every moment of life.
So out of this Chapter, I share my favorite sloka of the day, # 17, and it’s commentary: “If you are moderate in eating, playing, sleeping, staying awake, and avoiding extremes in everything you do, you will see that these yoga practices eliminate all your pain and suffering.”
The commentary by Swami Satchidananda adds: “In simpler language, Yoga is the middle path – moderation in everything. You have everything on the middle path, including peace of mind and tranquility. By eating too much, you just satisfy the body and senses. This means you identify yourself with your body and the senses, and you just want to satisfy them. By not eating, you don’t satisfy the body, but you may satisfy your ego: “Look at me! I’ve fasted for the past ten days.” This is just another form of ego satisfaction. Instead, a yogi should have a purpose in eating, a purpose in sleeping, and a purpose in doing everything. These two are just examples. You don’t need to satisfy the body, the senses or your own ego. Do it just for the joy of doing it, and then you maintain your Yoga.
You’re not achieving Yoga. You are a yogi already. But you disturb the Yoga by over- or under-eating. It’s the golden mean: Moderate in eating and recreation, temperate in actions, sleep and wakefulness. Then Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain. To destroy the pain means to uncover your Yoga, which means ease.”
Reflecting on the Gita and the first sentence of this blog post…I really need to apply moderation to my book shopping. Why keep buying random yoga books when the “oldies but goodies” tell all there is to know about how to live a life full of health, inner wealth and pure happiness? Truly, isn’t that what we all are seeking?!??!
Today was a simple yet potent reminder of two things. #1: Moderation is key in all areas of life. #2: I need to cut myself off from the easy clicks of book buying on Amazon.com. I really have all I need on my bookshelves…it just took more than a moderate amount of rain here in Arlington / DC to remind me.
Another post that might interest you: What is Yoga?
Melody of abellaYoga has been gratefully teaching yoga full-time in Washington, DC, Alexandria and Arlington, VA since 2006. Thankful for experiences gained in the telecom/tech corporate world, this ex-marketing, yoga-chick is happy to share all she knows about yoga with all.