Lost in space

I’m a pretty bad yogi!

I don’t believe in karma!

yes that’s right, I don’t do karma, destiny, or eternal life!

I don’t know what happens when we die, apart from the factual side of death, our bodies are disposed of in some manner and the living have to get on with it the best we can. As for reincarnation, come on! If there is a god surely that’s her taking the piss, right? I don’t particularly feel the need to say I’m an athiest, i just don’t really sweat it too much!

My main objection to the idea of life’s path being pre destined or the notion that we will inevitably pay in one way or another for our “misdeeds”, assuming we’ve been a “bad guy” or that we will come back as a chicken because we had just one chicken nugget too many. . . Hello! Grow up people, It all just reeks of religious mumbo jumbo!

Whoa hold the horses I hear you say, surely this is part and parcel of the yogic lifestyle and philosophy ? , As a yoga teacher I think I deliver a pretty good class and I’m sure that I cover ALL the bases and my students seem to enjoy what I teach. Without mentioning the Bhagavad Gita or the Yoga Sutras or quoting the Dalai Lama or Ghandi, l lace my classes with the philosophy of yoga.

Maybe the ancient wisdom of yoga is so universal and feeds through basic moral principals that I take it for granted?

I don’t think that we will get ice cream and jelly from St. Peter as we high five him at the pearly gates on our way in. . . Assuming we don’t have old Nick poking us in the arse with a pitch fork instead!

So how can I square this with yoga and the idea of a universal life force or cosmic reality?

Quite easily actually, my upbringing was in a progressive liberal Irish Catholic working class family, no heavy dogma or dictation, just do the right thing and to try be a decent person, be happy. There are many things in relation to the makeup of the human animal that I don’t understand and can’t explain, my understanding of the soul is, that it is the essence of who we are, deeper than the religious notion of it being something that belongs to God and returns to her/him when we die.

Ultimately we have free will, not given to us by God but purely as a fact of our existence. How we excercise that free will determines the nature of our soul. It’s much harder not believing in the after life, let’s face it, it leaves us starring into the abyss! No amount of prayer or good deeds buys us the golden ticket to the great chocolate factory in the sky. . . I do right because l believe in humanity and the common good. Maybe that makes me better than the believers, as I’m not doing it for a reward? Then again. . . Who cares? If God floats your boat, your not ramming it down anyone’s throat and you’re generally a nice person, that’s ok with me.

I see yoga as a form of personal wealth, physical, mental and emotional. Within this trinity is where I believe the soul or spirit resides. I feel sharing it is a duty I have to my fellow dynamic apes (human beings)! For the practice of yoga as a form of self transformation, it must be , demistified, without being diluted , and scattered far and wide, well beyond being a middle class lifestyle trend.

Many people are doing great work teaching classes in prisons, mental hospitals, pensioners clubs and community centres, lets take this up a notch, or ten!

Globally we are many societies on the verge of physical, mental and emotional collapse, obesity, heart disease, stress and despair are endemic, let’s apply the first principle of yoga, AHIMSA, compassion, non harming on a scale never seen before, let’s pay it forward. . . Not forgetting that AHIMSA starts with ouselves, after all , we can’t serve from an empty vessel.


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