It’s Time for Karma Yoga!

If you are in NSW and/or in the Southern Hemisphere, you may be one of many parents breathing a sigh of relief this week as the kids go back to school! Holidays are great – it’s lovely to be out of routine for a while. However, yoga health and philosophy decrees that most of us really do need to abide by some kind of routine in the longer term, as it serves as an anchor and keeps us on the straight and narrow!

This is where the Sanskrit word “karma” comes in.

Despite the way the word is often used (for eg, “what goes around comes around“), it actually means “action”. In other words, Karma Yoga is the yoga of action. Whatever intentions we have, whatever it is that we would like to unfold in our lives, we cannot sit around waiting, yearning and hoping for something to change or happen, we must begin by taking action. Perhaps in 2019 we could start by creating a doable routine (dincharya) and then do our best to stick with it.

Importantly, this is not a 10-minute action plan or a 10-day or even 10-week challenge. It’s more like 10 – 20 years! If you must “measure your progress”, think about doing it this time next year, not five minutes into your first ever yoga class or one week since committing to eating lighter. And maybe, just maybe, instead of being results driven, why not just consider yoga philosophy and think “Tapas“. No, it’s not just a a delicious Spanish share plate, but actually to me, one of the most important yogic niyamas as it translates to mean something along the lines of committing to doing our best without attachment to success or failure: “Burning enthusiasm”. “Doing it anyway.” Make sense?

I often say to my kids – who are lucky enough to live here, in Australia and have opportunities – the harder you work at school and the more effort you put in now and in the near future, chances are, the easier your life could be later on. True?

Of course, there are no guarantees in this life about anything, but in this moment, I choose to do my best.

For myself, I know I am seeing my commitment to yoga practise 20 years ago serving me well. I feel happy and content most of the time – even when I am in a funk!  My body generally moves with ease and I have no niggly pain to speak of. Not too shabby for someone who is not too far off being described as a Goldie!