And starting within, with the self, is where change begins. I saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak about world peace years ago. Much to my surprise, he spent most of his talk focusing on how to develop personal peace, through calming the mind. Only toward the end of his talk did he explain that world peace is impossible without personal peace and equanimity within, and that family, neighborhood, regional and global peace flow outward from the peace within.
I'm kind of on a yoga high in these first few days of the yoga revolution. Although it's a bit tricky to find time for class everyday, I leave feeling lighter and more energized.
However, I fear I'm making the world at large worse from my yoga practice. Why? Because I have increased my driving a hundred-fold, at least. I normally
But now I'm schlepping seven miles across town, typically in morning or evening traffic which is slow and congested, to attend yoga classes every day. It's too dark and cold in the evenings to bike, and with connections, the train takes nearly an hour. I hate to think of all the extra carbon dioxide and other pollution my car is spewing into the world so that I can be a calmer, more centered yogi.
This is the kind of transport I need:
|Environmentally-sound yogic transport, as seen in Amsterdam, here.|
Why not just find class in the neighborhood? When I find a teacher I like, I am shockingly dedicated. I have tried other teachers in the past few years, but always end up going to back to the same teacher, who seems to offer the perfect balance of physical challenge and spiritual practice. When I go to other classes, I'm like Goldilocks: that one's too slow, that one's too fast, oooo, this one's JUST RIGHT.
The benefit of the yoga challenge is that it forces me to branch out a bit, since my favorite teacher doesn't teach every day. Last night, I went to a class by a new teacher, that I normally would have passed by. The class was both intense and restorative - entirely different from my usual teacher's style of teaching - and the teacher had an incredibly soothing voice. I left the class unusually calm and energized. A really pleasant discovery.
*I did bike until stupid thugs stole my locked bike right off the front porch. In broad daylight. While I was home! I didn't answer when they banged on the door, and when I came out, the bike was gone. Joke's on them, though, because the 15-year-old mountain bike wasn't worth $50. But it sure was handy for tooling around town.