By Kacey Davy
Namaste, greetings to you, from India! Laura and I are in Mysore, the small South Indian city where the posture practice of Yoga that we know today was revived and codified by T. Krishnamacharya. All lineages and modern styles of yoga asana are likely influenced by Krishnamacharya's teachings in Mysore and throughout India. As I move about this town and immerse in my practice each day, I feel a deep reverence for the history of these practices that have transformed my life and am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Here in India, gratitude for life is displayed everywhere you look. In every home, shop, cafe and even on the streets there are altars to honor the Divine that exists in all. Every day, several times a day, time is spent meditating and cultivating awareness for the Divine. The people here live every day with love, faith, gratitude, and respect. There is so much we can learn from the culture and practices of India. Especially now in a time when so many people are feeling emotions such as fear or uncertainty about the future of our country. As Thanksgiving approaches let us be thankful for our life and for the lives of others regardless of our differences. Let us focus on finding ways to cultivate kindness and compassion instead of spreading anger and contempt.
We can look to the practices and philosophy of Yoga to find the tools we need to interact with others. In the first chapter of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, verse 1.33 is powerful teaching that anyone can embody through practice. It says that through conscious cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity in relation to those who are happy, sad, virtuous and vicious, we develop clarity and serenity in the mind. Through the practice of this sutra, we can choose to cultivate kindness toward those who are happy and extend compassion for those who are suffering. When we meet virtue with joy we offer others the support to continue their virtuous actions. The cultivation of equanimity, even-temperedness, or simply the ability to remain calm with vicious or cruel people brings an end to feelings of hate and anger. Remembering these four keys to connecting with others is a choice we can make to bring peace to ourselves and promote love and gratitude in our relationships and our community at large.