Recently I had the rare privilege of attending a Yoga Retreat in Bali. It was an opportunity to spend time nurturing myself in a beautiful and safe environment.
What I learned from this experience was in the quest of happiness I look for external drivers to what essentially is and internal function. I observed the Balinese People who from my perspective whilst living in poverty and hardship but maintaining a high level of happiness. They were loving, generous and always smiling. This initially did not make sense to me. How could they be happy? They did not have big house, nice car, good clothes, well paid job/easy job, money or exotic holidays.
I sat in this question, sort wisdom form others on how this can be. I found out that the Balinese people exist within a cast system and also daily spend time honouring their God and being grateful for their existence. What this ‘system’ had done either by fluke or by some design from a universal source was a people who were not “wanting for more”. They were essentially comfortable and happy with their current position in life and realised they could not change, and therefore not continually striving for more.
I had been guilty of the opposite of this. Saying to myself when I get a bigger car/house, take a better holiday, find a better career, have better relationships, lose weight, or have more money I would be happier. Only of find when I get these things I am happy for a short while but the feeling soon wanes!
Yoga for me, directs my feeling inside or internally. It shines the light on me and emphasises I am responsible for my own happiness. It gently directs me to resolve my personality/ego and then happiness comes easily. A daily practice of meditation through Yoga reminding me of this leads to a sense of gratitude, love and forgiveness. Also it reinforces my connection to a greater source whether this is God, The Universe, Jesus or Buddha it does not matter. It is a formulae for happiness.
At the moment do I have the discipline to complete this daily practice? No but I am getting closer and now know the correct path which has taken me a long time to find!
Yoga is the lay persons neuroscience - Yogis have known for centuries that there are layers of mental activity that can be harnessed and directed. When attention becomes concentration and concentration establishes a pause between the rise and fall of thoughts, we arrive into a state known as meditation. The interconnections between the layers of consciousness create the conditions for wisdom.. it arises in the pause, in the interruption of habitual thought.
“As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace. When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact everything is happening. You are deeply established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Yoga provides a context in which teens, living in a sea of peer pressure, performance stress and emotional change, learn restraint and self reflective awareness. This course for teenagers aged between 12 and 15 years of age, will both challenge and nourish them.