The Lesson I Learnt On My Yoga Mat

The Lesson I Learnt On My Yoga Mat

The internet has become an amazing resource for reviewing ridiculous amounts of data. It has also taken away any excuses we might have had around the ability to learn new things.

With the click of a button, we can tap into more information than ever before and we have access to thousands of amazing people from all over the world. This access has also given us the chance to be mentored by, and learn from the people we admire the most.

One of these long-distance mentors I have been following for some time now is Jay Shetty. I came across him by accident and fell in love with his guided meditations at the beginning of the pandemic. If you have always wanted to meditate but didn’t know how or where to start, these are excellent and definitely worth looking at.

Jay shares his story with the world and tells how when he was growing up, he had three options in life. He could be a Doctor, a Lawyer, or a Failure.

He laughs and admits in everyone else’s eyes at the time, he chose the failure. At 22 he exchanged his business suits for robes and spent the next 3 years living as a monk.

Today he has taken the lessons he learned during this time and shares them with the world. His wisdom has gone viral, and he has become one of the most viewed online influencers across the globe.

I have heard his story many times, but it wasn’t until recently I discovered when he was just 16, he lost two of his best friends. One died in a car accident and the other due to gang violence. These losses caused him to reflect on what a gift life is and it was then he felt the need to find deeper purpose and meaning.

So often we follow everyone else, like sheep, up and down the streets and stages of our life.
The years pass and one day we wake up and are shocked, asking ourselves, ‘How the hell did I get here?! This is NOT how my life was supposed to turn out!’

Sometimes it takes a life-changing event to make us look at where we currently are and question where we are going. Personal experience has shown me this ‘wake-up call’ often comes with overwhelming courage we never knew we had.

In a lot of ways, Ben continues to teach me the power of being different. The older I get, the more I want to learn, and the less I look for approval or validation from the world around me. I am comfortable in my own skin and have learned to embrace all aspects of my journey, whether I like them or not.

You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing,
or act like everyone else is acting.
You make your own choices and you only need to own them.

When we leave this world, we are remembered for how we treated others and the difference we made in people’s lives. We are not remembered for the number of degrees we held, the assets we acquired or the amount of money we had in the bank.

You never see a hearse towing a U-haul

I think about Ben and am inspired by what he left behind at just 15yo. He is remembered across multiple generations and for a wide range of qualities and characteristics. From the numerous conversations I have had, here was a young man consciously or unconsciously encouraging people to be the best version of themselves.

Ben made people feel good and as a result he empowered them. He demonstrated high integrity and lived with deep compassion. He loved with all his heart. Simply put, Ben cared!

As his mum, I couldn’t be more proud 😊 and I feel energised that I get to continue his legacy through sharing our story with the world!

Whilst some of us are driven, most of us are reluctant to get out there and try something new. There is a common belief that ‘we have a fear of failure’.

I don’t think we fear failure but more what others will think of us if we fail. This is ironic as we all have a different definition of failure anyway and people don’t think about us as much as we assume they do.

There is a sanskrit word used in Yoga circles called kleshas. These kleshas are simply defined as: “a negative mental state that clouds the mind causing suffering or the conditions for suffering to arise.” Or “referring to the obstacles that prevent a person from reaching a state of enlightenment or spiritual growth.

One of the 5 klesha’s relates to “fear” or “fear of death”. While discussing this recently, it was proposed that perhaps we are not afraid of dying, but afraid of endings.

We are reluctant to de-clutter because we have formed attachments (another klesha) to things. In fact, we are never really attached to the ‘thing’ itself but the emotion behind the thing.

Think about something you have hung on to. Perhaps it’s an item you have carried around for many years, move after move. Maybe it was a gift from someone. You would probably say it has sentimental value. You remember where you were at the time, how that gift or item came to you, and more importantly, how it (or the person) made you feel!

The thing you carry around holds a memory which carries an emotion. The attachment is really to the emotion you feel about the thing, not the thing itself.

Precious Wings Memory Boxes
https://www.preciouswings.org/

I have several boxes under my house. Some are filled to the brim with Ben’s artwork from preschool onwards, others contain all his notebooks from nine years of school. I originally kept them all as I thought it might be fun for Ben and me to go through them one day when he got older.

I have gradually given away several of his few possessions, but I can’t imagine anyone else ever wanting the contents of these boxes. I have often wondered whether I will ever be ready to part with them, yet I also know the likelihood of me going through them is slim – or at least not for the foreseeable future.

As I sat on my mat during a recent yoga philosophy workshop, I had one of those epiphany moments. As if by magic, I finally understood why I am loathe to let go of these boxes and the realisation of why I really hang on. The kleshas!

Unlike what I had always believed, it’s not the pictures or notebooks I am attached to, but the fear of letting go. On some level, this translates to the risk of fracturing my relationship with Ben. My eyes filled with tears as I acknowledged that somewhere deep inside me lies the fear that in parting with these boxes, an element of our relationship will also end.

There is much we can learn from our experiences in life and we can often be surprised by who turns up on the yoga mat. Perhaps it’s your 10-year-old self, or maybe it’s the hurting adult.

The key is to stay open-minded and allow ourselves to fully embrace our experiences. By acknowledging and reflecting on them no matter how painful, the intensity is diluted, even dissipated. The underlying emotions are understood and a space for acceptance and healing can begin to occur.

Much love

Dalya xx 💙

2 comments

  1. I hope the trainees at the workshop understand the Kleshas as well as you do! A wonderfully clear interpretation. Thank you so much for coming along to Pine Rivers Yoga Philosophy day last week.
    Ruth

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