With all the news about natural disasters happening everywhere, the world has enthusiastically reached into its pockets to help. News about goodwill, good deeds, and acts of kindness, should be regularly broadcasted, but maybe bad news is more profitable to broadcast.
However, let me stick to the point of this article. In
order for nature, and the universe, to flow in harmony, we should all regularly give to charities, whenever it is possible to help someone in need. This is practicing Yoga "off the mat."
"Saving for a rainy day" is one thing, and hording money, is quite another matter. By all means, save some money, but always remember to give to those in need, without expecting something in return.
To put it simply, selfishness creates a dead end, or
stagnation, within the universal flow of all things. The universal law of cause and effect (karma) will always override.
Just as stagnation within your body is unhealthy, the same law applies to the universe and all things within in it, including money. Stagnation will cause an infection of the body, mind, or spirit. This is the exact opposite of Yoga practice, where we seek to unify body, mind, and spirit in harmony.
Remember Nishkamya Bhakti, and take the time to research the meaning of the word again. We should give
unconditionally without pursuing a reward. It is also good to give anonymously and not to tell anyone. Giving is also good for your inner being and your self worth.
Take notice of how lucky you are in this life. Be content with what you have by appreciating your family, friends, and achievements. Look at the improvements and rewards you have seen, since you started practicing Yoga.
I will leave you with a short story and something to think about. Last Christmas season, a man, who was dressed as Santa Claus, worked outside a local store with a legitimate charity's sign and donations bucket. Many people, including me, gave to him.
Within a few days, local police had chased this man through the parking lot and arrested him. It had been discovered that this man was allegedly an imposter and did not represent a charity at all.
Is this man a criminal? I think not – he was a beggar who practiced deception. In some countries and cultures, like mine, begging is not tolerated at all. This man resorted to deception in order to beg. He did not rob people of their money.
This is not an endorsement of deception or begging, but I want to make you aware of the fact that when you give to a beggar, that is charity too. Don't worry about which charity to give to - just give something. There are good forces at work that will distribute your donations evenly.
Always remember that Yoga is for the improvement of physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you think Yoga is only about physical mastery, asanas, and a beautiful body, you have missed the "big picture." Yoga offers so many benefits for mental and spiritual health, that they should never be ignored.
© Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher.
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