I just had to share what I thought were some incredible insights during a conversation with my yoga teacher this week. I began studying Kundalini Yoga just over a month ago when a friend of mine opened a studio in her home. The class I attend is taught by her lovely mother whom I just adore because of her positive and peaceful nature. This is my first experience with Kundalini Yoga, whose main focus is meditation, breath, and mantras rather than the physical poses (like Hatha, Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga). I've attended yoga classes on and off for almost 10 years now, but ever since my experience in India with a yogi, I haven't seemed to find a class or practice I can embrace . . . until now.
The way I feel both physically and mentally after an hour and a half of Kundalini is unbelievable, and I've started to practice on my own a few minutes every morning in an attempt keep that calming influence with me throughout the day. Anyway, back to our conversation . . . she was explaining this inner peace that our souls yearn for and how this practice awakens the chakras and helps keep us centered and balanced. We began discussing how to hold on to that calm and not let anything or anyone disturb that peace and cause imbalance.
The key is truly in the breath and realizing how much power is held in something so simple. She went on to explain how some people with conflicting energy (usually negative) who don't or just haven't learned how to tap into this inner peace and calm within themselves unconsciously make one of two choices: their souls seek solace so they are attracted to those who have positive energy and who embody an inner self confidence because it helps diffuse the opposite energy and restore balance, OR their negative energy completely rejects the opposing energy and instead of attraction, conflict arises and they unconsciously "fight or battle" with the other person, who by nature is peaceful and positive. After hearing this, it was like a light went on, especially since I've been struggling with someone who carries so much negativity within and I felt my true nature suffering because of hurtful interactions. My teacher concluded by repeating a mantra when you find yourself in opposition with one of these souls: "I have compassion for you and the energy within, and my hope is that you will one day feel the peace that is within me."
Isn't that just beautiful? I actually find that my yoga practice heightens my spirituality as well, so while dwelling on this conversation I thought of pride and it's definition as "enmity (or conflict) with another" and that when I judge, focus on being right, refuse to forgive, or let my ultra competitive side take over, I am essentially creating conflict, not embracing humility, and therefore not allowing my positive energy to thrive and create peace, which at its core is love. We cannot love others as we should when there is conflict, it's just that simple. I cannot extend love to my family, friends, or even strangers when I'm dwelling on an offense or regretting an impulsive reaction to something negative. However, when I remember this inner stillness that I feel during yoga, or that I feel while listening to absolute truths when the spirit whispers peace to my soul, I am truly the person I am at my core, the real me, and it's a liberating feeling.
During my scripture study discussion this week, I highlighted Elder Neil L. Anderson's touching conference talk and found this excerpt profound:
In our weakened moments, the adversary seeks to steal our spiritual promises. If we are not watchful, our injured, childlike spirit will retreat back into the cold, dark crust of our former bloated ego, leaving behind the warm, healing light of the Savior. When Parley P. Pratt, in 1835, was judged unfairly, bringing embarrassment and shame to him and his family, the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled:
"Parley . . . walk such things under your feet . . .
and God Almighty shall be with you."
What a beautiful reminder said so eloquently by a prophet of God, and I am determined to live each day striving for peace, inner stillness, and especially the light of the Savior as I "walk such things under my feet."