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PSA
by Ally Hamilton 

 

 

Editor's Note: There is more to yoga than asana (poses). Many believe it's just a physical workout that's good for your body. Yoga is so much more. Part of the yoga practice is working hard to follow the yamas (moral codes) and niyamas (observances). One of the yamas to practice is non-attachment. Not being attached to outcomes, moments, sad times, happiness, expectations and so on. Living in the present moment and the now and not getting bogged down on how you wish things were or how you'd like them to stay. The author of this piece does a nice job of providing real life examples of this. Enjoy!

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: You will NOT be happy when you lose 10 pounds, or have a different job or a drive better car, when you meet the “right” person, or when “things calm down”. You will not be happy when your biceps or bank account or boobs are bigger, or when your waistline is smaller. You will not be happy if you take medication to grow the hair on your head, or when you wax hair off in other places. You are either happy inside, or you are not happy inside. Nothing outside will fix that for long. You surely can’t buy it. We have a crazy system set up around us (consumerism and distraction), which simply reflects back the system that exists within us (there’s a void inside I need to fill!). If you don’t wrestle with life’s big questions, and by that I mean, “Is this all there is? What am I doing here? Who am I?”, then those unanswered questions own you, and you’ll have to keep dancing around distracting yourself from the discomfort of not having worked them out within yourself for the rest of your life, trying to convince yourself that happiness lies in external stuff.

Peace comes from understanding and accepting that one day your body will give out and you will exhale for the last time. I hope it’s one day way way off in the future, and that you have the time between then and now to figure out what lights you up from the inside. Because that’s where you find happiness, or inner peace, or the ability to face reality as it is, which is not always as we’d like it to be. It happens inside you as you develop the ability to love yourself, to find your purpose, to uncover your particular gifts and give them away freely, fully, with total abandon. To show yourself some compassion and kindness, to do the work to heal. If you pin your happiness to certain events going or not going the way you’d like, you are nothing more than a victim of circumstance, and there’s just no power in that. We can never control circumstances, we can only work on the way we respond, the amount of power we give to those waves of life that are challenging. We can swim against the current which is exhausting, or we can embrace the zen proverb: Let go or be dragged. I hope you will simply realize what you know and acknowledge what you are. If you don’t know already, you have an insane amount of love within yourself, and if you tap in to that, you are going to want to share it with everyone you encounter, and believe me, you are going to be happy. Your happiness is good for you, and it’s good for everyone else, too! Sending you so much love. Ally

 

 

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About the Author

 

Ally Hamilton began practicing yoga during her senior year at Columbia University. During the course of her 22 years of practice and 17 years of teaching, she has studied with Dharma Mittra, Bryan Kest (at whose studio she taught for over five years), Jorgen Christiansson, with whom she began practicing Ashtanga in 2001 and later assisted, Baron Baptiste, Max Strom, and Saul David Raye. In September 2009, with the help of her husband, she opened her own yoga studio in Santa Monica, Yogis Anonymous, and has built a vibrant community around some of the best teaching talent in Southern California. She has also pioneered the use of technology in yoga with a first-of-its-kind online yoga video website which provides live-streaming and on-demand yoga videos featuring top yoga instructors from around the world. Off the mat, you'll most likely find Ally chasing after her five year old son and two year old daughter.

Learn more: yogisanonymous.com/live

 


 

 




 

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