Thanksgiving - A Time for Yoga

 

Another year, another Thanksgiving coming up - this year really has gone by fast!  This is what makes the holiday of Thanksgiving even more special.  What is Thanksgiving day about?  Simple - it is about giving thanks, and there is a lot to be thankful for.  In the Sutra, well known to yogis and yoga enthusiasts, it is the philosophy of asteya, which means "non stealing."

While I would like to think that most of us do not steal, at least not intentionally, people forget that even though there is so much that nature provides us, such as the food we eat, water we drink and the air we breathe, none of it is truly ours but is only borrowed by us so each and every one of us can carry out our lives and do what is needed to make this world a better place.  

Unfortunately in today's day and age, there are so many people that feel that  they are entitled and deserving of everything and life should be exactly as they want it without any consequences. What they fail to realize is that everyone wants something different, and each and everyone of us has needs that differ from one another.  By taking on the "my way or highway" approach they in fact are stealing from one-another.  Without getting too much into politics, the 2016 U.S. election is a perfect example of this. Two candidates, 2 philosophies and ideologies, and the fact that the results were so close proved that each separate candidate had their own valid concerns.  One prevailed over the other.  While some celebrated over the results, others went into deep mourning to the point of refusing to go on about their day-to-day lives.

While it is okay for one to feel disappointed that things did not go his or her way, by imposing those feelings on others and demanding that the results be changed this becomes the opposite of asteya - non-stealing, and along with it the opportunity to learn life's lessons - that life is not all sunshine, butterflies and rainbows - is lost.  This is a time to reflect and start to appreciate all that we have, and  once we have done so , we've succeeded in creating an atmosphere of asteya and the ability to grow

Thanksgiving is the time to do this - to not only appreciate what we have, but to look within ourselves and see how we can use it to better this world, and to ask ourselves what we are doing to fulfill our highest purpose? It could be something that fits within your profession.  A doctor saves lives, an attorney can fight for justice, and a yogi - raise a student's conscious awareness and help guide the student to his or her highest purpose.

The meaning of Yoga is "union." While one context of the word has to do with union within yourself and your highest self, the next step is between your highest self and the True Source. Through this source, each of us is connected and that is the true intention of Yoga. Whether you eat turkey or are a vegan, are of a religion or atheist, Republican or Democrat, each of us, despite our differences, is connected through that Single Source.  When that is realized and appreciated, it is then that true Yoga - union - is attained. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Llamaste!