Everyday when I get to the gym to teach yoga I have to walk through the hall of electricity. Hundreds of runners on running machines, and big burly people pushing weights. They are there when I get there at 6am and they are there when I leave at night. I always wonder why there are so many downstairs and so few upstairs ( doing yoga.)
I used to be one of the electricity generators. All that energy being produced and poofed out. I haven’t been anywhere near a machine for 3 years and decided that it was now time. What had I been missing? I ran, I moved my arms I grabbed heavy weights and looked at myself in the mirror. People kept asking me what I was doing. ‘ What are you doing down here?’ they would say. “I’m trying to see what it is all about again?’ I would answer. But I had a secret other reason, I wanted to drop one of my -isms. The yogaism. Yoga is all, yoga is King and Queen, yoga is all you need. All you others are wasting your time. I judge them and I did it severely. I have become a Yogist. I have entered my own form of narrow minded self righteousness. And I am lining it up next to all my other -ists and -isms.
Our opinions become our judgements on others. We may scorn the rich and feel sorry for the poor or we may look down on those with no money and adulate the rich. We drive a car to match what we think is how we want the world to see us. We look at larger people and say under our breath something unkind while we worship the thin. We laugh at what someone is wearing, saying I’ll never be seen dead in that and we tut tut at people’s choice of jobs. We have set ideas on different nationalities but we buy our products from around the world. We can justify this or any belief. We say, some of my best friends are fat, black, unemployed. We say ‘nothing personal’ but that looks terrible or that is a terrible choice to those we love. It’s all personal, it’s all judging, it’s all narrow minded and our excuses are thin veneers over our own inadequacies.
There is a scene in Forest Gump when Forest walks into the bar and sees his friend Sargent Dan. Dan is a mess of a person and it’s obvious to everyone. Not Forest, he doesn’t see any of the outgoing, he just sees him. His Friend. No judgements. Simple.
Practice for today: What is your -ist or -ism? Could there be a way that just for today you could think the opposite? Get on the running machine. It’s more fun to live your life without restrictions.