Vish Iyer, author of Love and Yoga, came out to visit us a few weeks ago. His name and information were passed on to me from a volunteer here at BYSJ, noting that Vish was a great person and had this amazing book coming out and she thought our members would enjoy and benefit from his teachings. Vish was most accommodating and came up from Los Angeles to give a small talk about his life and his book, Yoga and Love. I absolutely enjoyed all Vish had to say, but what impressed me the most was the amazing light that radiated from his eyes. I could not believe the streaks of pure light that shot out from his pupils. He is enthusiastic, caring, intelligent, and emotionally intelligent too, and commented that he loves to meditate 3-4 hours a day! Wow! Is that why he emits such light?

Vish had a great message. Do yoga and learn the love that you are. In his experience, the more prana you have, the more magnetic you become in attracting love and all things that you want in your life. While his book is on finding love, pick it up and read it for the affirmation in what your practice is giving you. In his words, the more yoga, the more prana or life force you possess and the more awareness of the love that resides within you. It’s a process, but each day as we watch ourselves in the mirror we become more equipped to dismiss the negativity that runs rampant in our minds and diffuse those charges that go with those negative thoughts like frustration, anger, guilt, doubt and judgment. Instead and over time, we allow ourselves the freedom to be with what is in that moment and begin to feel okay, accepting, content, and satisfied…and over longer periods, even loving. How powerful to transform anger into love!

If you’ve disarmed the violent nature against yourself, then you’ve also unveiled the goodness you possess. After all, you can’t disarm yourself without using something you must believe is more worthy – YOU and Love of Self. You may not KNOW it now but you are on THAT path every time you step in the hot yoga room. Vish suggests that your inner work will reflect your outer circumstances. If you possess harmony from the inside, you will no doubt live in harmony in all areas of your life.

In Vish’s book, he explains a great phenomenon that I just love. Chinese Bamboo, when planted takes five years to root before you see a sprout come to the surface. When it does, within six weeks, this bamboo shoots up 19 feet tall! Wow!

Nature is amazing. That waiting period is a nourishing period. While it may “look” like nothing is going on, in fact, everything is going on. The root system needs to set properly taking hold of what it needs but also getting rid of what it doesn’t need to grow with that absolute abandon in the fullness of all that IT is – authentic Chinese Bamboo.

Members, we need to be extremely patient with ourselves in that room; we need to trust a process going on within that is most likely not evident today or tomorrow; we need to push ourselves out of a comfort zone and take part in the struggle that is there knowing that we have the power to diffuse any charge of fear that arises; AND we need to be willing to say goodbye.

Ali Godoy, our young member that won the International Yoga Championships for the women’s youth division, recently moved to Arizona to attend a high school that could keep up with her smarts. Yes, she is gifted in yoga and in brains. Her goodbye was sudden and it got me thinking about the power of goodbye. I was sad yes, but also so excited in her choice to blossom in a place that could do just that for her! She is young and yet so mature. She had a time and a season here and while it would have been okay to stay, it wasn’t the best course to support her authentic highest self in being all Ali. I absolutely admire her parents for making this move.

But, what about our own goodbyes? We wave goodbye to friends. We shake hands, give hugs, and maybe pump fists as gestures of goodbye to this dinner, a special vacation, a long-time home, a dedicated job and even to special people in our lives that pass on. But, there is more. As yogis we become more conscious of life, and our insights into what is really happening heightens. We may begin to recognize that summer is soon over and a goodbye is inevitable to those full days of sun, barbequing outside with the family, time with kid’s home from school. Goodbyes are necessary as they make room for something new. And even more beneficial, recognizing goodbyes that exist really everywhere help us appreciate the life we have in front of us right now as we know that this moment too will eventually change and move on to something different. It causes us to be more alive and more present!

But it runs deeper. What about in our own practice? Can we say goodbye to the expectations that we live with on our mats and instead be in the moment to what our bodies are providing that day? Can we say goodbye to the back pain that we’ve lived with for so many years and instead be with the thought that this is temporary and just needs added attention. Can we say goodbye to patterns we demonstrate on our mat: like when we drink water, or how we use our hand towel; the hesitations before getting into a pose, the attitude that hits mid-stream that you did enough, just too tired, or “I can’t do this?” We are free to discard and say goodbye to those behaviors that once had their place and time.

Our investments in ourselves at this level are worth the effort it takes and it does take work. But, if we are not constantly working on our awareness, we will never be awake to what is relevant in our lives. Our attention is drawn to something less important and unworthy of the time and energy that we give it. We’ve all seen people stuck recycling old patterns justifying their ways to an old age. The end result is no result, as we will never become the magnet we wish to be to the love and things we desire in our lives. Vish was a great reminder that happiness is a choice and that we do have the power to create this for ourselves if we keep turning within. “Recognize that which is temporary (outer circumstances) and focus on that which is permanent (love, compassion, well-being). You will attain higher levels of consciousness and attract more of what you want. Doors will open. Miracles will happen,” – I can hear Vish say.