Cathy Weiss

Yoga | Author | Spiritual Teacher

Private and small group yoga instruction for women. Professional, reliable, authentic.

Compassion Part 2

Did you know that when you are practicing compassion you are practicing yoga? It's true! If you practice compassion you are a yogi. There are many ancient texts on the practice of yoga, the one I refer to most often is the Yoga Sutras. Most people consider the physical (asana) practice of yoga the only aspect of yoga, but in the Sutras only 3 of 200 refer to the physical aspect.

Yoga is a like a tapestry, with many threads woven together to create the whole practice. At any given time, it is wise to choose one thread to practice for a while before moving on to another one.

Sutra 1.33 states:

By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.

If we single out the portion of this Sutra on compassion there is a really great and simple suggestion for us all. I love that is does not say "compassion for others who are unhappy" but rather "the unhappy", which means that at times the unhappy is our self. Whether you are simply struggling with a pole move in your practice or experiencing a larger, difficult life event you can actively be compassionate and kind to your self. Or you can be actively compassionate towards others who need your love and support.

Either way, being compassionate allows your mind to remain calm, for you to remain in a place of union in your body, mind, and soul, and for you to practice yoga not only in the studio but in your life as well.

If you enjoyed or were inspired by what you read, please comment below, Like, Share, and Tweet. With Gratitude, Cathy