Karma Yoga Origin: Bhagavad Gita
Karma Yoga: To do from a place of love
Karma Yoga: Path of doing the right thing, following personal dharma
Karma Yoga: Ego giving up the desire and letting the divine take control
Lincoln Square TTers represent!: Kim, Marvin and I
To complete my yoga teacher training program, is it is expected that we perform some sort of Karma Yoga. I attempt to surrender my ego each day at work, however it does not seem like its enough. There is always something more that we can do, always another way we can connect with one another and shift the inequalities in our world. Darren Main does a fantastic job in Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic explaining Karma Yoga. Main reminds readers that Karma Yoga is not self indulgent, the ego must be removed.
Saturday morning I woke up at 7:45 am, my one day to sleep in. The temperature read 36 degrees with rain. Normally, 36 degrees would make me excited (coming out of winter), but not this morning. The bleak skies, my exhausted body, and my cold fingers made me want to crawl back into bed and give up on the entire experience. An internal conflict ensued: Who was I to whine it was raining? People were waiting in line for hours for food and I considered not helping because I wanted to stay toasty, absurd!
I decided to hold true to my commitment and show up for the job, and I am glad I did.
The Ravenswood Food Pantry is located in the parking lot of Ravenswood Elementary school. The demographic of those who waited in line varied greatly. There was an array of Asian cultures, Latino cultures, African Americas, and Caucasian people. They toted carts, boxes, and recycled grocery bags. Each “client” exercised amazing discipline and demonstrated an unrelenting commitment to their families and themselves as they braved the cold.
The Pantry offered canned goods, fresh veggies, chicken cutlets, and grains.
so many volunteers came out to help!
Beef Stew: my job for the day!
Handing out food was rewarding and I am glad I was able to make the process of the pantry easier. I am walking away from this experience with a few thoughts in mind. First, when you open your heart to the universe, the universe returns the love. If we take the time to discover who we are, what place we have in this world, we can utilize our energies and talents to provide the community/world the love and support it needs.
I also adore the group of people I have begun this yoga journey with. Over the last month or so we have formed a bond that is based on positivity, passion, and love. I realized this past week the tremendous effect work has had on my mindset. I have been in a negative and traumatic space for the past 3 years, and am now just learning what it means to be in a positive environment The positivity in our group is not forced or scripted, it is organic and authentic which has lead to harmonious relationships.
As we passed out food our toes began to freeze. Kim and I did some dances to warm our feet. There were times where I wanted to leave, get into my warm car and drive home to dip my feet into a warm bath. I did not leave though. I reminded myself that cold toes are a privilege. People waited in line with shoes that barely had any weather protection and I was complaining while wearing rain boots. If cold toes are the biggest of my problems then I am one lucky lady.
I do not believe karma yoga is only about helping others by handing out food or some other volunteer work. The “good” I received won’t come to me in weeks or months. Instead I received my good karma today. I was reminded of how incredibly lucky (whatever that means) I am to have the privileges and life I have. I have an amazing supportive partner, Mr. Husband. I am healthy and strong. (sort of :)). I have an amazing group of strong supportive friends I have an amazing business and business partner. I have family. My karma will not be returned in some grandiose gesture, rather my karma came to me when I did my cold toes dance.