2 – Og Mandino’s Scroll 1 & Anusara Yoga
During Week 01, we started reading the first scroll in Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. Here are some of my reflections as they relate to my experience at the Anusara Yoga Festival, Samavesha, and my Anusara Yoga practice.
“Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all,” (Mandino, Og (2011-01-05). The Greatest Salesman in the World (p. 51). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition).
I started the Master Key Experience one day before I went to Martha’s Vineyard for the 2015 Anusara Yoga Festival, Samavesha. I went to Martha’s Vineyard. My lodging and the festival was held at The Vineyard Arts Project. The “coincidence” is not lost on me.
“Failure no longer will be my payment for struggle. Just as nature made no provision for my body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for my life to suffer failure,” (Mandino,O., p.52).
When practicing Anusara Yoga, I know that if something doesn’t feel good, I’m probably doing it incorrectly. I need to realign with Anusara Yoga’s Universal Principles of Alignment. So, why for so long have I thought I needed to struggle for success, to struggle to achieve my desires, accomplish my goals? No longer do I believe there is a need for struggle, just as there is no need for bodily pain – except to provide feedback that something is not right, something is out of alignment. This is exactly the same with struggle – it is a feedback mechanism that the actions are not in alignment. And how do things need to be in alignment? At this point in my journey, I believe that when struggle appears, it’s because actions are not in alignment with my truest desires, my authenticity, my svadharma…and I don’t yet have the appropriate skills for success.
“Only principles endure,” (Mandino, O., p. 54).
Indeed, only principles endure and being at Samavesha, I see Anusara Yoga’s Universal Principles of Alignment work over and over again. There’s not a time when they don’t work. Thus, I know in my core, in my body, and in my muscle memory, that principles endure.
“When an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often,” (Mandino, O., p. 56).
I have experienced this with certain yoga poses – most notably, Urdhva Dhanurasana – upward wheel (bow) pose. At the beginning of my yoga journey, I was bendy, but not strong, and I couldn’t properly engage my shoulders onto my back to press up into Urdhva Dhanurasana. Then, I went to Yoga Journal Conference 2008 and took a backbending class with Desiree Rumbaugh. The work that I had put in before the conference helped when the final pieces of the puzzle came together. I remember the light bulb going off when she instructed us to melt our heart towards the wall while in the pose. I felt the engagement, the proper alignment. Now, I LOVE backbends! I haven’t moaned or groaned since. I embrace the backbends and have FUN! The act became easy through constant repetition and became a pleasure to perform. I am on a similar journey with arm balances. Through practice and mastery, I will love those poses just as much as I love backbends!
“My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.,” (Mandino, O., p. 55).
After a week on an island and experiencing Hurricane Joaquin, I have returned to my home in Indianapolis, where I read the same scroll three times each day. New passages seem to pop out all the time and the repetition is soothing. I enjoy building a new groove, a new furrow, in which to plant good habits.
I bow. Namaste.