I just celebrated a birthday and my mom who is a burgeoning water color artist painted this colorful and thoughtful card. Her subject’s adho mukha svanasana is wonderful! Heels on the floor and everything (way better than my pose).
When one is as old as I am, one starts to think about their life in perspective. Just to kick start things a notch, my brother who is about 9 years younger than me announced at my birthday dinner that he and his girlfriend are expecting. My mom was thrilled as my older brother and I have not followed through on producing offspring. Glad he was up for the job!
This year I am training (for lack of a better word) for my Junior Intermediate I assessment. My family continues to support me although it must seem like a strange aspiration to them. From my perspective, Yoga has made me rich beyond my wildest dreams, even though I take home a few hundred dollars per month from actually teaching. No I am not endorsed by Nike, nor do I sell yoga products MLM style, and I don’t even dare say I am ready to conduct a teacher training as I am still very much a student myself after 17 ardent years of practice.
I am rich because Yoga has allowed me the strength to hold down what most people would consider an emotionally draining job as a licensed mental health clinician with ease. Yoga gave me so much material to write about when I was getting my master’s in counseling many years ago that I graduated with a 4.0. Yoga keeps me calm and pleasant for my family and gives me the patience to handle aging in-laws who need more and more care giving. And finally, Yoga allows me to be a good husband to my wife by emotionally supporting her when she has stress from her family and career. She also supports me too in every way.
Yoga has also given me a wonderful community of friends, students and teachers who help guide me on my way. In the next few months, I will be blessed by visiting teachers like Laurie Blakeney and Kofi Busia who always give me more perspectives. I am also continually blessed by my teachers Ray and Shelley who are more like family to me than instructors. In these days of the internet, human connection is actually becoming scarce and rare. Yoga has spared me from that by giving me a well-peopled day.
Prashant Iyengar says that Yoga produces many gifts. The gifts of health and peace are just the tip of the iceberg. So even if I continue my whole yoga teaching career with only a few hundred dollars per month of take home pay, I will easily retire a millionaire. Happy birthday to me.