Tapasya

I’ve been a busy soul of late. My teachers are conducting a teacher training in Beijing and I have been subbing most of their classes. My normal schedule of teaching three classes per week has now mushroomed to eight. That wouldn’t be much if all I did was teach yoga. But in between teaching I have a full time job and caregiving duties.

On my sub days, I teach a 7 am class, go to appointments and hospitals all day, then return to the studio for a 5:15 pm and 6:45 pm class. I don’t get out until 9:00 pm.

As yoga teachers, we are sometimes called to summon great strength and fortitude. To cheerfully face a class of students after a full day of work is difficult. It is not something that is taught in teacher training. It is something that must be cultivated through practice.

I’m finding the hardest part isn’t so much teaching the classes, it’s maintaining my performance at my full time job which requires me to provide mental health services for needy people in the community.

One of my clients is homeless and stays in a bathroom for shelter. I met this client to fill out forms to get help from community resources. As I was leaving the appointment, the client asked me “do you have anything to eat?” I told the client to wait and scrambled to the nearest convenience store and bought a few Spam musubi-s (think sushi, except with Spam) which is a ubiquitous staple of Hawai’i. The client appeared grateful when I returned with the food.  I am finding that these moments give me the strength to carry on this crazy schedule.

Another interesting part of my practice now is I am using mantra-s to help give me energy, offer me protection, and give thanks for my blessings. As I am driving from appointment to appointment and class to class, I recite specific mantra-s. If I know I will be in a potentially dangerous situation, like an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting, I will recite a Durga mantra. For my long drives to the office, I will recite a Ganesh mantra or a Vishnu mantra. If I am feeling tired, I will chant a Hanuman mantra. All give me a special feeling depending what I need. And of course to express my devotion to the divine who has allowed this all to be possible.

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12 thoughts on “Tapasya

  1. mishedup

    i love the idea of driving while reciting mantra…I sometimes do that too. It’s like praying, no? It bolsters us, settles us,prepares us for what is next. We can’t meditate as we drive but we can ask for strength, help, stamina…whatever we need.
    Lovely reminder

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thanks mished! Mantra-s are prayers. Very powerful zip drives that go straight to your vibrational field, the anandamayakosa. I believe they shape you and your circumstances. Just after a few, my mind is instantly calm and my sense of well being is increased. Many blessings!

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  2. accidental goddess

    I agree with mishedup. At different times I have recited prayers from my childhood religious training, lyrics from favorite songs that mean something special to me, or mantras such as these. They can all help keep us from spinning into a monkey mind of negative thoughts when we most need it.

    Michael: I wish you strength and focus to continue on your path of helping others on and off the mat.

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thank you accidental goddess for your kind words. Sometimes the most powerful prayer is “UGGGH!” Because in that is also a seed mantra which contains the sound “OM.” From that the whole universe blooms.

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  3. k8macdo

    Wow, Michael! What an intense time this must be for you! Tapasya! It is inspiring to me how you are able to draw on mantra in order to sustain this schedule. And I bet you’ll be happy to see your teachers again!

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thank you k8 for being such a strong supporter of my blog over the years. I see all the people you follow and they are all the most respectable bloggers I have read. To be in their company is humbling.

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  4. Michaela

    Wow you are busy busy busy! In busy times I try to keep strong and remember this is a just a season. A season of rest is on its way. Maybe you could do a post on the specific mantras you choose – I would love to know a bit more about traditional mantras. Namaste 🙂

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