18: Offering

offeringWhen I first started yoga practice I had a check list of how a class should be. If the boxes weren’t ticked then I would defiantly add in some moves or protest in my mind. Like an analogy for life not accepting what is offered to you is a way to create suffering and to take you one step further from the elusive happiness we so often seek.

Yoga is an offering practice that makes you more humble. When we go to a class we may not like what is dished up but as we can’t escape without embarrassment we need to accept what is offered. This enforced humility is a good stomping ground for living your life off the mat. We may not like what we get dished up in life either but to accept everything as a personal offering to you is a better way to view your personal journey.

Here are some ways offering can be part of our practice off the mat.

Every interaction, every gesture of love, every conversation, every piece of food, is an offering to you, a gift. People are offering their time, friendship, love, kindness in subtle ways to you each day. Even unpleasant interactions are in some way an offering as they are a hidden lesson to you, maybe a calling for you to step back and take a different perspective.

When you do something in this world you might like to embrace the concept of Ishavara Pranidhana which means offer the fruits of your practice up to a higher good. This means when we work, give, play or interact we are doing so for the greater good of the those around us. Everything that we do is becomes more sacred if we send the benefits of our actions out into the world as opposed to wondering what you can get out of it.

Offer yourself some kindness and love as well. We are great at looking after the needs of others but this must come from a place of not trying to get something in return. The only way we can feel this honestly is if our needs have been met fully. Find time to offer yourself space, offer yourself love, offer yourself restoration. Offer to yourself what you give to others.

Practice for today: You life is an offering to yourself and those around you. Accepting what is being given, and giving without wanting in return will bring you back to wholeness. If a child held up a weed to you would you reject that? The next time your receive anything look at it as an offering of love rather that something to be judged or discarded.

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