Saying Yes to Life Without Complaints

When I attend a workshop, I normally take copious notes. But last night, I simply enjoyed the sequencing and pacing of the Anusara Yoga workshop with Betsey Downing, who is often referred to as the "Grand Dame" of yoga.

Betsey was one of my first teachers when I started taking yoga way back in the summer of '95. I completed the first of many teacher trainings under her - and she was the first one to "hire" me as a yoga teacher back in '97.

I have thoroughly enjoyed witnessing her exquisite evolution as a teacher. It has been a joy to behold how much more deeply she communicates her personal spiritual journey and the reality of universal spiritual truths. Like a fine wine, she gets better with age!

Last night, she began her weekend workshop, entitled, "Living with Virtuosity," by exhorting us to say yes more fully to life by adhering to a complaint-free existence. I swore the theme had been especially chosen for me!

Betsey shared insights from a book she was reading, titled, A Complaint-Free World, that began as an exercise. Those willing to practice dis-engaging from complaints, don a purple wrist band, and switch it to their opposite wrist every time they complain. The purpose is to go 21 days without complaining. If you do complain, then you have to start all over, until you go for 21 full days without a complaint!

Betsey told us, that it takes the average person 5 to 7 months to go complaint-free! She explained that, "you focus your attention on what you want to do - and what you do, grows," rather than focusing on negative thoughts.

"Happiness - is not what happens to us - but is a result of what we choose to focus our thoughts on. Negative thoughts can be toxic to our system."

Betsey reminded us that much of our negative thinking in yoga centered around our bodies and what we could do or not do, especially as we grew older or sustained injuries. I loved seeing her work compassionately with the group, encouraging all present to accept where they were, and yet also bringing out the best in each and everyone.

I look forward to the rest of the weekend!

For more information on Betsey, visit her site:


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