Karma and the Play of Lila

This morning in the rain, I drove over to the other side of the river to take a yoga class on a wet, but wonderful Sunday morning.

The roads were nearly empty, and the class I went to was exquisite and delicious. Cheryl, an Anusara Yoga certified teacher, is truly gifted. She seamlessly wove her theme of "karma" and "lila" throughout the whole class, in virtually every pose - connecting her theme to every action in the pose in a way that made each one come alive and feel new. Her instructions allowed us to ground and create the container for our energies to creatively and playfully dance throughout the practice.

With great artistry, Cheryl also wove her wonderful knowledge of Tantric philosophy and spirituality with technical instructions that enhanced and deepened the practice. All of this Cheryl did with both grace and compassion, and I thought of how lucky I am to study every week at the feet of so many magnificent teachers that have selflessly fed my soul so deeply. I am blessed to be part of this community, both as a practitioner, and as a teacher.

At the end of class, Cheryl read to us this beautiful poem by the yogini Danna Faulds, and I wish to share it here, because it is simply exquisite, and because it was so appropriate to this day. It comes her book, Prayers to the Infinite:

With You

Consort of clouds, beloved
of the flowers, no boundaries
confine my flight or wanderings.
Slipping through the cracks in
your armor, I am with you, calling
you to come forth and dance with
me in the downpour.

My energy spills out of you no
matter what your circumstances or
mood. Find me in joy or in the
darkness of your worst hours.
Welcome me. Throw your arms
wide and celebrate each time you
find my fragrance in the lilacs.

I am anywhere you focus your
awareness. Call on me, remembering
that you are essential to the universe,
your uniqueness no less precious than
the stars. If you forget, I'll remind you
with a whisper or a dream, or a touch
so soft you'll think a butterfly
just landed on your arm.

At the end of class, like a good teacher, Cheryl bowed and profoundly thanked all of her own teachers and their teachers as well from the bottom of her heart. She also thanked all of her students - for every good teacher knows - that we teach in order to learn - and that it is our students who are often our greatest teachers...

I drove home, filled to the brim...I had stepped out of the downpour that had occurred during class, and which had now slowly given way to a few streams of light...

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