This is a straight from the hips offering for those who love yoga, who want to know more, and who sense that it is a path of endless discovery. Because it is.
This A to Z of Yoga is hardly definitive. It is an invitation. I hope you will be delighted and inspired to dive deeper into your own journey of yoga as a fearless adventurer, a pioneer into the frontier of the incredibly unique and unfolding experience that is you.
D is for Dying
If yoga teaches us the art of living, it also teaches us the art of dying.
In its deepest essence, it initiates us into this great mystery of life and transforms our relationship with it.
Over the past few weeks I have watched the Facebook posts of Edo Kahn, as his wife and love Jo made the transition from this earth from a painful stomach cancer, diagnosed only two months ago.
Edo and Jo offered music, yoga and seva (selfless service) with so many, as they travelled the world as a devoted, loving duo, sharing their gifts and their love at retreats, gigs, and festivals. They also founded “A Sound Life” – a charity dedicated to sharing free music and yoga with those in need. It was a perfect offering and a perfect love story.
And their grace continued through the completely unexpected, earth-shattering turn of events. Even in extreme pain, Jo continued to sing, to share her love and wisdom, and passed with an awe-inspiring grace to “return to the lotus feet of her guru”, Sakthi Amma. Even following the death of his beloved, Edo has continued sharing openly with insight, love and wisdom.
In one of her final diary entries, Jo wrote: “I asked Amma “how can the whole universe be within me? Please show me.” Amma took me on an astral travel moving from “me” to the city, to the country, world, universes, galaxies, where so many planets exist. We kept flying through space. “But Amma, how does this all exist within me?” I ask Her. Just then, the travel continues through the galaxies and then ends in my heart. “See Jo, there’s no separation, Jo is there ” pointing to the origin where I am the size of a mustard seed. “and Jo is here too” – with the entire universe within me. She took me for a good ride that night…”
Yoga – through meditation, devotion and the mysteries of grace – can give us deep insights into the nature of reality and experiences of fundamental oneness, that help to reframe our understanding of life and death, bringing us greater peace and acceptance even in the pain of departure.
This heartbreaking but grace-filled meeting of death reminds us that life is indeed a great mystery, with seemingly little rhyme or reason. That great pain and death can come ‘early’ in the most unlikely of ways, and to the most unlikely of people. In the tradition of yoga, many may call this ‘karma’ – the unfolding of cause and effect from previous lives. Whatever it may be, it is a great teaching of the power of spiritual devotion, perspective and love, and a powerful reminder to make the most of this incredible gift of life whilst we have it.
There are so many good things to do in this life, so many ways in which to continuously unfold into greater consciousness, into higher self, and into love. How could you want to live ignorantly and selfishly, and miss out on the beauty of a life lived in service, in wisdom, and in love…
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
Hungry for more?
Here are a few more D-words to add to your yoga lexicon. Let these words take you down the rabbit hole of your own research, exploration, and contemplation.
D is for: devotion, dharma, downward dog, drishti, durga