I recently returned from a yoga retreat to India. This was an adventure like no other. The combination of beauty, spirituality, loud noises, colorful clothing, wafting smells, dirt and poverty was a fusion of opposing forces in every way.
India is referred to as "the Mother." She nurtures, inspires and teaches us to live our yoga. It is through personal development and spiritual evolution we are able to recognize our blessings and be grateful for them.
In the holy city of Rishikesh, located along the Ganges and surrounded by the Himalayas, is where our group practiced Yoga, Meditation, the Law of Attraction and Seva. Seva is a Sanskrit word that describes the act of selfless service. It is an act of compassion and care for others above oneself. In the sacred Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, encourages selfless service as a way to develop spirituality. It is closely linked to karma yoga which is said to transform the personality.
Seva is considered a devotional practice because by serving others, you are serving God. This was apparent to me, and I'm sure my fellow yogis, as we watched the tears of gratitude stream down Ma ji's face (Chai Lady), and the smile on the man's face who was pushed by Will from the Beatles Ashram all the way to the Parmarth Niketan Ashram.
This past Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States of America. It is a time to show gratitude for our blessings. I realize now more than ever how blessed I am. It is the simple things we tend to take for granted like clean running water, a shower, mode of transportation, a home with a roof, walls and flooring, proper sanitation and engineered roadway designs. It's not until you see how others live until you realize what you have.
|Group with Chai Lady|
Albeit the people of India may be poor in possessions, they are rich in spirit.
A Prayer of Gratitude
In this season of gratitude, we thank you Lord for the blessings you have given us.
The blessing of family
The blessing of friends
The blessing of food
The blessing of shelter
The blessing of health
The blessing of abundance
The blessing of kindness
The blessing of generosity
The blessing of love
We gather together to celebrate our bounty, our prayers go out to those in need of comfort, care and hope. May they too be blessed by your grace and love
Mary Jane Kasliner
Feng Shui Yoga Girl