ON OBSTACLES AND TEACHERS…. 626 626 Maha Yoga & Wellness

In Vedic astrology the full moon of July 16th falls in a part of the sky known as Uttara Ashadha – the star of unstoppable victory.  This is symbolized by an elephants tusk and it is said that this star holds the power of Lord Ganesha, who is consider the “remover of obstacles”.

This full moon is also celebrated as GURU PURNIMA and is a day where one celebrates ones teachers, mentors and guides.

One thing I have realized through 17 years of practice, and life in general , is that our greatest teachers are often the obstacles that we face on the mat and in our daily lives.

Like a good teacher, they bring to our attention the places, people and situations where we need to put our energy, our intelligence and our action in order to move forward, to heal and to grow – as people, as professionals, as partners and parents.

On the mat these obstacles (“antaraya”) could present as an area of weakness or dullness, a tight hamstring, a tweaked shoulder, an injured knee, or even a pose that I am struggling to understand in order to learn the steps I need to move in the direction of achieving it.

I have learnt over time to view my “obstacles” as opportunities.  Through the guidance of our teachers, and our own commitment to practice, and the willingness to learn, we gain insight and understanding until the unknown becomes known.

As we grapple with the ignorance, misunderstanding and frustration,  our understanding grows and what once seemed “impossible” moves into the realm of possibility.

At some point, that which left us feeling “unsteady” now , through our struggles, can strangely enough hold us steady.

That which left us feeling fearful has now built our courage.

Through our process of struggling we become more powerful, we see more clearly and move with more confidence and authenticity into all we do.

If one of the meanings of “guru” is “remover of darkness or ignorance” then our responsibility as “students” is to humbly and gratefully receive the wisdom of our teachers as they bring to light our often hidden areas of struggle or conflict.

We take their offering of insight, advice and support and transform it, through our personal work and our own intelligence, and turn it into our own wisdom.  In doing we eventually become our own teacher and guide.

And then at some point we find a way to “pay it forward” and share our wisdom with others.

Today I honor all my teachers, on and off the mat , who have had the courage to make me face my fears, deal with my stuff and move forward! To each of you I give the deepest of gratitude and look forward to all the opportunities coming my way!

If you would like to learn a simple chant to Lord Ganesha enjoy this version: Mantra to Ganesh