The Good Life - Yoga Journal

The Good Life


My life is pretty good. I have a loving and supportive family, a place to live, a job that pays my bills, plenty to eat, and a healthy body—so the necessities of life are covered. I also have tons in my life to feed my spirit—an outlet for my creativity, a yoga practice that inspires me, and a network of friends who I can turn to whenever I need someone to listen. I even have two fuzzy animals that are always happy to see me and curl up in my lap.

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But I'm a whiner. I focus on the negative. I find myself complaining about everything from the weather to a grumpy clerk at the grocery store. It's ridiculous if you think about it. I have SO many blessings—and I'm grateful for each one of them. So why do I waste so much of my life worrying about things I can't change anyway? And why can't I just be content?

Aparigraha, or non-grasping, is perhaps the yoga observance I have the most trouble with in my daily life. I grasp not just for things, but for ideas—ideas about who I am and who I want to be, how other people should behave, and the way the world should operate.

Buddhists believe that desire is attachment. I have a lot of attachments. Yoga has helped me come a long way in letting go of some of those attachments. Most notably, the judgments surrounding my body's abilities to do certain poses or look a certain way. It has also helped me become less obsessed with perfectionism. In yoga class it's OK to fall down, and I've been able to translate some of that attitude into my daily life.

Most importantly, I think yoga has helped reveal my attachments to me by making me more aware. As G.I. Joe once said, "knowing is half the battle." Just as awareness that you hyperextend your knees is the first step in correcting an alignment problem, I have to believe that being aware of my weaknesses will help me overcome them eventually.

For me, yoga is a daily exploration and acknowledgement of my blessings, but I have a long way to go. This blog is an exploration of that journey toward greater awareness and greater happiness—including all the challenges, epiphanies, small steps, and stumbles along the way.