Q: Recently someone stole my yoga mat, and I got so frustrated and angry that I couldn't practice. These feelings still surface every time I roll out my new mat. How can I overcome them?<br>
Read Dharma Mittra's response:
I can empathize with you; I've had some favorite rare CDs stolen, as well as beloved books and 14 bicycles in about as many years. When unpleasant things happen, I try to take comfort in the laws of karma. I believe that nothing happens without a reason, and that whatever happens in my life is due to my previous actions. (Given how many bicycles I've had stolen, I must have been a horse thief in some previous lifetime!)
While I don't always find it easy, I try to view these unfortunate circumstances as disguised blessings; each time something bad happens, it means the karma from one more bad deed has surfaced and been completed.
So this may sound odd, but I suggest you work on shifting your perspective and thought patterns so you can actually rejoice about your lost mat. Know that you've paid off some past dues, perhaps clearing the way for positive karmic seeds to mature. I hope the next one brings you unexpected good fortune.
Founder and director of the Dharma Yoga Center in N.Y.C., Dharma Mittra has spent 45 years disseminating the wisdom of yoga. Known as a teacher's teacher, he is also renowned worldwide as the creator of the Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, which inspired Yoga Journal's coffee-table book of asana photographs, Yoga (Hugh Lauter Levin Associates Inc., 2002).