How to live our lives…I think that most of us are trying to ‘figure it out’. We want answers to life’s big questions and ways to deal with the mundane, every day questions. We keep trying to figure out how to live in a human body and to be part of a kind, caring, and safe community. We want to feel good, be healthy and happy, and have love in our lives. But, for most humans this may be challenging.
Our contemporary society has discovered that yoga, a system based on ancient principles, may offer some help. Yoga has become very much a ‘happening’ system. But a truly evolving yoga practice is not about being trendy or cool. It is a life’s work. Its practice is a process. How it comes to us is also a process. It fits into many aspects and corners of one’s life. It comes to our teachers in that way, too. How they grow into capable and inspiring teachers represents many years of exploring, observing, learning, discovering, and filtering things through their own very specialized experiences of life. If we are lucky, such teachers come our way and help us to grow.
My exploration of yoga principles started simply enough with hatha yoga classes as a physical exercise after the birth of my second child. My teacher, Jana Lackman was mesmerizing and took her students into a place of great tranquility, into a ‘meditation in motion’ that was more than mere physical poses. As I came to learn, the inspiration that she radiated had come from a special man, Dr. Madan Bali. She had studied with Dr. Bali for many years and his ‘light’ certainly seemed to radiate through her. In time, I came to know and love this humble and committed yogi who was her teacher. He seemed to inspire and soothe each person who came into his presence.
At a time when a personal drama brought a very difficult challenge my way, Dr. Bali was ‘there’ for me. Combining gentle and soothing loving kindness, meditation, massage and wise counsel, he managed to help me to restore and integrate a renewed sense of balance into my daily life. His patience and awareness of my emotional needs was brilliantly nurturing. He allowed me to accept my suffering, to experience what was happening with honesty, to grieve and to grow.
At times, I had a sense of guilt that my regular meditation and hatha yoga practice wasn’t seeming to be ‘enough’ to get me over the hump of sadness that I was experiencing. But, he never seemed to ‘judge’ me for feeling weak and vulnerable. He just ‘loved’, ‘listened’, and ‘let it be’. He wisely allowed me to move one little bit at a time through the challenge to allow my spirit to regenerate itself.
I have experienced his wisdom and seen that his own personal exploration is passed on in his teachings and techniques. I have observed how grateful many of his students are for his loving guidance. I am one of them.