This month’s focus in Jivamukti yoga is bhakti—devotion to the divine. There are many elements to a yoga practice, not just the physical asanas, and this passage in particular (by Sharon Gannon) is a useful reminder for me:
Even though bhakti and ahimsa are both tenets of Jivamukti Yoga, there could arise a tendency to forget bhakti, devotion to God, and become overly consumed with promoting animal rights, veganism and environmentalism—or you could say saving the world—as a way to practice ahimsa and develop compassion in one’s daily life. We must be careful not to allow our activism to take priority over our devotion to God. If we do we will undoubtedly be bound by avidya and asmita—ignorance and ego identification and all the debilitating vices that come with those hindrances, like pride, anger, revenge and impatience, for example.
I like to think I’m pretty good at connecting to the spiritual side of things, but when I get frustrated, say, overhearing a yoga teacher talking about the most delicious mac ’n cheese with bacon on top, I am engaging in ego identification—even though it seems on the surface that the problem is solely with the other person. (Ha! It never ever is!) So this month’s focus has been really important for me.
Last Sunday one of my lovely Jivamukti teachers, Reina Lovelace, offered a special class at Karma with kirtan (Sanskrit singing plus harmonium, SO gorgeous) by Irene Soléa, and afterward we enjoyed a vegan potluck “bhakti brunch.” It was lovely to get to know some people I’ve been practicing alongside for awhile now; I can get caught up in my own practice and forget to engage, say hello, introduce myself. We come to practice in the same space for a reason!
Reina made the most AMAZING pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I have to get the recipe from her!! The dish in the middle (below) is the fruit cobbler I made out of Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap. It’s the first recipe I’ve tried out of that book, and it was fantastic—and so easy, too. I prepped enough fruit for two cobblers so that Faith and I could have some on Saturday night (bless her for letting me use her kitchen!), and we gobbled it up right out of the oven. I can’t even express to you how comfortingly delicious it was. (I will be doing more systematic cookbook explorations starting sometime this summer, and I might as well start with this one!)
I love it when no one coordinates what they’re bringing to a potluck and yet it all comes out perfectly balanced.
On the savory side, a broccoli/asparagus tofu quiche (also by Reina), quinoa salad, avocado and black bean salad, and an Indian-inspired lentil dish. Everything thoroughly yummy!
Good to the last bite (and then I had a muffin.) Several friends have commented to me recently about my healthy appetite. It’s totally the yoga.
— Brynne (@bhaflett) March 10, 2014
I’ll be writing more about yoga over the summer—there’s a big post gathering itself in my head, I just won’t have the time for another long one until after I turn in my manuscript in June. But I’m really looking forward to the day when I can share with you some specific ways in which my daily yoga practice has changed my life for the better. (Talk about an understatement!)