Whole Life Magazine

January/February 2015

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/456952

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Page 21 of 43

"I f you have nothing new to say, just get the hell out," he shouted. I stood in mountain pose, feet gripping the oor beneath me, watching the shadow of our relationship ll the corners of our condo. "Is this really how you want to end things?" I asked. He hurled expletives at me, then stormed furiously upstairs. Pranayama, I thought. I have to remember my breath. Inhale, and exhale. Inhale, then exhale. A bit more bartering and battling, and we reached our nal impasse. I le . Over the next week, I began to realize that the yogic principles and precepts I'd learned over the years—and shared regularly as a yoga teacher—actually encouraged me to stay in an unhealthy relationship much longer than its expiration date. e ideas of acceptance, compassion and forgiveness had somehow become limitless in a way that was not at all for my greatest good. Shortly a er my relationship ended, I began a mind-body program about releasing the past. My mentor, Barry Green, said something I rarely hear in the yoga community. "It's dangerous," he observed, "all these teachers telling people how they should and shouldn't be living. It takes approximately 400,000 lifetimes to attain enlightenment. Do you think these yoga teachers have it all gured out?" Until that time, I'd regularly subscribed to one particular teacher's upli ing messages. Since he'd been a monk for two-and-a-half decades, I believed he knew what he was talking about. A er awhile, though, I began to feel worse about who I was, not better. I felt like I wasn't meditating enough. I wasn't vegetarian. I still wanted to have sex. When I brought this up with Barry, he said, "Nowhere in any of the ancient texts does it say you have to be happy all the time or need to be perfect. In fact, some of those deities were sons-of-bitches. ey killed people, beheaded them, had countless a airs." Barry studied with master teachers for decades, has a Ph.D. and, of course, his own opinion, but it's one that didn't make me feel worse about my human tendencies in the midst of striving to be 'better.' "We live in a world of duality," he continued, "the universe created both darkness and light. Telling people that feeling bad is not okay is unrealistic, unhealthy and dangerous." WITHOUT AHIMSA TOWARD SELF, THE LINE CAN BLUR BETWEEN COMPASSION AND ABUSE The of Heartbreak By Judy Tsuei @%!# Yoga 22 wholelifetimes.com

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