Can Anything Steal Your Peace?

By Nicole Deacon

“If anyone can make you angry, upset, take your peace away from you, you are the loser.”  -- Bikram Choudhury

What Bikram?  Come again?  If someone else does something that makes me angry or upset aren’t THEY the jerk?  What do you mean I am the loser?

We cannot control what other people do, say, and feel; but we can control what we do, say, and feel.  When someone does something that makes us upset, it is easy to blame them and easy to think that if they would just do what we want that we would be happy.  There is a great saying, “Resentment is like drinking poison hoping the other person is going to die.”  This is what Bikram is saying.  When we have negative feelings towards someone else, whether they deserve it or not, it is not them that suffers, it is us.  When someone cuts you off in traffic and you get mad… they may never know it… it doesn’t really affect them, but it does affect you.  You could be having the best day of your life, someone cuts you off in traffic or says something mean to you, and then you are having the worst day.

One of the most important lessons I have learned from Bikram is to “let nothing steal your peace away from you.”  That’s one of the reasons this yoga is so great.  You are in a HOT room, with florescent lights, smelly carpet, looking at your imperfect reflection in the mirror, a teacher with a microphone is yelling at you to do more, your mind yelling at you to quit, the person next to you is driving you crazy, and then what…. you find a way to breathe in the chaos.  Despite everything going on around you, you let none of it take away your peace of mind.  It starts in the yoga room for 90 minutes at a time, but then before you know it…. You’re more patient in traffic, kinder to your kids; little things don’t set you off as easily.  Little by little the yoga starts to make its way into your everyday life.

One of my favorite stories is about a mom who had taken a few months break from the yoga.  When she walked in the door after being gone, she looked up at us with this sad face and said, “My kids sent me back to yoga.  They said I was a better mom- more patient, less moody.”

During the Holiday season I find the yoga to be more important than ever.  With added stress and added time with family it is a good test to see…. Can anything or anyone steal my peace?  When I’m not doing class regularly, my answer is YES, so I make it a point to go to yoga.  When I’m done with yoga I feel stronger, more centered, more stable, more peaceful.

Happy Holidays.  May nothing steal your peace away.