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Yoga and Kindness

Once I used to be teaching in Idaho, and the category was stuffed with beginners. I noticed two older men behind the room, battling every move they made. I gave them my best despite their lack of promise, and treated them with kindness.

That evening, I learned that certainly one of the boys was chairman of the board of certainly one of the world’s top corporations. He had appreciated my kindness and efforts, and later arranged for me to deliver lectures to his executives, managers, and staff concerning the mind, integrity, and the workplace. As teachers, we’re consistently around people who find themselves struggling to do what we will do with relative ease. Our superior skills can draw us into the traps of the ego and we start becoming less respectful of others.



To counter this tendency, I consistently remind myself that my classes are crammed with skilled chefs, concert pianists, ballet dancers, marathon runners, expert swimmers, moms of 5 children, CEO’s, medical doctors, massage therapists…. Yes, I can do yoga well, and I can teach yoga well, yet each certainly one of them possesses qualities and skills I won’t ever own. If we consider that every student is excess of the fumbling body we see before us, our ego might be humbled, and our innate kindness will flourish. Kindness is respect, and respect is kindness.

This doesn’t mean that we coddle the scholar, or do whatever the scholar wants. Kindness means helping the scholar progress quickly with the least possible harm. Maximum progress, with minimum time and harshness.

Aadil Palkhivala 2008

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