Karma Is Where Change Happens

30 05 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 27, 2012

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

Have you seen the TV show, My Name is Earl? I saw an episode when it first aired. I do not follow the series, but the concept stuck with me. The show begins with Earl explaining the premise for the series:

 

“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner: karma. That’s when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”

 

Earl has been in and out of jail and seems to have been living a life of criminal behavior, until he wins the lottery. While out celebrating his win, he is hit by a car. During his hospital stay, under the influence of pain killers, he hears about karma on a TV playing nearby. Soon after that, Earl decides he needs to make a life change and heal his karma. He makes a list of everyone he has treated unfairly and commits to repairing the damages. After his first good deed, he surprisingly finds the lost lottery ticket. It must be a sign that his karma has changed. So, with the help of his lottery winnings, he proceeds onward with his list.

 

The karmic concept may seem confusing. What is it really? In Sanskrit, it means “action”. Whatever we think about, do, or say determines our karma. In the yoga tradition, karma is threefold: our current actions, the effect of our past actions, and what we could call our destiny. This is where it gets interesting. Our actions do not only shape our karma, but anyone else touched in some way by our actions is also affected. Then each person’s karma reaches others and exponentially spreads beyond what we could ever imagine.

Back to Earl: as Earl continues to right his wrongs, his motives appear selfish, in that, he is only trying to improve his karma. However, Earl shows signs of change toward a sense of morality and ethics. He no longer is drawn to the criminal behavior to attain his means. So, from the yoga perspective, karma is where change happens. What we have done in the past creates our lives today. What we do today creates our lives in the future.

Look at your life. Would you like to proceed in a new direction? Change one action, thought, or comment, just one.  It will change your path in the direction of your desires.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Measure food servings.

Body: Balance on one foot for one minute, repeat on the other leg. Repeat 5 times. This is a good core exercise.

Soul: Sit quietly, eyes closed, and take 10 deep breaths. You can do this anytime, anywhere, to relieve anxiety and clear your thoughts.

 

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy

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