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The Guest House

I am a fairly active yoga person. I do it for my exercise release, etc. but I mostly do it because it is basically my therapy. It helps to calm my mind and body, equalizing all stress and anxieties. It’s kind of like going to church, entering a quiet space where you can think about nothing but your body, reflecting on how it feels and what it does and who you are.

There aren’t any existential crises to be had, no, but there are revelations. There are moments where I am like, “Damn: that’s some deep shit I need to pay attention to.” You learn things like slowing down and embracing mistakes. You find that you only have to focus on yourself and that there is never room for criticism. You learn how to take risks and challenge yourself, through strength and love instead of bullying.

This all sounds like hippie shit, I am aware. And it is! Which is why I want to take things even hippier and share a poem an instructor read to our class this week. She closed class with this, as we lay eyes closed soaking in the work we had done. It’s called The Guest House and is by Jelaluddin Rumi. The reason why she shared this was to close a class where she stressed that our bodies are like buildings, homes, places where the decoration changes and where the infrastructure needs to be worked on. Taking time for yourself—to do yoga or to just reflect or whatever is “your yoga”—is working on your house. The whole “guest” element gets at you and your body only temporarily be together. You exist beyond your body: we’re only here for a limited amount of time.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Namaste. Now go fix your guest house or buy one or something. #Yoga

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