We should be determined to live for something.
May I suggest that it be creating joy for others,
sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind,
bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
― Leo Buscaglia
Out of the many wonderful and fascinating things which I love about the Barcelona Yoga Conference is that it is an amazing melting pot of people, cultures, and languages from far and wide, joining together in unison as one huge amalgamated soul. It is an outstanding opportunity to meet like-minded (and different-minded!) individuals, to breathe, sweat, chant, eat and sit together, and to be genuinely inspired by others.
In fact almost every time I have the privilege to attend a multi-national event (and particularly within the world of yoga) it never fails to amaze and fascinate me just how many different varieties of human beings we are. How completely, utterly and fabulously unique each and every one of us is.
An ambience of learning always stimulates and excites me. I am moved by changes deep within me as I find even greater motivation to keep taking steps forwards – sometimes little baby ones, sometimes bigger, more confident strides – on this magical mystery tour of life.
On a recent Yoga Therapy training course I had the pleasure to rejoice once more in the common aim of learning about humans and bodies and yoga, and to meet many beautiful souls and other fellow hungry minds! Once again I was awe-struck by so many wonderful initiatives, so many inspirational people.
One of the wonderful yoginis I met is Miriam Alonco Cuenca, yoga teacher and massage therapist at Quiro Yoga Satori and a true Karma Yogini. Miriam has created an event named “Happy People”, which as she explains reflects the Life which exists within us. To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, Miriam and her colleagues will be cycling a heart-shaped route throughout Barcelona, and to all those happy women she encounters: employees of cafes, restaurants and shops, or mothers with their families, she will be offering a free massage. Just because. A spontaneous natural and heart-felt gesture of love, gratitude and belief in others.
Karma Yoga is one of the four paths of yoga (along with Bhakti, Raja and Jnana). It is the Yoga of Action, a path to purify the heart in acting selflessly without thought of gain or reward, learning to sublimate the ego by detaching ourselves from the fruits of our actions.
As Swami Sivananda explained, we all possess and identify with intellect, heart, body and mind. So he advocated we should practice certain techniques from each path, whilst respecting different individual temperaments and tastes which may emphasize the practice of certain Yogas over others.
“Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities as a Sacrifice to the Lord of all works, offered to the eternal as Master of all the soul’s energies and austerities.” -Bhagavad Gita
The Barcelona Yoga Conference is also home to many hundreds of Karma yogis and one huge group who are especially dedicated to making sure our time at the event is as blissful as possible. The massive team of volunteers (in last year’s event clearly defined by their bright orange heart-embossed T-shirts), every day generously offer their time and efforts to allowing the event to run like clock-work, to help, assist and serve organizers, teachers and practioners.
May we take time every day to be grateful for those who so whole-heartedly give. May we be inspired to follow their example, because as the words of Chilean novelist Isabel Allende so clearly portray, “we only have what we give.”
“Because I’m happy….” is not just a catchy song, but a tune all of us can really sing.