giving back – karma yoga

After a week to relax and renew in Madeira, I’m now back teaching my lovely yoga friends at my weekly classes., at the Piggott gym, at Deloitte and the UCEM, amongst others.

While I was away, I was again able to share the benefits of yoga with an early morning class for my fellow hotel guests.  We’d planned to practise outside by the sea,, but the weather interfered – as it often does – so we had to retreat indoors.  One brave gentleman joined a group of ladies from around Europe for some gentle Hatha yoga before breakfast.  I think some of them were surprised to find out I was a fellow guests and one of them wanted to know if I’d be around for another class the following week.  If my break had been longer, I’d have happily obliged!

You may be wondering why I arranged to do this.  After all, I was on holiday taking a break and there was no financial incentive for me to do this.  Simply,  I just wanted to share the benefits of yoga with anyone who wanted to join me.    I suppose it’s a little way of giving something back.   You might say it was a bit of karma yoga.

Karma yoga is yoga of mindful action or union (one of the meanings of yoga) by action and service.   You may have heard of karma, the law of action and reaction: good deeds attract goodness to us and bad deeds attracts ill and everything we do has a result and a reaction, cause and effect.  Nothing happens without a reason and what we do now has a bearing on what happens in the future, so, to some extent, we govern our own future by what we do now.  Karma yoga advocates that, by being quiet and opening up our intuition, our actions in life will become clear. A karma yogi gives his or her service willingly, selflessly and with no thought for reward as the work is rooted in love and the reward of the task is in its performance alone.

There are many people who give up their time and effort regularly for the benefit of others in many ways without monetary reward.  Their satisfaction comes from the work alone.  Of course, this does not detract from the fact that most of us – apart from the very few – need to work to earn money to enable us to eat, put a roof over our heads, look after our families and then seek to do the things in life we enjoy.  That is the way the world works.   However, sometimes, it’s good to be able to give a little back in whatever way we can as and when we are able.



© Sarah Swan (3 December 2017)