Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Power of Kindness

Here in Michigan, we're in the middle of a pretty brutal snowstorm. It's the kinda weather that makes you want to curl up under a blanket (preferably a Khasto... people who come to my Yin/Yang Yoga classes know these blankets well) and read a delightful book. I've just completed one written by an Italian philosopher and psychotherapist, Piero Ferrucci. The name of the book is The Power of Kindness. It's only about 250 pages long; a quick & easy read!

Each chapter focuses on different ways to partake in acts of kindness. In no particular order, some of the elements of kindness according to Ferrucci include:
* Patience
* Flexibility
* Gratitude
* Loyalty
* Joy
* Empahty
* Mindfulness
* Honesty
* Humility... the list goes on and on because acts of kindness are not exactly limited to just a few handfull of elements.

Initially, I was so frustrated by the snowstorm. I can't even snowboard as my car is stuck in a pile of snow. Our family dog is so old, he is unable to join me on hikes and I had to cancel all classes due to the weather. Then, as I lay tight in the fetal position and read Ferrucci's words it occurred to me that this snowstorm is a chance for me to be blissfully kind to my body.

Monday's Guided Meditation class was all about the power of patience. I read parts of the "Patience" chapter and shared a fascinating story about a group of American scientists who were working in a rural area of Mexico. They hired a group of Mexican porters to carry all of their scientific equipment. During the long, arduous trek, the porters suddenly stopped walking. Initially, the scientists were confused, then grew frustrated and eventually they were irate. They were in a rush to reach their work-site and furious at the illiterate Mexican porters who clearly didn't understand their situation. Then, abruptly, the porters at once picked up their respective loads and began walking again. When asked by one of the scientists why the porters stopped, one of them replied, "We were walking so fast, we had to rest to allow our souls to catch up to us."

Days like this... when the snow hits hard and unexpectedly... it rocks us to our core: we begin thinking about all the errands we should be running, but are incapable of completing. Maybe it's just Mother Nature's way of providing us with an opportunity to allow our souls to catch up to us.

Book complete, my body rested and my soul all caught up: I think it's time to modify a Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) with a Snow Salutation! I'm excited to introduce this during tomorrow night's Heated Power Yoga Class!!

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