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Our Yoga Garden by Mindy Arbuckle
Spring is here and we are ready to get back to taking care of ourselves.  Somehow in the past, you have set this intention but never quite do as much toward it as you expected. Does ever seem like life gets in the way of all the good things we try to do for ourselves?  Why is it that what is best for us usually gets pushed to the side when life gets hectic?  This world we live in today can be busy and difficult.  Don’t feel like you are alone.  Thousands of years ago Arjuna was feeling the same way in the story of the Bhagavad Gita.  Our yoga practice makes us feel so great when we are regular and consistent.  But then something happens that distracts us from it and we get out of the habit.  It can feel so difficult to come back.
In the story of the Bhagavad Gita Krishna, God incarnate, is telling Arjuna how to live a good life and find samadhi (eternal bliss) through the practice of yoga.  Arjuna (who represents all of us here on earth) is feeling a little overwhelmed and asks:

O Krishna! What happens to a person unsuccessful in yoga – one who has devotedly tried to meditate but has been unable to control himself because his mind kept running away during yoga practice?

Doesn’t the yogi perish like a sundered cloud if he finds not the way to Brahman (Spirit) – being thus unsheltered in Him and steeped in delusion, sidetracked from both paths (the one of God-union and the one of right activities)?  (6.37-38) [1]

Arjuna feels discouraged and asks for guidance.  Like Arjuna we can feel discouraged with life and with our yoga practice.  We can feel deluded that yoga doesn’t matter that much.  We can easily be sidetracked from the good habit of practicing yoga regularly and consistently.
Each spring when we till the ground for cultivating gardens of flowers and food we must first destroy the lush growth of useless weeds.  With the weeds gone the earth looks barren and desolate until the hidden potential of the seed is developed and they begin to sprout up in to healthy plants and produce a bountiful harvest.  The field of consciousness is similarly overgrown with weeds of meaningless thoughts and sense pleasures – habits that in the beginning are very difficult to forsake.
Many of us would rather do anything to while away our time except to practice yoga or meditate.  Observe the hours we spend watching tv, aimless chit chatting, reading meaningless novels, movies, etc.  When we ask ourselves to weed our gardens and plant seeds of yoga, we may feel like our lives lack the customary weedy abundance of useless activities. At this moment we must cast away feelings of doubt and uneasiness and have faith that our field that has been sown with the seeds of yoga and will produce long lived trees bearing fruits of health and happiness.
In response to Arjuna’s plight Krishna responds:
O Arjuna, My son! A performer of good actions never meets destruction.  Whether in this world or beyond, he falls not into evil plight. (6.40) [2]

Krishna reassures Arjuna that no matter how many times a yogi falls down in the path of yoga he will ultimately find his goal.  A yogi devotes himself to good actions that override the weeds of pointless sense pleasures.  While the non-yogi caters to the pleasures of his senses, his ego and useless habits feed the weeds that starve out the hope of growing the trees of true inner happiness.
No matter how far we go from our yoga and meditation practice we should never be driven to despair by our failures.  Instead, we should be glad that we possess enough fortitude to make the yoga effort.  All of our good inclinations and experiences of the past will be causes for further development in the future.
When life gets hectic instead of allowing all those weeds to grow, take a moment to pull the weeds your personal garden and come back to your yoga practice.  You will always be welcomed and find that your seeds of happiness will flourish.
[1] The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India’s Universal Science of God-realization, Paramahansa Yogananda, Self Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA, 2007.
[2] ibid.
If you have questions along the way, I am here to serve.
Many blessings and joy.
Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Mindy ArbuckleMindy Arbuckle
Mindy is an inspired yogini searching for and sharing the truth of yoga.  Follow her on her facebook page for insights and how to live your yoga daily.