Thank you to everyone who came out to practice with me today. Really nice to see you all.
Today in class, in my Dharma talk, I shared the story of the 3 debts, and the origins of the sun salutations in yoga. This story is from an article I wrote for LA Yoga, a few years ago. If you want to have a look at this article, or any of the others I have written, please visit the Selected Articles Page on my website, and check out some of the articles I've had published: www.garthhewittyoga.com/selected-articles.
My teacher, Mr. Ramaswami, told me this story in an advanced training program with him a few years ago. Whenever I tell it I try to get out of the way and imagine the students are hearing it directly from him.
The Three Debts:
We are all born owing three debts--
The first debt we owe is to our parents for giving our Soul a vehicle to travel through in this lifetime. We repay this debt by honoring our parents, living a good life, and, if it's part of our karma, having our own children, and providing a vehicle for another Soul. The old joke is that you don't want to grow up to be a bad person and have people curse your parent's for the day you were born.
The second debt we owe is to the sun. Without the sun we wouldn't be alive for very long. We repay this debt by thanking the sun every morning. This is where the sun salutations come from in a yoga practice. The sun salutations are a gratitude practice. Surya is one of the name's for the sun. It also means debt. Every morning we offer our heart up to the sun and bow down to say thank you. We also connect the idea of the sun, as the brightest thing in our world, to the light inside each of us that we want to awaken. The seat of pure consciousness in the body is at the center of the heart. This is also where the first cell was created in your body.
The third debt we owe is to our teachers and to their teachers, and the original teachers. We are so lucky to have this incredible yoga technology. If we trace back our lineage, all the way back, all the way back, to the original teachers, we can only imagine how hard it would have been for them to be going through the darkness without a path to follow. We have it so easy compared to them. We just have to find a teacher and follow in their footsteps. The path is already there for us. We owe a debt to the original teachers who created the path we are walking on and then came back and taught others how to follow the path and find their way through the darkness. We honor our teachers and their teachers by being good students and by passing on what we have learned to others, and sharing the knowledge of yoga, keeping the practice alive. Some yoga traditions make the disciple take an oath that they will pass on all that they are learning to at least one other person in their lifetime.
Happy Thanksgiving! Grateful for all of you. Namaste.