Whoever coined the phrase “karma’s a bitch” was probably never introduced to karma yoga.
Today I want to share an under-appreciated type of yoga that could change your life (and mood!)
The sanskrit word karma means ‘action’. It has become a slang term for the law of cause and effect: what goes around, comes around. Karma yoga is the strand of yoga that calls for union through action. Ideally, the practitioner gives selflessly, completing the necessary task with full dedication and without any attachment to the outcome. As a spiritual path, karma yoga allows full commitment to the present moment, where the mundane can become transcendental and ordinary, extraordinary.
As a practical tool, karma yoga can be employed as an emotional outlet. It is a means to let off steam and let go of pent-up emotions when you have nowhere else to put them.
Scrub out your anger on your toilet bowl.
Vacuum your frustration out of your carpets.
Mow your sorrows out of your lawn – or your neighbour’s!
If you have need of an immediate emotional fix, more vigorous work will do the trick. Think yard-work, energetic housework or anything that requires breaking a sweat.
If your house and garden are in pristine condition, help out a neighbour or friend. Clean windows, fold laundry, take dogs for walks.. The possibilities are endless.
Karma Yoga is the exchange of your actions for expenditure of pent-up energy and emotion (energy-in-motion). Whatever the action may be, if it for yourself or for others, the important point is to pour all your efforts into it. The means is the end: even if you have no emotions to vent, karma yoga encompasses the sense of a job well-done for its own sake.
Give it a try next time you feel anger rising and see how your bad mood can transform into freshly dug vegetable beds, sparkling windows and a brighter new you. Bonus points if you also sing at the top of your lungs.
Peace and Light