Clear Eyes, Full Hearts…

I just started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I realize I’m way behind on this one, but I can’t stop watching the show. I can easily watch three episodes in one sitting when I have the time.

Where I grew up, you were either for Auburn or Alabama, and if you didn’t care, like I didn’t, there was something wrong with you. Eventually, when I was in high school, and started going to the games, I began to get a little interested in sports.  I never understood why people got so excited about a game they weren’t actually playing, though.  Friday Night Lights sort of helped me understand that. I’m a fan of the Dillon Panthers, which is a fictional team. I want them to do well. But it’s not for the reasons that most sports fans probably care about their favorite teams.

I’m moved every time I watch an episode. I’ve really grown to care for the characters as if they are real. Some of them annoy me, some of them charm me, but I really want good things to happen for them. A lot of it has to do with the writing, and the excellent acting on the show. Without exception, the performances are spot-on.

If you haven’t seen it, you should really watch it. It’s amazing.

What does any of this have to do with yoga? I find it quite relevant, if you’ll bear with me for a moment.

The guys on the team are really there for each other. The encouragement and support the players show for their team-mates is really inspiring.  It made me think.  What would it be like if students in a yoga class were like that? If we went out on a limb for each other, and encouraged each other? If we took the time to get to know each other a little bit, and to  really create a community? I used to see that in the classes I took in New York about 10 years ago. It’s different now. Yoga isn’t what it was then, which is both positive and negative in many ways.

I am working to bring a sense of fun, a sense of community and a team spirit to my classes. I would love for you to come and be a part of my fun little group of Friday Night yogis. We laugh, we chat, and we practice together in a little room, and we learn from each other. It’s a small group of lovely people, and there is definitely room for you in the class. I’d love to see you there tonight.

The second thing I am always moved by on Friday Night Lights is the motto of the team: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. It speaks to me. And it speaks truth. If we are open, if we see the world through clear eyes….we are in a minority. To me, this means looking at things, and seeing them as they are, and not judging them so much as accepting them. To look towards acceptance is challenging, because sometimes it is very easy to be in the heat of the moment. It’s easy to react. It’s always easy to tell yourself “My boyfriend just said something shitty to me, and I hate him. The relationship is over.” That’s easy. But is that seeing the incident with clear eyes? Or is it reacting in the heat of the moment? Yes, it sucks when people say things that hurt your feelings. And if someone is abusive, that’s one thing. But an off the cuff remark might have been said when your partner’s eyes weren’t clear. Maybe they were reacting to something else. Yoga teaches us to absorb first. To breathe in, and then process before we react. To react with clear eyes, from the place of the witness, rather than to fly off the handle. So the next time someone says something you don’t like, take a breath. Look at the situation with the clear sight that reflection affords you, and then say what you need to say.

Full hearts. What fills your heart? What makes you passionate? What gives you joy? Are you doing those things? Are you connected to people, to books, to places that inspire you? Do you make a point of listening to your favorite music? Do you like to cook? If you do, when was the last time you bought yourself a great cookbook, and tried out one of the dishes? Do you like art? If so, when did you spend a rainy Saturday wandering around a museum, soaking in the inspiration of the Impressionist wing at the Met, for example? When we live in a place of inspiration, we are fired up, ready to do something, to create, to teach, to inspire others. Looking for love? Are you treating yourself well, and making yourself a priority? The best way to find love is to enjoy your life as it is! Do things that make you happy. That full heart makes your light shine brighter. Go out and get something out of your life!

Then you can’t lose.

Namaste, y’all.