I have a friend I’ve been thinking about lately, in part because of the way she takes care of herself. She is not wealthy, not even close, but she is dedicated to taking focused, nurturing care of herself, regardless of the expense. She takes frequent (by my standards, though perhaps not by hers) days off – even when she is fully booked – if she feels the need for more rest. She is also consistently trying new modalities and techniques to feel better in her body and enhance her physical, mental, and spiritual health, spending attention, time, and money on this in ways that I feel challenged to contemplate duplicating. There are many people in my world who say and believe that they take excellent care of themselves, but not to the extent that she does. She prioritizes the care of her body in ways that might make some label her “over the top,” especially as she is not nearly as professionally successful as she might be, were she to push herself more, as so many of us have done and perhaps still do.
 
And this led me to another thought: what if she is the “normal” one, and the rest of us are the ones out of alignment? I had been sitting with this for some time when I read in Indu Arora’s Yoga: Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision, her discussion of Purushartha, “that which adds the ultimate meaning to life, which steers the life in a purposeful direction, a goal to pursue which is beneficial at an individual, community, as well as a cosmic level” (pg. 82). 
 
There are four Purusharthas, and Indu discusses the significance of them all, one of which is dharma. She then adds a quotation that had a profound impact on me: “’There is only one dharma, and that is to keep the Bhumi (Earth) and Deha (our body) healthy’” (pg. 83).
Could our dharma, or purpose, be that simple? This reminded me again of my friend, as it contrasts sharply with the behavior of so many of us, who put off rest and self-care by telling ourselves that we will soon enough have a week or two on vacation or an occasional evening or weekend of rest or self-care, a way to merely punctuate a hectic, busy, stressful schedule. I invite you, as we head toward Winter Solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year, the ultimate time for stillness and rest, to reflect upon Bhumi and Deha.
 
Consider joining us for our trauma-sensitive, modifications-friendly, somatically-infused Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. In this training, we explore ways of balancing profound growth with caring for Deha:

Would you like a shorter, more focused training immersion or an introduction to our training approach? Join us on February 26-28, 2022, for “Transforming Habits, Patterns, and Addictions” with Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD, Sita PK, and me, Dana Reece. This training is open to all humans who want to explore the role of patterns, habits, and addictions in their lives. We are modifications-friendly, trauma-sensitive, and inclusive; no physical yoga is required, and no meditation experience is necessary. We will offer practices of pranayama, yoga, and meditation, which you may participate in with us. We will teach from the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, but all lineages and levels are welcome. 22 CEU units are available.