Saturday, May 07, 2005

Unbridled Spirit, Jack

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby today? It was great fun. An exciting finish. Way to go, Giacomo.

I noticed the state of Kentucky put some serious money into an advertising campaign that touted The Bluegrass State as a place of "unbridled spirit." Get it?

The irony is, nothing about the Kentucky Derby is "unbridled," especially the horses. Everything those horses do is precisely controlled, measured, and dictated...24 hours a day.

Guess what? Nothing about attaining spiritual freedom is unbridiled either.

You are like a horse in the Kentucky Derby. If you want a free spirit, what the ancient ones called moksha, you've got to restrain yourself. One of the paths to freedom laid out by Patanjali (ashtanga, the eight-limbed path) starts with setting boundaries. These boundaries are called yamas.

The greatest of these restraints is non-harming, ahimsa. Start there. Start with yourself. When you practice today, impose this limit on your behavior. Don't do anything that is harsh or injurious. Don't do anything that ignores your highest good.

I'm not saying you should do nothing. I'm not saying you should avoid intense sensations. You'll have to do yoga. But, do your practice with attention and intention. When you notice you're dominating your body, back off.

Primum non nocere
. First, do no harm. It's the Hippocratic oath, too.

The ads say you can experience unbridled spirit if you're inside the borders of the great state of Kentucky. Patanjali, and all truth-tellers, recognize that true freedom of spirit exists only inside the borders of the Great Commandment, that you love one another.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., Did you catch the yoga connection to the Kentucky Derby winner today? Giacomo's owner, Jerry Moss, co-founded A&M records. He's produced records for probably one of the most well-known practitioners of yoga in the world, Sting. Moss named his thoroghbred after Sting's son, Jack, nicknamed Giacomo.

p.p.s., 'Ashtanga' is made up of two Sanskrit word roots, ashta (eight) and anga (limb). You'll learn how to count in Sanskrit (eka, dwi, tri, chatura...) when you participate in my Experience Sanskrit workshop. Math will never be the same. Click here to find out more about our Experience Sanskrit workshop coming up June 25, 2005 at the Saint Louis YogaSource. By the way, the pose ashtavakrasana means 'crooked in eight places pose.' Believe it or not, most of the people who participate in the Experience Sanskrit workshop can do the pose before they go home at the end of the day, if they want to.

crooked in eight places pose Posted by Hello

p.p.p.s., Speaking of do yoga, do you have an orange I DO YOGA wristband from Click over there now and get yours. One dollar from each purchase goes to the American Red Cross for aid to Tsunami victims. The yoga community has donated over $5,800 through this project. Thank you for your efforts to help those in need.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved by Mo Yoga LLC.


Blogger Rajiv Ramaratnam said...

Hi Kevin,
Apologies for the delayed response. To refresh your memory, you had left a comment at
First of all, thanks for visiting and secondly, if by chance you visit the Boston area around the 21st, the non-profit I belong to is conducting a FREE day-long Yogathon at Quincy Massachusetts. Please visit for more info. Once again, thanks for visting.

4:52 PM  

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