Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thankful for Belief

Happy Thanksgiving!

This morning I taught a fun yoga class at Show Me Yoga Center for all comers, many of whom I'd never met before. It was great! What a wonderful way to start this day dedicated to gratitude for our many blessings.

After class I overheard one student talking to her friend about knee pain. When I offered to help her, she declined. She said her knee was hurting even before she came to class. "It'll go away," she said.

Honestly, I didn't know what made her knee hurt. But I did know what we'd done in class and what might have aggravated her knee pain.

If you had knee pain, what might cause you to refuse an offer of help that might make the pain go away?

Maybe she was afraid I was going to ask her to do something she didn't want to do. Maybe she thought she was taking up too much of my time and her problem wasn't worth the trouble. Maybe she didn't like me and she wanted to get away from me as fast as she possibly could! I don't know.

Here's what happened next. I backed up, gave her some space and sat down on the ground. I invited her to sit down in front of me. I taught her how to quickly re-set her knee so that the bones in her lower leg line up better with the bone in her upper leg.

You can learn how to do this in a Daily Yoga Tip I wrote back in May at

Once she stood up, she was surprised to realize the pain had diminished.

I'm guessing she didn't accept my first offer of help because she didn't believe I could help her.

It's completely justifiable, too. Because Americans are so totally immersed in advertising, it's nearly impossible to not be let down. We've all experienced buyer's remorse. Most of the claims we hear just don't come true. We're skeptical.

So when someone you don't really know offers you help, you're justified in doubting.

Patanjali says that doubt is one of the predictable obstacles that will show up on your yoga journey. He says in Book I of the YogaSutras:

30. The obstacles that distract thought are disease, apathy, doubt,
carelessness, indolence, dissipation, false vision, failure to attain a firm
basis in yoga, and restlessness.

Doubt keeps us from action. Doubt keeps us from trying. Doubt shuts off the possibility of a better future before it even starts.

If you can keep doubt away, you can practice yoga long enough to find out for yourself the many benefits that are available to you...including, at times, relief from knee pain. You won't have to worry about trusting someone who wants to mislead you.

It's Thanksgiving Day. I'm thankful today for my teachers. I'm grateful that they selflessly shared yoga with me. And I'm grateful that I was able to stick around in the yoga rooms long enough to come to BELIEVE for myself. That belief keeps me practicing and sharing yoga with others today.

I'm also thankful to you. Thanks for reading this Daily Yoga Tip. You inspire me.

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

Kevin Perry

p.s., Pennsylvanians, it's official! We're coming to Twisted Guru Yoga Studio in Downingtown, PA on February 4, 2006 at 9:00 am. Enroll today in the Experience Sanskrit workshop at It's only $50. For you procrastinators, the fee goes up to $65 in January.

Experience Sanskrit is a fun, four-hour workshop designed to make the Sanskrit names of yoga poses unforgettable. Learn more at or

p.p.s. Why do people get a passport, get on a plane, fly to Mexico, and take a water taxi to Yelapa? They do it because they believe they'll have a fantastic, affordable vacation and incredible yoga experience in a place of unmatched beauty. Join us February 18-25, 2006 on the Experience Paradise yoga vacation. Your room, meals and yoga are $900 per person, double occupancy for the whole week. See for details.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


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