30 Days of Yogi Wisdom – Day 14 featuring Swami Rama

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“You can learn to control your mind very well — because it is yours, but do not try to control the minds of others and make them dependent. When one becomes dependent, one suffers so you should learn to be independent, and you should not make others dependent upon you.”

Through yoga we must learn to develop our minds and never stop learning. Swami Rama refers to the mind like a pet, something to tame or control. He encourages us to practice the control of our minds but not the minds of others. Swami Rama’s quote reminds me of the old adage, ‘give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’

There’s additional wisdom in this quote for yoga teachers because when we are teaching a class, we must remember that we are not showing them the one and only way to be with yoga but acting only as a guide.We can’t control it for them. If we spend all of our energy and time trying to teach students perfect asana, how they should feel or even that there is only one approach to yoga, we are doing them a disservice and setting ourselves up for disappointment. We can’t expect our students to interface with yoga exactly the way we do. We should aspire for them to have their own experience that is not dependent on us. I remember how profoundly this resonated with me when Robert Busch shared his tip in our 108 YTT Tips series. See it here. 

How do you interpret this quote? Have you ever wasted time trying to control or change someone’s mind? We’d love to hear about it over on our Facebook Group! (if you’re not a member yet, just click join)


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