Barbara Kurtz

Barbara Kurtz
Yoga Instructor & Yoga Therapist

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Practice for Today: Putting Others First ' by Eknath Easwaran

If we have been slowing down the pace of our life, practicing one-pointed attention, and loosening our likes and dislikes, we should begin to see the benefit of these new patterns in all our relationships.
John Donne said, “No man is an island.” That is why selfless relationships lead to happiness, while a self-centered life leads to loneliness and alienation. As human beings, it is our nature to be part of a whole, to live in a context where personal relationships are supportive and close.
Dwelling on ourselves builds a wall between ourselves and others. Those who keep thinking about their needs, their wants, their plans, their ideas, cannot help becoming lonely and insecure.
The simple but effective technique I recommend is learning to put other people first – beginning within the circle of our family and friends and co-workers, where there is already a basis of love on which to build. When husband and wife try to put each other first, for example, they are not only moving closer to each other. They are also removing the barriers of their ego-prison, which deepens their relationships with everyone else as well.
It is important to remember here that putting others first does not mean making yourself a doormat, or saying yes to whatever others want. It means putting the other person’s welfare before your own personal desires. That is what love is: the other person’s welfare means more to you than your own. And love often requires you to say no.
When we put others first, we deepen our own security and dramatically enrich our relationships.
For a full discussion of putting others first, read this chapter from Easwaran’s book Passage Meditation.

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Barbara teaches Viniyoga classes and has a private yoga therapy practice in Seattle on Queen Anne. She uses principles of Viniyoga, a highly adaptive style of yoga - using coordinated breath and movement in poses (asanas) which can be adapted to the experience level of the client and student. This allows for a highly enjoyable yoga experience which integrates body, mind and spirit.

Barbara has also an educational background in Ayurveda and uses Ayurvedic principles in her private practice in addition to Viniyoga to create yoga practices that are perfectly suited for the student's or client's constitution (dosha). Find out your dosha and visit the website of Ayurvedic Health and Massage center on information about Ayurveda, Ayurvedic services and products.