Today I filled out some paperwork for my left rotator cuff repair surgery upcoming next week. Answering “no” to a long list of medical conditions and medications, I feel really grateful for clean living. This is the result of thirty years of eating well, nine years of yoga, and about five years of a renewed understanding of healthy eating and other daily practices. A mindful life that is truly thoroughgoing has its rewards.
I am not feeling superior, gloating, or patting myself on the back. It’s truly a “there but for Grace go I” moment. I feel lucky. What’s more, I often consider my efforts imperfect. Yet here is a clear difference. Even the smallest shifts, with which we may well struggle, have tremendous benefit. This is not a unique experience. Other yogis to whom I have spoken also report similar things.
How much more true could this be for the intangible benefits of practice, all of those subtle ways in which our behavior changes and we become different people? Are we more resilient as a result? I think the answer is yes, and that we need to look more deeply into this as well.