Weekly Intention – THE VEDAS

The Vedas, some of the oldest known texts in human existence, comprise the deepest layer of Sanskrit literature. Captured so long ago, the messages remain relevant today. These texts speak of the importance of honoring the earth and of living with charity and kindness. One passage that feels particularly resonant is from the first book of the Vedas, the Rig Veda, and reads, “One can emancipate herself only by treading on the path of truth.”

It is amazing to me that for thousands of years, humans have recognized the difficulties of pursuing truth and the virtues and rewards of walking that path. In some ways I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone, and never have been, in struggling to live a more honest and accepting life. In the midst of grieving (the place I am now) or celebration and happiness – basically any overwhelming sense of emotion – the door to untruths and self-deception is flung wide open. It is easy to lose sight of what is real in favor of the seductive promise of heightened emotions – positive or negative in nature.

The mat is a place to dial down the sea of your feelings and to observe yourself with equanimity, maybe even detachment, that can make the path towards truth a little easier to tread. Take a deep breath. Have a seat. Start to clear your mind of anything but the present moment because that very instant, which will disappear as quickly as it finds you, is your chance to glimpse your truth. And if you miss it, that’s ok. Try again. And again. And again.

Sam Jacobs

Chief Product Officer / Teacher, Ritual Hot Yoga

Weekly Intention – Bhagavad Gita

To honor the practice of yoga, understand its roots. The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred text, associated with Hinduism, in which the spiritual and mental components of yoga play out in the storied interactions between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. The lessons are diverse and varied, and the “heart” of the Gita is different depending on which school of thought is interpreting the text. 

Different sections and lessons resonate most deeply with me as my life ebbs and flows.  Today, I am wrestling with what it means to love, and what is means to forgive, and this is the verse I come to: “If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love. If you want to see heroic, look to those who can forgive.” Love is the bravest act. Forgiveness is the tool of a hero. These are not my default positions, but ones I have to study in order to manifest in my life.

As you work through the ideas of the Gita and within the Gita on the mat this week, what do your wrestle with? Is there a verse that resonates with you? An idea that you find not simply through the body, but through the act of studying the reasons why you move your body through the sacred geometry of your practice.

Sam Jacobs

Chief Product Officer / Teacher, Ritual Hot Yoga