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The Fourth A

By Christine Brahmi Romero

TUE DEC 29, 2020

The 3 A's of Master Sivananda's sage advice to yogis everywhere are "Adapt. Adjust. Accommodate." He didn't relate those just to asana practice, but for the entirety of our lives.

There is a pandemic. We miss our in-person classes, but we adapt by seeing each other on Zoom. Our vacation plans were canceled, but we adjust by taking long walks exploring new surroundings in our city. While hope is on the horizon, we must accommodate by wearing masks, washing hands and watching our distance.

Perhaps more difficult, though, family and friends may behave recklessly or express opinions regarding politics and polemics that range from puzzling to heartbreaking.

How do we hold our Peace within? The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali recommend pratipaksha bhavana – replacing a negative with a positive. Master Sivananda continues, "Just as you remove at once from your shoes a pebble that troubles you, so also you must be able to remove at once any tormenting thought from your mind."

We might limit our time, not allow ourselves to be drawn in to arguments, and continue loving the person. In yogic fashion, we might rededicate ourselves to practice and meditation or to Karma Yoga (Selfless Service). To apply those 3 A's, consider a 4th A, which must be 1st: Accept. To accept that we will not change other's opinions, to accept what is, gives us the grace to move into the 3 A's. 

For more of Master Sivananda's thoughts on the 3 A's, read here


Christine Brahmi Romero