As someone whose Path is yoga, & who is a yoga teacher, I know that integrity is the most important attribute to have. If we have integrity, even when we make mistakes, it is way easier to deal with the after effects, & to be able to sleep with ourselves at night.As a yoga teacher, over many years, I have seen some yoga teachers scrambling for fame & fortune, promoting truth & peace, yet ignoring integrity in their words & actions. Then, invariably, there is an outcome at some stage, whereby things just stop working out. Students leave, other yoga teachers keep away. It is so sad to see, as yoga is not supposed to be about fame, power, money & although I always knew that it was not good to base one’s life as a yoga teacher on these, it was not until I decided to keep away from dodgy “yogis”, stop doing public classes, disassociate myself from bad organisations, it was not until then that I, paradoxically, began to actually make decent money teaching yoga. So strange, as I had also decided to go back to my firm conviction that being a spiritual yoga teacher (which I am), is not about money, & I already knew that being a spiritual yoga teacher is not all about oneself. It was a big decision, as yoga was my livelihood. It still is. It was just amazing how, that big decision of integrity within teaching, changed my circumstances. I had always been conscientious about integrity, but that bit was clearly missing. And I was resolute about my decision. Ever since, I have constantly been turning down requests for me to take public classes & seminars for yoga groups. And it feels right to do so. I have “done my time” there with public classes & teaching seminars at this & that yoga gathering.
Many years ago, when I was living in an Ashram, training & working hard, the spiritual energy was building up inside of myself, when I made a momentous conscious decision of integrity. I have never, ever, forgotten the exact moment, the exact time, exactly what was happening, when I made the best decision of my spiritual life: I decided to never, ever, go after power, nor to use it to get my own way nor to get what I wanted, nor to use it to benefit me in any way. NEVER!! EVER!! And I have resolutely stuck to this. (Luckily I wasn’t after power, fame, nor fortune, either)
Rather than talking “truths”, concepts, observances & conduct, rather than promoting peace, love (actually I write about all of these, so this is ironic!!!), to live with integrity is far more powerful spiritually. I know that when we live with integrity it is far more rewarding than fame, power, money. It feels better!! Intuitively it feels better. It also feels better in our mind, in our heart, in our gut. These three aspects: mind, heart, gut, are so important for our psyche, & in yoga, we are dealing with our whole psyche. It is worthwhile to remember this.
Integrity also accelerates our spirituality. It’s quite simple really: there is just more space for the spiritual energy to move around in & grow in intensity, & there are less mental/emotional blockages clogging our mental/emotional realm of our psyche, so our consciousness also has more room to grow & expand.