I need a raise!

Employee and boss having lunch together

Employee: There is something that is bothering me. Can we discuss this over lunch?

Boss: Sure, I am just headed out for lunch. Why don’t you join me?

After they are seated at the restaurant

Employee: Well, as you know, I have been an employee of this prestigious firm for over ten years.

Boss: Yes.

Employee: I won’t beat around the bush. I would like a raise. I currently have four companies after me and so I decided to talk to you first.

Boss: A raise? I would love to give you a raise, but this is just now is not the right time.

Employee: I understand your position, and I know that the current economic down turn has had a negative impact on sales, but you must also take into consideration my hard work, pro- activeness and loyalty to this company for over a decade.

Boss: Taking into account these factors, and considering I don’t want to start a brain drain, I’m willing to offer you a ten percent raise and an extra five days of vacation time. How does that sound?

Employee: Great! It’s a deal! Thank you, sir!

Boss: Before you go, just out of curiosity, what companies were after you?

Employee: Oh, the Electric Company, Gas Company, Water Company and the Mortgage Company!

Source: Somebody sent it to us by e-mail

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I felt that yoga was key to my happiness!

Picture of Brian and his daughter
This story has been submitted by Brian Granader and is his story of his journey into yoga. Brian is a yoga teacher and owner of www.redlotusyoga.com:

My name is Brian Granader. In 2002 I had just completed my 10th year as a Residential Realtor in the Oakland County Michigan area. I was highly successful in regard to the number of homes sold, dollars in commissions and reputation in the area. Yet, highly failed in my degree of happiness. I had been practicing yoga for about a year at this time and truly enjoyed it. I found more healing through yoga than conventional therapy and felt it was a key to my happiness.

I took a teacher training course to deepen my practice and afterward found I had a natural skill at teaching. I taught part time for a while and still helped people buy and sell homes. At some point I asked myself, “If I was going to die in six months, what would I rather be doing?” Yoga was my answer. I picked a date to finish real estate, gave my business to my assistant and began teaching full time. Within a year I purchased a yoga studio. I was newly married at that time and making the decision to be a yoga teacher did not help that marriage. I had to make a choice at one point. Go back to real estate or continue being a yoga teacher. My greatest fear was selling myself short. In the end, I chose yoga and my marriage failed.

Had I stayed in Real estate I would have either had a heart attack, cancer or had some other major calamity. The decision to not wait for something like this to force me to make a life change was difficult and yet the best thing I had ever done. I would have to say yoga saved my life.

Since then I have a thriving yoga studio and teacher training program called Red Lotus Yoga in Rochester Hills, MI. A lovely wife and 10 month old daughter!

Life is never perfect, yet yoga and meditation helps me keep things more balanced and happier than I have ever been!

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Yoga is a good way to be real!

This is a story of Lisa Danylchuk on how she found yoga and why she teaches yoga. Once you go past the first minute of “commercials” you will find the video coming alive. We found it hard to view the video without choking up. Lisa says that yoga has helped her heal personal injury and personal loss. But what separates Lisa from most of us is that she sees little difference between internal healing and external healing: The healing of divisions and fissures in our society. This is why she devotes so much of her energy in reaching out to outreach populations of our communities.

You can support Lisa and her work by spreading the word. Click the like button or share the story in e-mails.

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The story of Ekalavya

Ekalavya Picture cutting his thumb off
Ekalavya self-taught himself archery, so much so that he became the world’s best archer. When a renowned guru of archery discovered this he was not too happy. This is an ancient story that throws light on the guru-disciple relationship. When you understand this relationship you will understand the driving force behind Krishnamacharya’s actions.

The story of Ekalavya is from the time of Mahabharata the great Indian epic. Some scholars have dated this to around 3000 BC. In this period Dronacharya was a renowned teacher and guru. He had a school in the forest where he trained children of royal descent. Ekalavya came from a poor family and lived near Dronacharya’s school. He wanted to be an archer and learn from the famous guru himself.

When Ekalavya approached Dronacharya with a request that he accept him as his student, he was rebuffed. “My school is only for royalty. I cannot allow a commoner like you study in my school and mix with the royal kids,” Dronacharya told him.

Ekalavya was not easily dissuaded. Since archery is taught outdoors he hid in the bushes and observed Dronacharya teach. He then went back to his hut and practiced what he had learnt. He had built a statue of Dronacharya and practiced relentlessly in front of the statue. Due to his skill and dedicated effort he went on to become a very good archer.

One day when Ekalavya was resting in his hut the barking of a dog disturbed him. He skillfully shot multiple arrows into the mouth of the dog such that the dog was not hurt but his mouth was so stuffed with arrows that he was unable to bark. The surprised dog ran away with a mouthful of arrows stuffed in his mouth. Soon the dog ran into some students of Dronacharya. They were amazed to see such a fine example of skilled archery and took the dog to their guru.

Dronacharya realized that this was the work of a great archer and was anxious to look for him. He immediately set out into the forest and very soon came upon Ekalavya’s hut. When confronted Ekalavya confessed that he had learnt archery from him by hiding in the bushes and practicing by his statue. Dronacharya then said, “Since you admit that you learnt your skills from me, it means that you now owe me guru-dakshina!”

Guru-Dakshina is the way by which a guru is compensated by his students. This is done only after the study is over. A student is honor bound to comply with whatever guru-dakshina the guru asks for.

Ekalavya was thrilled to hear Dronacharya’s words. This meant that finally the great guru had accepted him as his student. He fell to the feet of the guru and said, “It will be my honor to fulfill your wishes, my master. Please tell me what you want!”

“Very well then,” Dronacharya said in a firm voice. “I need the thumb of your right hand!”

Ekalavya was stunned when he heard this. Giving up the thumb of his right hand would mean an end to his career as an archer. That is all he had dreamt of all his life. After his initial shock wore off, Ekalavya realized that being a great archer was secondary to his duties as a disciple. He immediately chopped off his thumb and laid it next to the feet of his guru.

It is said that Dronacharya had made a commitment to the king to make Arjuna, one of the prince studying under him, as the world’s best archer. He asked for Ekalavya’s thumb to make sure that he kept his commitment to the king. Ekalavya would otherwise have easily beat Arjuna in archery.

This was the beginning of the fall from grace for Dronacharya. In the ensuring war of Mahabharata Dronacharya found himself on the wrong side of the war. As a commander of the army he was completely outmaneuvered and eventually killed by a bit player. His side lost the war. History now remembers him, not as a great guru, but as a teacher of the princes who fought in the epic war of Mahabharata.

This story illustrates the burden a student feels in meeting’s a guru’s wishes in the guru-dakshina a guru asks for. When Krishnamacharya’s guru asked, as his guru-dakshina, that Krishnamacharya get married and devote his life to spread yoga, this is what he was honor-bound to do. This is why Krishnamacharya turned down many lucrative offers for religious posts or posts with Maharajas. He instead dedicated his life to popularize yoga in deference to his guru’s wish.

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Modern yoga’s foundation of sacrifice

Picture of service and sacrifice
The story of modern day hatha-yoga (the yoga of postures) is a story of personal sacrifice. It starts with Krishnamacharya’s guru. It is not everyday that you get a student of the caliber of Krishnamacharya. Especially when you are living in a cave in remote Tibet! Then after having devoted seven years of your life to this exceptional student you finally have your chance to ask a price for your effort. What would you ask for? Would you ask for an expensive gift? Or would you have asked for an expensive education for your children? Krishnamacharya’s guru asked nothing for himself. Instead he asked that Krishnamacharya get married and devote his life to spread hatha-yoga.

On the same lines Krishnamacharya had a lucrative career ahead of him. He was widely recognized as brilliant and rising star. He could have easily accepted any one of the many offers to become a head of a religious order and could have paid lip service to his guru’s wishes. He would have had a easy life with social prestige and a life-long assured line of devotees. He chose instead to tread the difficult path of popularizing hatha-yoga, something that nobody was interested in at that time.

The tradition of service and sacrifice continued with Krishnamacharya’s students. Both B.K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois went through extremely difficult times but never wavered in their commitment to yoga. Indra Devi gave up her high-flying social life and a career in movies to become a yoga teacher. Both Desikachar and A. G. Mohan gave up lucrative careers to become yoga teachers.

This tradition of sacrifice and service continues till today. Thousands of yoga teachers have given up moneymaking careers elsewhere to become yoga teachers with very little remuneration and even loss of social standing. When any of us goes to a yoga class or benefit from doing yoga at home, let us take a moment to acknowledge the long chain of sacrifices that has bought yoga to our door step.

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