The Discipline of Bees

I did my monthly hive check today.  Both my hives seemed healthy and pest free which is how you want them to start summer.  Today was the day I allotted to do it, so time wise I had to get it done, but they were a bit unhappy with me opening the lids.  It’s been hot and wet here and it was already getting dark and thundering at 9:30 in the morning.  I’m sure they could feel the barometer dropping and resented me interrupting their tight collection schedule.

I probably had distracted energy as well.  I was thinking ahead to my practice and how I had so many other things to do maybe I should skip it.  Except that I have my first kid’s class at the library coming up, and I needed to do a run through and see what I thought.  So it was time to take a deep breath and focus on what I was doing.

One of the hives had a bit of dead grass in the entrance.  It must have fallen when I cleaned away the grass that had been growing too close and several bees were diligently trying to drag it off the entrance ledge.  Once I popped the lid, the whole hive was engaged in activity of course.  One can’t watch a hive for any length of time without thinking of busy as a bee.  They are nothing if not busy.  Totally dedicated to the group effort, none of them ever takes a two martini lunch.

Patanjali’s sutra 2.1 starts with the word tapas (tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah).  This usually gets translated as austerity or heat.  Within the context of svadhyaya (self-study), I’ve been applying it to myself as knowing where I’m weak and focusing my efforts in that area.  I get distracted, I overextend myself, and I push too hard.  Unlike in the hive, I don’t have a whole group of clones who’ve got my back.  I need to focus on the task in front of me.  I need to be able to work at a pace that I can maintain.  I need to allow myself the right amount of time for a job to be done well.  I need to keep the grass off my ledges, but not fall into the weeds in the attempt.

Of course once I got on my mat and actually started, my resistance fell away and it was a good practice.  My class will go smoothly and I opened up my hips a bit.  Just as for the bees, the rewards of your discipline are sweet.  Yoga and beekeeping are alike after all.

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I'm a yoga teacher who specializes in making yoga accessible for those with chronic health conditions in the pool and on land. My teaching style is engaging, responsive and fun.  Read my full bio HERE.

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