Sometimes the Simple is the Most Profound with Keith Borden

Keith Borden is co-director and teacher at Laughing Lotus yoga in San Francisco. We got together to talk about his devotional approach to teaching and his unique musical talents. Check out his amazing performance at the end of the video.

When someone asks, “What kind of yoga do you teach?” Keith responds, “Yoga.” It’s a multi-layered practice that includes chanting, a creative playfulness, and careful attention of the breath.

It all comes together with the concept of Bhakti, or devotion. Think of devotion as a type of gratitude – it’s a way of making your practice spiritual by saying thank you to yourself, to others, to the world, to everything around you.

Devotion is a type of love. Not in the sense of “boyfriend / girlfriend” love, but a more heart centered, spiritual love. Look inside first, be grateful for what you see. Cultivate a sense of deep inner gratitude for yourself, expand that gratitude from the inside and radiate it in every direction so that you become the sense of gratitude, you become the thank you.

If you do just one thing…. find time to express gratitude to those around you. The most important mantra that you can offer to anyone, including yourself, is a simple thank you or an I love you. Even if you don’t directly say it, act as if your actions are saying it. Gratitude starts from within. Open up to being grateful to yourself and that gratitude will radiate through your practice in to your every day life.

Love is All Around

Conflict is often bred from insecurity. People not willing to be their true selves engaging in preemptive defensiveness to avoid getting hurt. A negative output inevitably attracts the same response.

Ghandi said you must be the change you want to see in the world. This starts with a willingness to be vulnerable, an openness to your environment.

Success itself is manifested by a willingness to fail and be open to people who know how to do things better than you so that you can learn from them. Being willing to be vulnerable is, in fact, the greatest position of strength.

You cannot increase the level of love in the world.  Everything is already love. However, you can encourage people to see the love that is around them. Encourage them to be open to receiving and giving love – even to strangers. Take the first step and open your heart to other people so that love can be the channel of communication between everyone.