Recently been wondering about how “easy” it is for yoga practitioners to get off their yogic practice path and fall into illness, sadness and/or depression. It always surprises me how when someone new to yoga marvels about their feelings of balance and peace. Shortly thereafter, they are equally amazed about how the experience dissipated. True hatha yoga is about energy cultivation. This classical hatha yoga from India is a process for the art of living well. There are so many priorities in our world that may confuse or overwhelm us. When we give up on ourselves we are allowing everything else to have power over us. In fact zapping and depleting our energy, and then what are we left with? Satsang can be translated to community for conscious exchanges and yoga classes can be our satsang. When we have others around to help us stay on the path, to share their experiences, concerns and discoveries this all helps us in our own trust in our yoga.
One way to keep the glimmer of satsang is to keep inspirational texts close by to muse. In this age of the internet, Youtube and blogs we can see, listen and follow those who share conscious living quite easily. Like refreshing your computer screen these little visits refresh our outlook – inwards as well as outwards. I found this quote from Sadhguru that helps me as a teacher see what may be happening for practitioners:
“…The science of yoga essentially means this – even a little baby, if you pinch him, he will cry because he can feel his body. But he may not be able to feel his thoughts and emotions to start with: he can just feel his body. So the body is the first thing he feels. The journey of yoga is to take you from the body, to different dimensions of who you are, to the ultimate core….in that sense…then you may be equipped.”
Many of us when overwhelmed lose our memory of our wellness when the “other” priorities take over. In these depressed economic climates it is understandable that people are juggling priorities to stay protected in their work environments. But is it worthwhile to forget ourselves and lose our personal power/ourselves? While awaiting Sandy – the Epic Storm of our Lifetime, I have noticed so many institutions actually offering concern, guidance, and even compassion. Banks offering forgiveness due to projected lapses due to the storm. Businesses closing days early, cities closing public transport and roadways, colleges sending dormitory student populations home days ahead. All this to get families together to manage the crisis as a unit, perhaps as a financial decision that does in fact allow for some family bonding. Rather amazing that the crisis elevates institutions to compassionate legislation and executive decisions. Do we have to wait for a crisis of an even greater magnitude for executive decisions to remind us to stay on our yogic path. Perhaps yes? Sadhguru commented when asked “is 2012 the end of the world?” – What is there to worry about if the world is over, no worries he says! Our real concerns are what to do with our problems plaguing us with the environment, poverty, famine, corruption, etc. How easily we can be distracted from the main event!!! We can become so numb that we cannot see how our thoughts are distracting us from our real priorities to be effective in all aspects. We rather contemplate doomsday prophecies than work on solutions to the real crises that plague us. We are in general the type of being who lapse in our practices and fall ill or sick, time and time again. We can become like the little baby who cries when pinched…because we ignored the information at the mental, emotional, energetic screens.
What does Sadhguru mean when he says…“then you may be equipped” ? Equipped to grow up towards: strength, health & well-being, compassion for self and others, higher creativity, mental clarity with ease, higher powers of intuition, successes in all endeavors, these follow once the equipment is in place. The question I continually have for practitioners is are we doing hatha yoga for exercise? When classical yoga is anaerobic not aerobic, one should not confuse the two and both activities are necessary for optimal health. True hatha yoga is like stirring a pot of soup to mix the ingredients, to blend and marry the flavors evenly….after some time when we stop stirring the ladle in the pot the ingredients slow the revolutions until it comes to a dead stop….stillness. Are we doing hatha yoga for energy cultivation and harmony then why stop the stirring before we are ready for a full stop? Frankenstorm aka Sandy is stirring up lots…are we equipped to manage during the storm and equally important to handle the aftermath? Namaste