What is this thing called Yoga??
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
I just came back from India and Yoga, It was so good, but some day's I felt like maybe I was in a cult and I was being brainwashed to be good, kind and care for my body and the universe. Huh. But then we danced and laughed and I figured they don’t do that in cults. In cults it is all wearing bonnets and in-breeding and I felt safe again.
I wrote this email to my family and friends, as they always stand like a tree and aum when I mention yoga and then burst out into laughter.
Dear fabulous family and friends
What is this thing if it is not to stand like a tree or lie like a corpse.
Why do we practice asanas, the physical part of yoga.
In each of us is all the knowledge we need to know the universe and all the powers that come with it.
In each of us lies the power so see past lives, to move our energy to different people, to be one with everything that surrounds us on this earth and beyond.
But that knowledge is buried below layers and layers of dirt and dust. This dirt and dust is our thoughts: right thoughts, false thoughts, imaginary thoughts, impressions from current and former lives, memories, thoughts from dreams etc. These thoughts are similar to a layer of dust on a mirror. Clouded, we cannot see properly. Therefore our actions, based on our dusty thoughts are distorted, always.
Yoga is the process of clearing away that dust/thoughts, so that we can reach that true knowledge within us, which unites us with universal knowledge. You getting this.
By practicing yoga, physical, meditation, breathing, we start to calm our mind and train it to focus on one thing. To not allow it to gallop away or dance around like drunken monkey, continually. We learn yoga to gain knowledge on how to do this, the steps we can take to purify our body and mind of debris that causes us to have diseases, anger, jealousy, sadness, desire, greed and attachments to the material. It is no easy feat, especially when living in the world we live in. Then once we have all this knowledge, we use it to erase ALL learnt knowledge in us, so we can get back to our true self, i.e our gut (though not as simple as our gut). I know what you are thinking, what a waste of all that knowledge and all that time, if I have to erase it all afterwards.
We often say ‘this is the real me’, but really it is not, if you really knew the real ‘me’, then you would not say it and you would be,….. umm let’s say very different than you are now. You would be immortal in away, as you would no longer need the vessel of your body, as your soul would have connected to the universal soul. Tooo much, I know, it is boggling to the mind.
In Patanjali’s Yoga sutras, there are 196 sutras explaining the process. A sutra is like a theorem. For example AUM is a sutra. An entire chapter explains AUM, so when we say AUM, we know it to mean many things.
Over generations, that knowledge of our connection to everything has become more and more blurred as we move away from nature. We have lost our connection to the elements of nature (water, fire, earth, air, space) and to all those same elements that exist within us; water (blood), earth (bones/muscles), air (breath), fire (heat), space (within us). When those elements are out of of balance in us we get sick. Remove one of these elements we die. When those elements are out of balance in nature, we get hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes etc.
Yoga seeks to balance those elements within us and regain our connection to those same elements that make up our universe. It is hard to attain this balance, moxsha, brahma, enlightenment, Samadhi, in a life time. Not evening hiding in a cave or under a bed can guarantee it. Also the path is different for each of us, some find it through pranayama (breathing exercises with breath retention), others meditation, still others from chanting mantras or practicing asanas. In the latter, we are only in a form of meditation in an asana if the pose is comfortable and your breath is steady and comfortable. Not something that is going to happen in power yoga. And no cusins, it cannot be found in beer.
Tattooing it to your body will not do the job, or hiring someone to chant for you. Nor dropping a dime at the local temple on occasion.
Anger, greed, fear, stress etc all these put our body out of balance and therefore our mind. Yoga helps to rebalance us. I reckon I am getting closer, but probably still need at least 40 more lives to get there. Am hoping that all this AUMMMING I do, will break my bondage to past karmas that haunt me. For example having three dogs, in past life I must have been a dog beater, and now am being taught to love and accept all animals and only punish them when they eat my shoes (but even I have stopped, as I let go of my attachment to my shoes).
Attachment = suffering.
Love and sharing = freedom
Now must go remove more thoughts from head.