“It is quite possible that India is the real world and that the white man lives in a madhouse of abstractions. In India, the whole body still lives.” Carl Jung 1938
When you engage with yoga, it will slowly render the surface self-transparent and lead to the excavation of an underlying divinity. It will build a foundation well below the frost line that, in the words of Gil Scott Heron, will not be televised.
Early on, before your transformative moments of discovery, your moves will be dictated by ego and concerns to do it right, or to be flexible. But the outer form is not what changes, it’s the inner adjustments that matter.
In moments of fluid inspiration, you’ll extend one side and compress the other, you’ll dig deep into your inner guru – the breath that renews you. Your spine will change millimeter by millimeter and you will heal.
Of course, your outer shell will change too, but don’t get caught up in that; rather sustain your great urge for being as you learn to apprehend what true presence means for your life. Your presence is a body which is at once ecstatic and sublime.
With the inhale, exhale, and hold, you move to evolution. Yogis learn that our place, our contentment, is anchored in the link fused by yoga’s alchemy. Simple moves become a stunning antidote for worry. They reform spiritual DNA, lodging as comfort food for the soul, turning into the vital force of pranayama for your spine. In your yoga, love will fall upon your spine and it will fall upon your heart and it will fall upon you life.
Below the frost line of commerce and normal life, enter over the threshold to a yoga class and learn to fasten tonto a a deep core with breath and meditation steered by the way of music and time. Dig deep to embody asana and rejoice in a glimpse of the periphery turned central; find there a new identity refined by fusion of the particular and the universal. Moment by single moment, yogis inhabit a contentment and know they are a beautiful crush of salt and pepper.
Breathing into your body, yoked with deliberate movement through asana, the yogi is led by calmness of mind to a momement of stillness; when coupled with meditation, yoga looks like shape shifting in space. But these moves are designed to enable perspective shifting while intentional breath and movement relax the mind and open a pathway for its return to source. Strategic and analytic minds are put at rest, the mind at ease is brought to center. This quiet movement of healing and rest will not happen in the same way and will not look the same on every yogi.
If you believe yoga is just a physical discipline, I’ll play mystic from the East and counter, yoga is not matter, its mind. If you were to say, “Yoga is a confusing philosophy,” I’ll rebut by saying, its focus is the empirical (diet and bodily health). If one maintains yoga is found in the experience of asana, I’ll point to the crown chakra and our intimate participation with the cosmic Self. If someone says, “Yoga is spirituality,” I’ll ask, what do you mean? If a yogi tells me, “Yoga is a path to heightened consciousness,” I’ll say, okay, but to what end?
Its yoga’s great secret: everything is connected. We are one and our lives are expressions of union. “Please forgive me” (ho’oponopono), goes directly to the mirrors surrounding the room of forgiveness. It’s a room to befriend, for it empowers a direct application of ho’oponopono. Karma is real and who we are — more importantly, what we do — comes back to the place every action starts.
Learning to chop wood and haul water, the yogi releases past burdens and heartaches, they begin to care in a new way for the structure in which he/she lives. They draw from a spiritual blueprint steeped in the ink of the East. They resign worry to the trash bin and relinquish what can’t be changed to the room of ho’oponopono.
When the yogi’s practice is truly lived, others will know everything has changed. As the yogi conducts him/herself truthfully, they will be set apart — not as better — but as vessels for carrying yoga’s heritage, as teachers working on the most important subject first: themselves. In this consciousness of healing, the yogi’s judgments are muted by compassion and love. They move closer in deliberate breath to a pure consciousness of healing.
And at the innermost place of meeting — where self meets Self — the yogi may be shattered or they may be burned; they may forget everything they thought they knew or lose what they thought they had, but they will be transformed.
In that encounter, they will learn to trust, and from the core of a posture aproached with ease and built in trust, learn how the Word becomes flesh. They will turn naturally to embody gratitude and ask whom they can serve.
Rebuilding their sacred dwelling, their house of being, the yogi both seeks and finds comprehensive stillness in one moment and in the healing presence of God in that moment. It’s found in the risk to take a deeper look, to go inward and downward, to ascend by descending, rising up to find depth well below the frost line of the heart.