Years ago, and far from the waters of Hawaii where yoga first tumbled me, I set out on a solo three-day vision quest in a barren land that Wyoming residents call the Red Desert. Before my quest began, I spent two days training in the Lakota way. Once I walked into the desert I would not eat or see anyone for three days. My instructions were simple and focused: drink water and pay attention.
For yoga, I’d give the same instruction today, only adding an admonition to breathe. I expected my vision quest would challenge me but also help me connect to that which I had not yet connected.
I didn’t know it, but at the time I was doing the work of yoga. At dawn on the scheduled day, I walked into the desert to seek a new vision. My intention was to strip away all distraction in my experiment with truth and give it my full attention with all my being.
This is what yoga is to me now. It’s a stripping away of distraction, which takes preparation and intention. It is the time and place to build my satyagraha or force of truth.
But in the Red Desert I learned from the birds that if I had a song to sing I had to sing it. It was not about how well I sang, but that I did. This is why I’ve written Yoga Song; it is not about how well I write or sing my yoga song, but that I do.
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