I think it’s safe to say it was a very emotional day in class today. When the question arouse, “What brings you to yoga, why are you here?”…
The truth began to flow out of us, starting as a small stream and eventually pouring out, taking tangible form, gliding down the faces of those, who’s honesty could not be denied.
It was powerful, optimistic, sorrowful, moving, heavy-hearted, joyful…it was all of these things.
There were many reasons why we all found our way yoga,
To be a bright light for others
To cast out fear
To become benevolent
To find acceptance and love for one’s self, body, mind
To become closer to God
To move past a difficult period in life
To find out who they are
To become more powerful physically
To calm the storm which rages on inside the mind
To find meaning in one’s life
To become clean
To find happiness…
Love by acceptance of the current moment, love in acknowledgement of the past, love in hope for our futures.
One universal reason we all found our way to yoga was, love.
I once read a saying by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our God.”
Just as those who come to yoga have not already reached nirvana or absolute unity with God. We have come to practice yoga to become a better version of ourselves. To find the balance amongst the stormy waters, Upekkhā or equanimity. We have come, to become, Yogis.
I am currently reading an amazing book, one in which I am sure I will quote many times throughout my life, Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar <3
I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes thus far:
“When his mind, intellect and self (ahamkara) are under control, freed from restless desire, so that they rest in the spirit within, a man becomes a Yukta - one in communion with God. A lamp does not flicker in a place where no wind blows; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by the grace of the Spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal which is beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. He abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher then this. He who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga - a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.”
“The yogi does not look heavenward to find God. He knows that HE is within.”
“There are different paths (margay) by which a man travels to his Maker. The active man finds realization through Karma Marga, in which man realizes his own divinity through work and duty. The emotional man finds it through Bhaki Marga, where there is realization through devotion to and love of a personal God. The intellectual man pursues Jnana Marga, where realization comes through knowledge. The meditative or reflective man follows Yoga Marga, and realizes his own divinity through control of the mind.”
"Freedom from fear comes only to those who lead a pure life. The yogi fears none and none need fear him, because he is purified by the study of self. The yogi knows that he is different from his body, which is a temporary house for the spirit. Though the body is subject to sickness, age, decay and death, the spirit remains unaffected. To the yogi, death is the sauce that adds zest to life. He has dedicated his mind, his reason and his whole life to the Lord. When he has linked his entire being to the Lord, what then shall he fear?"
I have been pleasantly surprised at how spiritual Yoga is. Though Yoga is not a religion, but a lifestyle, I did not imagine I would begin to come closer to God through this journey, but I am very happy I am. There is no greater peace for me, then to put my focus on something greater then myself.
Regardless of what religion you define yourself by or what you call your God, it is my personal belief that when we pray, our energy is directed towards the same supreme Maker. One who moves the heavens and the earth, One who brings new life, One who takes it away, One who creates balance in the world, One who is love, One from who we are made, One who washes over you in indescribable waves, One whom you call out to in your darkest moments...One God, your God, my God, our God.
Today I became aware of important it is to fall back on one another and open up, we are all in this together, there is no need to walk alone.