It’s July 2015 and I’m sitting in the main hall of the World Trade Organization in Geneva. I’m surrounded by representatives of the governments of many of earth’s countries. We’re here to hash out issues related to the trade of food. I don’t want to be here. The work doesn’t set well with me and I often disagree with the approach the United States delegation takes – and I’m a member, a representative, of the United States. My mind is on yoga and my heart hurts.
I write this:
My mission is to serve as a catalyst for TRANSFORMATION. This is the level of PASSION that the yogi brings to the practice and the level of commitment I offer to you.
Yoga is about transformation – transform your mind, your body, your perspective, your life! Our bodies are a temporary, but powerful, vehicle for transforming ourselves from the mundane toward the extraordinary.
Do you think that you die when this body gives out? I don’t.
This body does give out someday, but the essence of us goes on.
To what? We can’t know for sure.
But, does that mean that we don’t prepare?! I think not.
Yoga is the preparation vehicle, in no small part because it embraces life in all its parts – including the end – and one of our biggest obstacles to fully embracing life and the present moment, is our innate fear of death – abhineveśa (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra II.9).
When you commit, really commit – like show up 6 days a week on your mat and go in – to a practice, such as Ashtanga, it will force you to look at your self. All your fears, anxieties, biases, prejudices, materialisms, and false identifications will come up, right there for you to deal with or bury. Eventually, if you keep showing up, you’ll deal.
What if I told you that tomorrow we are going on an adventure? I give you no further information
except to say that we will travel far and through unpredictable terrain. Would you take steps
to prepare yourself for unknowable circumstances?
Life is like that, but we forget. We become complacent and convince ourselves that we are in control. Or that somehow we are prepared. Or better yet, that we don’t need to prepare.
So, what do you do if you don’t know where you’re going and you have no choice but to go?
Do you focus only on the destination?
You also focus on the JOURNEY. You focus on the PROCESS.
As the environs change, you adapt, evolve, and TRANSFORM.
Or you suffer, resist and stagnate.
Through the practice of yoga we can facilitate this process and experience the journey within. Through dynamic movement combined with INTENTION and BREATH we can harness the power of our own life force, overcome the obstacles and transform toward peace, balance, freedom and joy.
sthira sukham asanam (PYS II.46)
The postures should be steady and easeful.
This is ASANA!
atha yoga nushasanam (PYS I.1)
Now, here is yoga.