Friday, December 28, 2007

It happens anyway

Whenever I lose my keys, and this is something which occurs on an uncomfortably regular basis, I find them only when I stop looking. Whenever a word is on the tip of my tongue but just out of reach, I know that the word will come out of its hiding place when I cease trying to coax it. Perhaps I am just oppositional in my nature, straight through to my very core. But I hold these truths to be self-evident, that for me, seeking is not the key to finding.

And so it is with the yoga. I have gotten so many wonderful benefits from my yoga practice, despite that I have not always sought those benefits. There is a physiological reality to the calming nature of certain postures, and likewise, to the stimulating nature of others.

When guruji said, practice and all is coming, did he really mean, "practice the postures, go to workshops on the postures, go to workshops on sanskrit and pranayama, read the bhagavad gita, learn to chant the sutras, offer fruit to statues of ganesh, and all is coming?"

I really don't think so. I believe that he meant us to do our physical practice, and the other limbs will become apparent. That there is no need to seek. Samadhi will find us when we practice.

Did Norman Allen go to Guruji in search of Samadhi? Or did he think that the postures he saw being practiced on the beach (by manju I think) were waaaay cool?

Does guruji want us to pray to his photo? Or would it be enough for us to see his face as a source of inspiration?

I feel lucky that I found a vigorous, challenging physical workout that leaves me feeling nourished, enriched and calm, rather than depleted, wasted and frazzled (like the way running fifty miles per week did). I am lucky that I found Bikram first, because it taught me that the yoga happens, even if you're not looking for it, even if no one tells you about it, even if the posture-names are identified in pidgin Sanskrit by teachers trained through memorization of a dialogue that talks solely about the muscles, bones and skin and nothing that exists on any meta level.

Jivamukti yoga was a good next step because it provided answers to the question, "what is it that I am feeling when I do this physical thing called hatha yoga?".

And I am pleased to have found Ashtanga finally because it will provide an infinite physical challenge for me, a never-ending supply of ways to engage myself into stillness.

If you go to the mat, it will come. Even if you don't ask for it. Even if you don't want it. Even if you don't seek it.

It happens anyway.

Don't be telling me I'm not an ashtangi.



Anonymous said...

who knows what guruji meant. his english is really bad.

Anonymous said...

oh, and I thought it was steve allen that went to guruji.

Bhakti Yogi said...

Yes YC, you are an astangi and one who seems quite devoted to the physicality of the practice. Nothing wrong with that at all. I think what you are trying to say through your candid honesty which I very much appreciate, is that you are not looking for religion or spirituality necessarily through your practice. I think that is common for several other styles of yoga and I see there is a split around that with Ashtanga. That's cool. We all come to God or Higher Power consciousness in different ways that fit who we are and our spiritual evolution. It's not about Hinduism or Christianity or Judaism or any religion really. I believe for myself that I found more God on my yoga mat than in any church or organized religion meeting. You are definitely doing yoga when you sew or whatever. We should all be doing yoga all the time in how we treat people, treat ourselves, live our lives in general. I agree the practice is a fabulous physical challenge that I never thought I'd be able to apply to my former, gentler on the body and more meditative, eyes-closed practice. But I'm doing it and all is well for now:) Okay just my two cents as a newbie blogger who enjoys reading your blog ramblings.

samasthiti said...

What's coming?
All's what?

samasthiti said...

Oh, and it was Steve Martin. Duh!

Anonymous said...

the wells fargo wagon is coming.

samasthiti said...

Ye haw!

samasthiti said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I am NOT doing yoga when I sew. I am sewing.

Stupid..Yoga, blah, blah, blah.
Oh, wait this is a yoga blog. No wait, this is a yoga as exercise blog. There is a difference correct?

Anonymous said...

meat is murder

Dan said...

just wanted to say I really like this post, I actually took a class you taught a few years back at yoga sutra. You are a very good teacher as well as a practitioner and blogger.
Have you read "light on life"? Iyengar talks about achieving the 8 limbs through asana practice.

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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