To me, Yoga is not and should NOT be a cult-like; religion or one-style. And it’s not exclusive to acrobats, gymnasts, and dancers – although inspiring (or gross?) to look at the “limits” of some well trained bodies. It’s for everyone who wants to lead a more wholesome, organic, intuitive life.
To me, it’s more about embracing life and intensifying the experience of living by being “awake”, conscious and energetically sattvic. In order to do that, it helps to be physically and mentally fit and strong – and that means, those who are suffering from injuries of injustice, a degree of hurt, illness need it more and whatever the circumstances, regardless – ALL are included. It’s not just for certain body types but for a whole wide range of humanity to experience the healing benefits – isn’t that the point? Healing does not necessarily mean you are physically hurt or disabled; in fact, you may have no physical limitations whatsoever – you may feel there’s absolutely nothing to fix as you are perfect…really? It’s okay – everyone is vulnerable if they are human …it may be healing from bruised self-esteem, healing from a rocky experience, healing from fears instilled by haters, toxic relationships… we can all use a little TLC to experience deep healing that can only be found from within. It’s okay to recognize and acknowledge our own pains and weaknesses without judgment; and find ways to transcend. That process can be beautiful. Some call it – blissful.
Touching the toes, being vegan or espousing non-violence does not make one more enlightened … patience, empathy and just being … kind to those closest to you. Isn’t that enough? My mother’s favorite little saying – “charity starts at home.” Once that part is cared for, at that central core, then we can reach out to enlarge that circle of kindness – or just call it, positive regards for others as though they too belong to your family. Not easy to transcend barriers of prejudice and bias. It’s a tough practice.
Yoga starts out somewhat self-absorbed and self-centered but, gradually extends – its teachings does help you when you are short of patience, lacking empathy and feeling unkind and selfish. When you brain is doing all the thinking whatever it’s good at – whether be, counting, measuring, calculating, planning, or most common – feeding the ego, all perceived as needed skills for survival but then what about the … heart? When we turn our attention to our heart, that poor neglected heart …to our feelings and emotions oftentimes suppressed in favor of the thinking brain… we often surprise ourselves. At a physical level, it’s pumping and refueling, over and over, nourishing our trillions of cells.
On astral level, there’s the vibe … the warmth, there’s the fuzzy feeling of energy mixed with … freedom. Lightness. Then tip the head back and from the crown of your head, pour the nectar of consciousness onto our great river of spine. Let that trickle down to saturate your entire being:) For me, it starts from the heart, “kokoro”. As Richard Rosen says, the brain often gets us in trouble (which is the opposite thinking – the brain, the problem solver, not?). The brain is not a computer; the heart, not a pump; our spirit, not a wifi. Us humans are more complicated. What’s interesting to note is that us humans have not changed all that much from couple of thousands of years ago; whereas the contents of our toolkit has undergone a drastic reconfiguration and our environment and our lifestyle, a dramatic change from even just a 100 years ago – but the body and mind of our’s have not changed all that much from the caveman days. Yes, our mortality rate has improved and longevity doubled … but still… Essentially our makeup is not all that different from our ancestors while what influences us have changed a lot. Something to “think” about when we approach what it is that we really need to feel gratitude and abundance.