Sunday, August 05, 2012

My relationship with yoga: why I feel terrible if I miss my practice

So, today after the bootcamp, as we sat with chai and biscuits, Pallavi, my student and bootcamp participant, asked me if there are days when I feel I should slacken from my practice. It is difficult to talk of this, since the subject is not about the body. And also, I believe, that not many will understand what I am speaking of though the ultimate purpose of yoga is only That. So, yes, also if I feel the person is not going to understand what I am saying, I choose not to answer and give some silly answer that is vague.. that is what to do:) I rather sound stupid than reveal what cannot be grasped, largely.

 If I did yoga  for fitness reasons then, yes, maybe, I may wish to take a day.. But for me, there is something else, in my practice..

I do not do it for my body.. and that perhaps explains why my relationship with yoga is more enduring .

. I crave for That! I believe That equally, It craves for me. But where my thoughts come  then, It steps back, like a jealous lover. Then I am bereft and lost, like a lover who has been neglected. . I do it because I want to empty myself, of ego, so that I keep my mindspace clean, so It will, like that beautiful wild parrot that squawks at my Kuteer window, will come and I will catch a glimpse of That -- . I do my practice, for That! I do my practice because then, the curtain lifts, and I catch a glimpse of That, tantalising -- but far, as long as I remain stuck in my human musings.. It won't descend, because it rather you ascended, elevated, sublimated, to its level..

This is not a subject obviously intended for the one who thinks all such talk is cheesy.. each one to his/her own. But my practice has nothing to do with the body, my body.

The Thing I crave for, it does not like ego.. it would not even like if I got attached to yoga!!! . I do yoga because I am detached from my practice. I do it, for That:) And that, for the uninitiated, while this may seem like awkward attempt at poetry, actually the real purpose of yoga is only that.. the final annihilation of the self and the final consummation with something that cannot be described by words.  Yoga has no other purpose from that.. it has nothing to do with flexibility of the body, or strength, or contrived contortions. It is because, if you hold the pose and watch the waves of the mind rise and fall, and step back from all that, the practice  allows the right emptiness which invites what all seekers have sought, for centuries.

 And which, the Vedanta says, is the only purpose of human existence:) And yoga, it is a tool crafted for that...Yoga has no other purpose than that.. the rest of that, that is part of the progress, so the body stays firmly together till the spirit reaches where it must.. and the mind does not collapse, till the spirit consummates its longing... 

It is not religion. It is not science. It is definitely not biology, or about body aesthetics or body cosmetics.

It is an experience, mystical,  for those who are going mad in a the practical,  yoga way:) A mad person, fully aware of her madness, that is my yoga:) Not this body, that is not my yoga.

 Ko ham? Na deham, na deham. So ham, so ham 
(That was Adi Shankaracharya, describing  his yoga:)  Who am I? Not this body, not this body. I am That. I am That. 

When that is the relationship u have with your yoga, the practice is not difficult. How silly to say you do not want to meet your beloved because you felt lazy? Not doing your practice, becomes that, when u become a true yoga lunatic:) 

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