Yoga – what’s God got to do with it?

Via on Feb 18, 2012

For me, the yoga practice itself is very much alive.

It is as if it is a living, breathing, organic, growing, changing entity. Although I cannot see, feel, taste or touch it, this practice still seems very much alive to me. These days I feel very much at peace and “one” with my practice. It was not always this way.

And if you are just starting out with yoga, this may all seem like a bunch of New Age gobbledygook. Maybe you are not coming to yoga to find GOD. Perhaps you are in search of the elusive “yoga butt” and will not be happy until you attain it. My sense is that what may have begun as a search for the perfect yoga butt will, over time, transform into another animal entirely. Mark my words![]

Yoga has definitely filled a “void” in my life. At seventeen, I was not all that conscious of the void. But if I look back at who I was at seventeen, I can definitely say that my life lacked purpose. The interesting thing is that I knew I was both attracted to,  and needed, yoga. But I could not have told you why.

My life has continued to lack purpose for more years than I would care to admit. What I now realize is that for me, that void was in large part due to a total lack of spiritual connection. I first began to experience that spiritual connection at seventeen, while practicing yoga.

But it took me decades to get to this place where I reside today, with the realization that it is this deep spiritual connection that keeps me thriving, plugged in, content and productive! Nothing else can fill this void—nothing!

I am in the habit of writing some inspirational words upon arising, to post on my Facebook status. Today, for various reasons,  I felt completely uninspired upon awakening. Some days are like that. Life gets in the way. We get thrown off course. But despite my lack of inspiration, I sat down to write, in the hopes that some creative spark would ignite. And ignite it did! Here is what rose up inside me as I sat down to write something:

Know your purpose and act accordingly. If you do not know why you are doing something, your actions will reflect that inner state. All your actions reflect who you really are inside. Be clear on who you are, and let your actions speak volumes.

And often when I write these little gems, I am really mainly talking to myself! In some way, the words that I typed on my computer were like GOD actually speaking to me. He was saying, even though you feel uninspired, you know what you need to do. (I had a plan for the day and God was telling me to just focus on my goals and start walking through the actions that would take me closer to those goals.) As I began to take action . . . moving towards my goals . . . my purpose was reinforced.

If my actions reflect who I am inside, hopefully I am acting wisely and authentically. This seems like it might be a good mantra for me.  “Let your actions reflect who you are inside.”

We are most miserable when our actions are in direct opposition to who we are inside. And I lived that way for many years.

And I realize, I have not exactly answered the question “What’s GOD got to do with it?”

If you read the Yoga Sutra or the Bhagavad Gita, you will certainly find the answer to that question. And for me, the simple answer to the question of  “What’s GOD Got to do with it?” is:

Everything!

Dee Greenberg is a freelance yoga instructor, spiritual warrior and renegade entrepreneur, residing 6 miles from the beach, in Delray Beach, Florida. Dee’s resume includes 9+ years of teaching yoga, 4 years owning a yoga studio and 40+ years of personal yoga practice. Trained in both Kripalu and Prana Flow (Shiva Rea), Dee’s teaching style is a homogenous blend of both, with a strong sprinkling of intuitive spirituality thrown into the mix. She spends most of her free time drumming, dancing and in various fitness pursuits including skateboarding, running and lifting weights. For more of Dee’s musings on yoga and life, please visit here. To add Dee as a friend on Facebook, please click here, or follow her on Twitter at @50PlusYoga.

Edited by Assistant Yoga Editor Soumyajeet Chattaraj.

About Dee Greenberg

Dee Greenberg is a freelance yoga instructor and spiritual warrior, residing 6 miles from the beach, in Delray Beach, Florida. Dee’s resume includes 9+ years of teaching yoga, 4 years owning a yoga studio and 40+ years of personal yoga practice. Trained in both Kripalu and Prana Flow (Shiva Rea), Dee’s teaching style is a homogenous blend of both, with a strong sprinkling of intuitive spirituality thrown into the mix. She spends most of her free time drumming, dancing and in various fitness pursuits including skateboarding, running and lifting weights. For more of Dee’s musings on yoga and life, please visit here. To add Dee as a friend on Facebook, please click here, or follow her on Twitter at @50PlusYoga. SUBSCRIBE TO DEE ON ELEPHANT JOURNAL.

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5 Responses to “Yoga – what’s God got to do with it?”

  1. Yes, everything! But, many years of teaching atheistic philosophy, sitting in Zen temples and being generally resistant, had to run its course. I even ignored my Kundalini Yoga teacher when he would as much utter the G word. I now teach Kundalini Yoga (my first Yoga love) and say it all the time, with no resistance:)

    I enjoyed your article. I have a short one up, as well: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/02/heal-thyse

    Love and Light,
    ~Donna

    • Dee says:

      Namaste, Donna. I was a bit nervous about submitting this article to EJ, especially in light of the last line where I admit that for me GOD is everything. So, your affirmative post is really music to my ears! And I appreciate your comments regarding Kundalini Yoga.

      I fell in love with Kundalini Yoga in college in 1973 – when members of a local ashram (this was before yoga became big business) but really – - – members of an ashram in upstate NY came to my college every day to lead a sun down yoga class. It was through this kundalini experience that I became truly hooked on yoga! Good stuff!

      I'm glad you liked my article and thanks for providing a link to your article. I will surely check it out!

  2. Sonyata says:

    It is quite clearly spelled out in the first book of the Yoga Sutra.

  3. Dee says:

    Sonyata, YES! so very true. And thank you for confirming that for me and for specifying the location as well. On the one hand I love that yoga has become mainstream, but on the other hand, I sometimes lament for the days when people generally found yoga as part of a spiritual quest.

    My beliefs are pretty "old school" yoga and I even talk to a roomful of mainly retired seniors here in S. Florida about the microcosm and the macrocosm and the fact that we are all a part of the ONE energy.

    At the beginning of class I ask everyone to receive the practice and attempt to surrender to something greater than themselves. I will sometime say – If you don't believe in GOD, think of Mother Nature or some higher entity.

    Personally my deep belief, pretty much gets me through the day . . . . I'd love to hear from others, regardless of where you stand with this GOD stuff.

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