Whatever happened to small talk?
I was having lunch at our local food co op the other day, and started having a conversation with a guy I had seen around a couple of times about yoga. The topic of yoga usually comes up in conversations with me, with anyone willing to talk about it. It is the topic of conversation that I have a tendency to light up over more than any other, being a self proclaimed “asana addict”. Yet this person threw me a curve ball when he asked, “have you ever been illuminated” after less than five minutes of conversation and no alcohol involved.
WTF! When did this become typical conversation for a Thursday afternoon, with someone you just met? I didn’t know if I should rejoice in that kind of spiritual interest or be pissed off. I chose the later. My teachers warned me to not get caught up in the circus tricks of yoga, and my inner Guru teaches me to let go of results, so when I see students striving to attain siddhis (special powers, through the practice of yoga) I get discouraged. I feel like they are missing the point, the same way the student coming just for the yoga butt is missing the point.
I see the pendulum swing from one extreme to the other.
As Yogis, we should evolve into practices just for the sake of the subtle bodies, because our subtle bodies are what govern our physical, mental, and emotional health, and to be a Yogi means to be rooted in self. But I do not care for any special Jedi tricks or powers, most of the time.
Even if I have been illuminated; it wouldn’t be something I would share in our first five minutes of getting to know each other, because this would only cause separation, unless of course he had a similar experience, and then I would just think he was nuts.
The kundalini awakening that is sought after by many intrigued students of yoga, is often short lived and as often leaves the body completely wacked. In the past if it happened and a student wasn’t ready, an Ayurvedic Practitioner could help in returning balance to the physical and mental bodies. As I witness the shift of consciousness in the world from materialism to spirituality, I am sure we will have more conversations about this. A refreshing change from, “what teacher will give me the best workout.” However, we should make sure out intentions are pure, and that we don’t just swing to spiritual materialism.
Just as we should not compare the shapes of our postures, we should not compare the brightness of our souls.
We come as spiritual seekers and each of our paths are as differently shaped as the bones in our bodies. We all have the ability to become illuminated not from some special yoga mudra, pranayama, or vigorous asana practice, but by choosing faith, devotion, and connection. A wise one once said,
Once I became Enlightened I never met another person that wasn’t.
Dani McGuire is a yoga teacher, business owner, yoga therapist, and asana addict that loves Love, Life, Family, Food, God, and, of course, Yoga. “Since I am unable to quiet the mental chatter and control thirst for earthly pleasures I live, write, and laugh and my human-ness.” Dani leads yoga workshops and teacher trainings, and takes her yoga off the mat through Pranayoga Foundation, a nonprofit teaching yoga to people with cancer and chronic illness. For more about Dani check out her personal website or PranaYoga.
Prepared by Aminda R. Courtwright / Editor Tanya L. Markul
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