September 14, 2011

Yoga is a Private Affair. ~ Shy Sayar

Yoga does not look like anything in particular. It does not sound like an ujjai inhalation or a beautiful chant. Yoga is a state, perhaps best described as fluid, grounded connectedness, and I believe it is sometimes more likely to arise from running or climbing or sailing than by what most of us call “yoga”; let alone by giving birth or climbing a mountain.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning and usage and proper application of asana. I think of it most like a dance – every bit as exacting of mind and body and attention as training for the dance stages of the world, except that the only proper audience is yourself (or Your Self, or God. Probably different words for the same thing).

Some teachers tell us to push ourselves, and they are right. Others tell us to be gentle, and they are also right. But yoga is a private affair; albeit a community anchor, bringing us together in dark and isolating times, the state of yoga is an inner secret, lost at first mention like a bubble hitting the ground, lost at first reflection like smoke in the wind.

Be wise as thou art cool; do not tempt yourself with too much beauty. The deepest breath is sometimes the smallest and thinnest and most quiet. Go within. And take care.

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