January 17, 2012

Give the Girl a Break—and while you’re at it, Yourself.

Briohny Symth

I recently wrote a blog about yoga as the pursuit of unity. I wrote this amidst the release of the Yoga Equinox video.

As the video blew up, I saw my reaction to it. I put my two cents in and as I did, I felt dirty. I felt this way, because to me yoga has always been about going beyond my mind and egoic conditioning. I’m no saint, and don’t live from any permanent place of freedom. But I do know the experience of freedom, which is inherent in all of us. And as soon as I wrote my first comment on someone’s face book page; I saw that in that moment, I became opinionated and thus not free.  In this moment, I traded the natural state of openness and unity; for a belief that Briohny should be different than how she is and that somehow, she is wrong. And I drew a line in the sand and became divided.Which is opposite of freedom and unity.

Now most individuals reading this might right away, think I am nuts. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have opinions, or that this opinion is right and that one is wrong. But if we hold our opinions so tightly, there is no room for freedom, there is no room for unity and spaciousness. If we want to be free, we must be willing to give up all opinions; especially our tightly held ones. And what happens inside of us, when we give up our perspective on life, on how we think life should be; we become quite large. I often say to couples who come to see me for therapy, “do you want to be right, or do you want to be in love.” And as I saw my reaction to this whole drama, I asked myself this question, “do I want to be right and judgmental or do I want to be free?”

I’ve read lots of opinions about yoga this week; I have watched my own opinions float through my mind. But my opinions divide me. And I would rather live in freedom, in unity than be divided. I would rather be open toward life, than judge someone as wrong. I would rather see beauty in whatever I am seeing, than be divided against someone or think I am right. My mind could look at Briohny and call her wrong or stir feelings in me which I do not want to admit; but I would rather see that I suffer and become divided as soon as I judge her. I bet if any of us sat down and had lunch with her, we would probably love her. I imagine she could teach us a thing or two about yoga. Can we give her a break, and in the process give ourselves the freedom of living beyond right and wrong, beyond judgment, beyond duality. And step into our own inherent unity and spaciousness that comes when we have no perspective?

The invitation of yoga

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