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February 18, 2012

Yoga—What’s God got to do with It?

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?” Everything!

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:

Edited by Assistant Yoga Editor Soumyajeet Chattaraj.

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