Finding the Guru Within. ~ Corinne Casella

Via elephant journal
on Apr 2, 2012
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A couple months ago, I began to feel disconnected and unfulfilled. Something was missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I looked into my job, my relationships, my family, etc. Then I finally looked into myself, where of course, the answer lay.

I was longing for something more. A deeper understanding of yoga and all it had to offer—something beyond the surface stuff, where the meat of the philosophy lived.

I considered taking several different teacher trainings to fill the void. But I knew deep down that I wasn’t looking to be a teacher, just a more dedicated student. After several false starts I found what I was looking for in Live.Breathe.Grow’s Be Your Own Guru series.

I went into the experience looking for one thing and left a changed person, finding something quite different. As the workshop progressed, I discovered that the weekly meeting of spiritually-minded folks was half of what I had been craving. As a long ago abandoned Catholic, I was surprised to find that I was craving something to fill the space that religion had left in my life. While my spiritual practice has evolved over the years, it was a solo practice. Sharing and learning in a safe circle of women gave me that sense of connection I had been missing. After 10 years of practice I had begun to find community.


I also learned how little I knew about the true practice of yoga. I learned that instead of a limited definition, yoga is an all-encompassing idea. Far beyond the physical asana, beyond the ego, beyond the business of yoga, lies something a bit more intangible, something mystical. The first half of the workshop I was riding high on the positive energy and the joy of learning something new. The other half I began to feel daunted and confused. My perceptions were getting a thorough shaking up, from all angles.

Coinciding with the workshop, several articles were released debunking yoga’s benefits, along with a disturbing scandal that made me realize that I was not the only one who had misunderstood what yoga could be.

I began to realize what it was not. It was not another exercise routine like pilates; it was not a competition despite Olympic rumors. It was more than a cute butt in designer clothes. And that to be a teacher of this age-old wisdom was a privilege not a right.

Those sacred bearers of the truth have a challenging responsibility. It is not for the merely bored or privileged, especially in an age that churns out teacher training programs with little to no regulatory oversight. Do we want our teachers to be graduates from trainings that barely scratched the surface or practitioners who never stop learning?


And maybe some of the responsibility lies within each of us. Do we got to a class to act like sheep or do we go to connect with a deeper part of ourselves? A deeper practice need not mean the perfect chair pose, because in truth it does not exist. But it can mean something much more simple, and at the same time mind-bogglingly complex. Instead of going outside ourselves, we can find our yoga within; we just need to awaken it.

Sometimes you wonder how much you really learn when you take a class. During the course itself you are brimming with information that you can barely keep inside, as it threatens to regurgitate on everyone you come in contact with. But what about when it’s over? Do we go back to our old selves untouched?

My question was answered this week. I took two new classes, new teachers, new studio. I was asked to bend and twist myself in a myriad of ways. Instead of blindly following the class, I listened for the first time to a different teacher, the one inside. I got strange looks and gentle remonstrations from teachers but I did not waver. I only smiled inside. Thanking the guru within.

Corinne Casella was born and raised in New Jersey and now resides along the banks of the Hudson in Jersey City.  She is a freelance writer & editor with over seven years of professional experience.  Combining writing and yoga to her is a logical step, because if anything can bring about change in a world as large as ours, it’s through our open hearts and our pens. Connect with Corinne on her Website.



Editor: Brianna Bemel


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22 Responses to “Finding the Guru Within. ~ Corinne Casella”

  1. […] relationships, my family, etc. Then I finally looked into myself, where of course, the answer lay.Read the whole story at Elephant Journal “; var coords = [-5, -72]; // display fb-bubble FloatingPrompt.embed(this, html, undefined, […]

  2. ValCarruthers says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  3. Sara says:

    What a profound idea Corinne has come up with. I would also like to find my own inner guru.

  4. Really great look at what yoga should be….thanks for the reminder

  5. Jacqueline says:

    great article. thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Sybil says:

    good article. I like the idea of finding my own inner guru.

  7. Allison says:

    i definitely feel like i would get more out of yoga as a spiritual practice than just another form of exercise .. thank you

  8. The Organizta says:

    So true- being your own guru on the mat and in the world is so important. Great article! We definitely need to trust in ourselves more 🙂

  9. Randy says:


    it's great when people move past misconception to realize truth!

  10. Taraleigh says:

    Thank you for inspiring me and tons of other people to find their own gurus. This was beautifully written by a beautiful soul

  11. BethKaya says:

    *love button*

  12. Sara says:

    great article, thanks for sharing!!

  13. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook.

  14. Kirstan says:

    Thanks for this post! Your spiritual journey to better understand yourself and your passion is something many women (and even men) need to do…myself included. This was well-written and inspiring. I hope to hear more about your discoveries.

  15. finn325 says:

    Thank you all. May we all find the yoga we seek.

  16. Ike_the_Cat says:

    Wow, great article for a non-writer! Great reminders to change your state by changing your venue and pat yourself on the back. I wondered what this article would have been without, “I,” “me,” or, “my;” 500 words shorter, one would think. Please forgive, English not so good. It’s like the old Buddhist saying goes, “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.” One meaning is that ego is not enlightenment. Ha!

  17. finn325 says:

    It was a personal journey, hence the I, me, my! Thank you for your reminder that ego plays such a small part.

  18. […] student, but if your teacher is unable to sift through the barley of his or her own heart and mind, then it’s time for you to notice and wake up. It’s time to come down from the vast blue sky-temple of your mind and carry some water, sift […]

  19. […] great masters say the same thing, that the guru is within. But until we are established within, we will not feel it. This is why a master, a Mahatma (Great […]

  20. […] my inner guru. Live.Breathe.Grow was kind enough to let me share it and it is now published on Elephant Journal and The Huffington Post! It was a wonderful journey and I am so honored to be able to share it with […]

  21. I think everyone has the capacity to be a guru, if only we can harnest our free will and be ready to coach or mentor people on which our experience and proficiency will help them grow.