May 9, 2014

Life is Yoga.


“Yoga means to encounter the reality as it is.” ~ Osho

There it is. Like breath it is as simple as an inhalation, as purposeful as an exhalation. We only suffer when we hold on. We only strain when we choose not to let go.

If I sit in silent beauty and let it flow, there is no struggle. There is no pain. There is no suffering. The breath flows in and out of me like a breeze, effortlessly bringing me life, peace, and harmony while opening my soul’s eye to the love that exists everywhere. I simply need to be reminded sometimes.

So I hold my breath. I hold on, grasping and unwilling to let go. In doing so, I begin to feel strain, suffering and pain. I’d feel panic, but in this exercise I know I can make a choice to exhale. It’s a wonderful metaphor. The realization that I can always choose to not suffer stifles panic, and allows me to more fully focus on the lessons that can be learned in the practice. So I grasp some more, and the pain becomes more intense as the pressure builds. I can hear parts of me much more intelligent than my mind scream loudly to just let go. Let it go, and let it flow, and all will be fine.

I calm myself here. I listen to the internal intelligence scream at me, but soon it lets go and submits to the experience. It’s not silent, it is doing its thing, but it becomes the teacher as I submit as the student. Thank you, Love, for giving me this moment.

I let go, letting the old air flow from me. The emptying allows room for the new, fresh air as I invite it in. There I am, breathing. In the flow, reminded of Love.

Life is yoga. Yoga is life. There is no separation.

I’m flooded with pictures of yoginis in all various states of physical mastery. I see a beautiful form holding Scorpion and a part of me so wishes I could join her, although physically I am not yet ready. I visit a class and marvel at the man next to me so easily holding Triangle pose and I push myself to get there.

It hurts, but I’m a man who can’t be beat and who suffers for the sheer will to win, so I go there.

Soon the pressure builds, the strain comes and the pain arrives, as a part of me much more intelligent than my mind screams loudly to just let go.  I listen, releasing to that point of where my body allows me to go, as all else ceases to be in my space. I let go of the old conditioning driving me to suffer in order to allow a new reality to fill that space. I go within me and the vehicle that the Universe has provided me just for such an experience, and let go. A wave of joy washes over me in this moment, and I’m brought almost to tears in being reminded of a simple fact.

Life is yoga. Yoga is life. There is no separation.

I’m stuck in what appears to be a meaningless debate with someone over words. I want to believe this debate is meaningless, but the inner Master of me knows better. There are no meaningless things. I am here, in this muck, for a purpose. I hear the Voice within me speak, “Sit here, follow me, and learn.”

So I hold on to the anger, even for the briefest of moments. It’s said that anger is like a hot coal you grasp with the intention of burning someone else, and that lesson permeates this very conversation. I’m here in this cesspool of ideas, of thoughts, of reactions, and I simply refuse to let go. Soon the pressure builds and the pain arrives as a part of me much more intelligent than my mind screams for me to just let go.

“Not yet,” instructs the Voice.

I’m not sure at this point if the delay is because there is something I have yet to learn or if it is a gift to another. Yet I listen, and I continue, and I learn. Soon, tears of joy spill out of me, and I let go. Thank you, Lord, for your lesson. I am a grateful, humble student in love with who he is. Because of that, I love even those I wanted to throw a hot coal at.

You are forgiven.

In fact, I love you so much for allowing to find this place with you. Thank you.

Life is yoga. It’s an experience of various asanas, some physical, some mental, all spiritual, created to provide us with an experience of our own choosing. Each of life’s glorious poses show us where we are in our life’s practice, each getting us to that beautiful savasana, where the lesson accumulates in a remarkable moment of peace and harmony.

Yoga is life, the observation of which can take us to the highest places in our existence. As we move into the various positions of our experience, we can observe what we manifest in them, and choose to experience either the yin or yang of our practice. We can hold on, or let go, suffer or find great joy. It all depends on how we wish to perceive the space we are in and on what we wish to create as we hold our place. We are both master and student, giver and gift, lover and beloved.

In this, there is no separation.



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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Linda Tanner/Flickr

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