Like all good relationships, this one’s reciprocal!
Bottom line, yoga is about connection.
Many a yoga journey began with a yearning for connection of some kind—we began to notice that we were disconnected from our bodies, from important people in our lives, from organic face-to-face social interaction that wasn’t over drinks in a bar.
We’d spent lifetimes closeted off from the planet and the communities that sustain us.
We felt listless.
We wandered into a studio, unrolled our mats and began the process of reconnecting.
At first, we tried simply to make it through class. Then, through the haze, we realized that whereas before, when our disembodied selves struggled to find the ‘four corners of our feet’, our new majestic and embodied selves were tingling with sensation.
On occasion, we were even able to glimpse that beautiful thought-less current deep beneath the waves of our occasionally tempestuous minds.
We were excited. It was new. We were grateful.
But as we acclimatized to this new way of being in the world, we wanted more. The initial high wasn’t enough.
As our self-connection deepened, we expected our other-connection to deepen too. We wanted more from our studio, more from our teachers, more from our families and friends. And they didn’t deliver.
Our listlessness returned. Why?
Because in looking for the wave, we were missing the ocean.
We still saw ourselves as separate. We were looking out there for the answers that we had inside. We discovered this when we first began practicing—that’s what made us feel so alive.
But we forgot that yoga is an inward journey. Those first tentative steps to connection are inside steps—we step inside of our bodies, inside of our minds, inside of our hearts and spirits.
And we found something.
Then we stopped looking.
We mistook the vessel that delivered the message for the message itself. We mistook the teacher for the teaching and instead of asking “What’s my next step?”, we asked “What’s theirs?”.
We gave our agency away just as we sat at the precipice of the next exciting layer of discovery.
Just as our teachers have a responsibility to us—to hold our journey, our fears and our triumphs safely in their hands—so too do we have a responsibility to them, to be active participants in our journey, co-creators and agents of our own radical change.
Our teachers are human after all, earnest but flawed. They aren’t omnipotent, they aren’t perfect…
And certainly they aren’t you or I.
So if you want more, give more.
Cast your gaze wide and remember that inspiration comes from within.
Want more from yoga? Give more on your mat.
Want more from your teacher? Give them something to work with.
Want community? Be community for someone else.
Each time the ego tricks you into thinking that your internal longing has a external solution, remember that the ego is a trickster. It is by recognizing this that it’s grip is lessened and your yoga can once again become that mysterious, artistic and liberating beast it once was.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Vera Colombo/Creative Commons