What Makes it Yoga?

This was fun…AND I honestly am not sure how much it really qualified as effective yoga practice. Here’s why I feel that way:

The intention and the desire for deeper experience was there. That’s for sure. But at what point did the execution of postures as a goal become completely extraneous to the seriousness of my inquiry?

Fairly soon actually. I remember clearly knowing for MANY years that the work of yoga asana had done about all it could do for increasing inner vision. I knew in every cell that it was time to refine my methods, to find another approach to the inner world. And I did not — at least for a very long time do so. (Many reasons, some of which you can guess especially if you make a living in yoga or any of the “self-improvement” industries.)

All good. We all have our process. Mine was mine and I am grateful for it. 

Going deeper turns out (at least for me) to be about deepening the human experience. Deepening the ability to feel, to care, to touch and to engage in life. Not to feel “good” personally, or to transcend anything at all. But to more fully engage in life. To be useful. To love, to get angry, to think, and to refine all levels of experience. To enter active relationship with self, other and community. To offer back.

Being the best you can be depends on what you diligently pursue. Be careful what you believe and what you go after. You might get it. And it may or may not be all it is cracked up to be. And, importantly you might waste a lot of time!

So pay attention.

My advice to young and old serious seekers of all kinds, those who would like to see their way out of pain and into clarity – my advice to you is to pay more attention to what you are actually doing and pursuing. 

For what reasons do you pursue what you do? When you think you have the answer, go deeper again.

Ask yourself, “What is under this?”

Pay close attention to WHY you do what you do and be prepared to change course, to go against the flow of culture. 

It is very difficult to give up anything you are rewarded and “admired” for. However, remember this:
Many things that are ultimately rewarding are difficult at first…and sweet in the end.

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