Where does yoga lead us?
Is your goal to raise your leg the highest? Or to hold inversions the longest? Or to be the most flexible or to build muscle? Or are you here to lose weight?
What are you trying to get out of yoga?
In my class, I occasionally say, “Don’t fight in the asana.”
Humans naturally have a huge ego and have a tendency to (maybe unconsciously) think “Iwant my pose to look the best in this class.”
This deeply rooted concept can be let go through practice of yoga.
Within the eight limbs, there is Niyama which represent self-discipline that should be performed in your daily life. Further, one of the Niyamas is Santosha.
In sanskrit Santosha means ‘satisfaction’. Are you all satisfied? Us humans have a tendency to look towards things we don’t have.
Even celebrities who seem to ‘have it all’ are not necessarily always satisfied. Amongst them, some may feel miserable. We periodically see on the news that they get addicted to drugs or sadly commit suicide.
All humans have a difficult time maintaining the state of satisfaction.
For example, you see a beautiful dress or a gorgeous watch and you want to buy it. You decide to work hard, save money, and go buy these items. At first, you feel extremely happy that you possess these items and use them with great care.After a while, you walk past that store and see new items on display. You strongly feel the need to buy those as well.
This is probably something we’ve all experienced.
Through this example, you can see that humans are particularly terrible at keeping the state of satisfaction going.
Musk Deer Example
Here’sa story of a musk deer. One day, this deer smelled a lovely scent frome somewhere. So, he started searching for the smell. He walked and walked, but couldn’tdetect where the fragrance came from. Then, he realized that he himself was the root of the smell.
We usually get carried away with the fast moving environment and don’t have time to realize that the most important things are already with you and inside of you.
With our hatha yoga practice, it is possible to train our mind and body to be in a consistent state of satisfaction.
So, it’s ok if you pose is not perfect. First, place yourself in an environment to practice yoga. Feel grateful, and be satisfied. Although you may not have a perfect asana, pat yourself on the back for not running away from your practice and putting in the effort. Then, focus on your breathing and focus your attention to your mind and body.
Being a yoga instructor doesn’t liberate you from these desires. I still feel envious of others and of things I don’t possess. It’s important to continue your practice throughout your lifetime
As mentioned before, it’s difficult to always feel satisfied. I hope that through practice, the duration of satisfaction slowly multiplies. And don’t hesitate to take your practice off the mat!