This gift of yoga comes unannounced, and quietly comes into your mind, body and heart without fanfare or bells and whistles. It is not a particular pose, like finally nailing your handstand. It doesn’t come from a particular teacher, nor a particular class or even a particular yoga center. It comes from practicing yoga, day in and day out. It is born of struggles, disappointment, pain, and wanting to give up, because you know, life; you are busy. But something inside of you persists, practices and doesn’t stop. That someone or something inside of you that yearns for light, 24/7; that sees a bigger picture than strength or flexibility combined, that sees you for you, how you really are, what and who you are.
As I woke up this morning, life’s troubles stared me right back in the face, with a big smirk. Life has thrown me a 1/2/3 punch that has threatened to take me down. All that I love and cherished has been on the line. Times where I have gone into the darkest places in my mind, that I ever have. Threatening to consume, and spiral downward, I have rose up. Well, I should say the practice of yoga has lifted me up.
This is a feeling absent from your circumstances. For instance, if we have 2 weeks of solid rain, it might make you feel a little blue or down, or even big life events, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a home. At times like these, when we are at the lowest of lows, it would be really difficult to see how doing some yoga poses might help you feel better. It’s at this point, even seasoned yogi’s might want to give up their practice.
The yogi’s have a special sanskrit word for this. “Ananda”. Ananda is bliss, joy that comes from these physical postures. It’s not the bliss you feel when life is going right; you have the right job, secure in your finances, secure and happy with your friends and family. But this is the bliss and joy you feel despite circumstances telling you to feel down. This joy brings tears to your eyes, it is so bright, so full, so complete.
This Ananda is within each and every one of us. This is within our grasp, and embedded in our soul. It is who we really are, when we remove all of what life has thrown our way. This is the real gift of yoga. This is why I practice, although I didn’t come to the practice looking for this.
Don’t believe me, like a real scientist, go and practice yourself. And then we you “think” you know all of what yoga is, step up your game. Go to someone who will find your tightness, or the area you are most weak in. That leads you to this path of Ananda.
See you on your mat,