the yoga sutras of travel; part 22
1.24 klesha karma vipaka ashayaih aparamristah purusha-vishesha ishvara
When you have practiced yoga for a while, not just asana (the postures), but have really taken the time to become more self reflective and work on calming the mind, you find that the little things no longer seem to get you riled up the way they once did. You begin to feel a sense of ease as you move through the daily patterns and communication becomes simpler and less stressful. It can feel well like you are on your way to constant bliss. The mistake many of us yogis make is that when we begin to think it will be perfect all the time and often will berate ourselves for stepping back into our old patterns every now and then.
When I find myself distracted by the obstacles of life and getting angry that things aren't going the way that I planned, I have learned to laugh and say to my self, "Not enlightened yet.... back to work". Getting to the place where you are able to step off of the yo-yo cycle of happy/sad, joyful/mad and other op-positional emotions requires that we keep the vigilance of a sheep dog herding our attention back to the center. It is perfectly normal that we fall off our concentrated effort from time to time. When we really step back we can listen to the voices in our heads that are setting us up to fall, but who is it that is doing the listening? It is you the pure and constant that is unaffected by the thoughts. The more we can tune into the witness we can understand that we are not the thoughts themselves, that we only get caught up in the thoughts and mistake them for our true nature. This is the whole aim of yoga to step toward our true and unaffected nature. It is also the biggest challenge of our practice. It will need more patience and guidance than any posture. The poses are a gateway to understand the process of attention, but you do not have to practice a single posture to begin to work on bearing witness to your own inner dialog.
As I found myself dreaming out a potential conversation I need to have with someone later and witnessed myself playing out both sides of the conversation, I know I have a lot more concentration to give to my efforts and I am not near enlightenment yet. The comfort is that I catch myself more quickly and I am able to step back more often so I do not get caught up in my own internal stories to the same degree. It gets better all the time and I know it will get easier still if I am kind to myself when I fall off my path. Letting things go one moment at a time.
See you on the Mat!
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.