The real 'point' of Yoga
Yoga is a lifelong journey of enquiry and discovery. In fact it’s lifetimes of work! It’s not just about being present on your mat every day, or even bending yourself into a pretzel! It’s about being present in your thoughts, words and actions every day.
No one is perfect and to be a yogi doesn’t make you super human or set you apart from everyone else, but your commitment to your journey affords you the opportunity of awareness and through that emerges the ability to heal yourself and cultivate compassion toward others through experience and understanding. We are all made essentially from love. The essence of our inner being, our soul, are the seeds of love. But these blossoming flowers get trampled on through life experience, heartache and trauma and as a result we shut down and set up tough exteriors around our true essence to protect ourselves from hurt, pain and anguish. As a result, this hardness penetrates others and produces a chain of negative feelings of anger, lack, fear and so on.
The way in which we perceive life, react and respond to others and how open we allow ourselves to be will dictate how positive and loving our experiences of life will be. It’s a lifetimes work to cultivate this open hearted awareness and it all starts with yourself. When you have mastered how to be compassionate, sensitive and loving towards yourself, everything in life will flow and you will be able to interact with others with a healthy understanding and respect without clinging or avoiding which ultimately ends in suffering, but only for you. The Buddha once said that to hold onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it. And he is so right. In life we have choices. We are the only ones in control of our feelings and thoughts and when we cultivate awareness of our behaviour we can master control over it and therefore make a choice to be happy and free or be a slave to negativity.
It shouldn’t matter what anyone else does or says to us, they are going through their own learning experiences and often pain accompanying that. But we do have the ability to rise above it and send them love and forgiveness which alleviates our suffering and empowers us to make a choice towards peace and contentment. All the time we blame others for our misery, we have no power to move through our suffering and come to a better place. If we take responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings and recognise that we have choices, we free ourselves from the shackles of negativity. And all the while your behaviour is noted by others, you have the opportunity to inspire others to be better people.
So the first way to start to cultivate self love and compassion is to offer the fruits of your daily practice, your self enquiry and healing journey, to others. And by offering your loving healing thoughts, words and actions in this way, you contribute to healing all beings on this planet for generations to come. And by the way of karma, what you reap is what you sow. What an amazing offering each of us has the ability to give.