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Yoga Inside Out

by Saraswathi | April 14, 2018 (On the occasion of Tamil New Year)

What is it to be a Yoga teacher or therapist in today’s world?

Is it just gathering knowledge, learning techniques and honing skills? Do we have a deeper aspiration for ourself and the world we inhabit? Are we able to touch the pain of the other and rejoice in their happiness with equal intent and intensity? Are we willing to create the space and time to cultivate a quiet mind and compassionate presence? Is our yoga practice, study and teaching helping us build and strengthen the spirit of Sangha for the sake of healing humanity and leaving a more whole-some, harmonious and joyful world behind for our children?

Read on..

I ask myself again and again… do I see myself as an integral and inseparable part of a whole, feeling, thinking and living with and for the world? Or am I an isolated being sitting in a bubble, feeling special and privileged but disconnected with the larger realities of life? Maybe I often prefer the latter. It is less threatening, it will keep me safe, it will help me deal with life in a way that I cause least harm to myself (first) and therefore believe I am serving the world better…

I am plagued by these questions more than ever! Particularly in today’s context, in a world that is getting more and more torn with differences, inequality and insecurities. The individuation and isolation of the human spirit, trapped in fear, anger, feelings of superiority/inferiority as if differences are the only way to measure our sense of self! And this measure is so fragile, changing moment to moment and constantly seeking approval or invisibility! Since the reference value is set outside of myself, I am trapped for ever in this cycle, stretch-ing, shrinking, trying to fit myself somewhere, some how… Just to feel safe?

When I step back, I can see the trap more clearly but most often this impetus to step back and free myself is weak, lost in the ocean of active memories of conditioned actions!

I long for a community that can help me strengthen my will and discipline to dive deep into this vast expanse called mind, both individual and collective, to touch, even for a second the pristine, glorious field within from where fear and strife of daily living can be watched as a delightful drama, together!

We could then, perhaps step forward and act with conviction, compassion and understanding while anchored in the deeper awareness of oneness strengthened constantly by our practice. Even if we have to walk the path alone, it need not be lonely…

May this year be filled with joyful practice, engaged study and honest inquiry. May we learn to celebrate our differences until we are transported beyond this field of differentiated awareness…

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