Difficulty brings us back to the drawing board. Having lost track of what is real, what is true, we stand once more at that fork in the road. Often we are lead to the practice of yoga without even knowing how or why we’ve arrived. What is important is that we have arrived. Where difficulty brings us back to the path, intrigue keeps us marching, one foot in front of the other, into the light.
The ego, in times of conflict (being the protector of the fearful self) seems to get in the way of our own fulfillment, happiness and joy. It attempts to mask our fear by creating for us a false image and by spinning untrue stories to make us feel better. False images and false stories around the self only cause more confusion and deepening despair.
The answers, the secrets, and the advice you seek must be uncovered through your own experience of walking the path, testing, evaluating and coming to your own conclusions.
Yoga opens the mind and brings clarity.
If in a class, you’ve ever experienced a 10-15minute Shvasana, (deep relaxation) and felt the layers of tension peel off, you have also glimpsed how to uncover the layers of truth that exist within you.
In difficult times, understanding and truth first occur at the physical level of the body, then progress to the deeper levels of the mind (which I will describe later). Further development through practice reveals an experience of the actual self at the core, and brings an authentic peace and contentment. (whenever you need it)
“The 4 Nuggets of Wisdom” that I’ve experienced while enjoying a regular Yoga practice may have meaning for you, too. Here they are:
1. Insights into ones own capabilities (Begins physically)
2. Insights into ones own fortifications (eg, What you allow yourself to experience, or not)
3. Insights into the conflicts of the mind (eg, The inner dialogue during postures)
4. Moments of intrigue (an epiphany that has come up during a posture that is unexpected)
Yoga speaks to the inner workings of the body and mind, and allows a journey of self discovery on an experiential level. You walk the path, you pay attention to the occurrences, thoughts, sensations that come up while on the path and your life takes on a different shape as a result of your own discoveries. Difficult times are much more manageable when unclouded.
Yoga opens up what is real and true, and lets go of false images and stories, causing a wonderful liberation and blossoming, inside and out.
Copyright © 2010
Heather L. Johnston, is a Registered Dental Hygienist and a Certified Yoga Instructor in Cambridge Ontario, who helps health oriented adults find rest and relaxation through the practice of yoga and meditation. Your experience is welcome; please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.