The Inner Meaning of Yoga
Yoga is everywhere these days. Most people think it is good or even great, but very few can actually define it. As a word, yoga means uniion, or to yoke... meaning to become one with the universe. The word itself has nothing to do with specific poses, or techniques. So if what you are doing in your sweaty flow class is not yoga, what is yoga? Lets explore some of the timeless wisdom of sages throughout the ages :)
Yoga is a state of mind, a state of being where one is completely enmeshed in the Divine in all aspects of being. Lets see what those aspects are: Thoughts, Emotions, Actions, Behaviors, Speech. So what does it mean to be focused on the Divine? It means focusing on Unity in all things. It means, there's no duality in how you think, feel, act, in your attitude, or in what you say. It means be positive and see the best in every situation. Easier said than done you say? Thats what this whole earth school we are in is trying to teach us. Every problem we get, every challenge we face, they are saying: Can you see the positive opportunity this this? Can you be grateful to the Divine that its happened? Can you exist in a state of Unity with the Divine?
If being in Unity is the secret, what does that mean? Very simply put, live in a state of Love. See Love in all teachings. See Love in all People. See Love in yourself. Let me put it clearer. In the words of Dr. Joseph Michael Levry: "See God in All Teachings, in everyone and in yourself."
Lets bring it back to your yoga class. It is what you think, how you feel, how you act, your attitude and how you speak within your yoga class that defines if you are doing yoga, regardless of how many sun salutations you do. In fact it is the wisdom of the sun saluation that is actually trying to teach us that. Whether we reach up to the sky, or look forward to the earth, Where we are jumping back or looking up or down dog, remember the Sun. There is one Sun. It is a symbol of Unity. Thus it is the WISDOM of yoga that is meant to be taught in classes, for it is this wisdom that can make a difference in who we are being. Wisdom changes our perspective and helps us to grow. Wisdom allows us to see how we are thinking, feeling, acting, behaving and speaking and become a better person...
So the next time you are on your yoga mat feeling frustrated because you are waiting for the teacher to stop talking so you can get your sweat on, take a breath. Practice yoga in that moment. Perhaps your teacher is doing you a favor. Listen, Learn, Love and get out of duality. And on your way out, thank your teacher for the opportunity to learn Yoga... and for the class that came afterwords.