By gracefully yielding to gravity, you can meet challenging poses with efficiency and ease.
At the heart of all yoga philosophy lies the premise that suffering arises from a mistaken perception that we are separate. Whether we feel separate from other human beings, or separate from the trees we walk under, the rocks we walk upon, or the creatures that walk, fly, swim, and crawl around us, yoga insists that this separation is an illusion. The life force is intrinsic to all things, and any separation we feel from anything is a separation from that ever-renewing source of sustenance. Almost all of us have felt the veil of this false notion lift at some time in our lives and experienced the feeling of goodness and wholesomeness that comes when we feel ourselves to be a part of everything. And most of us have found that this feeling of wellness and happiness rarely arrives through pushing and pulling and molding ourselves into who we think we ought to be. Instead, this feeling of oneness, of being happy for no particular reason, seems to arise when we simply accept the moment and ourselves just as we are. As Swami Venkatesananda tells us in his translation of the second verse of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, “Yoga happens . . . .” Of course, Venkatesananda goes on to name the conditions in which yoga occurs, but I think “happens” is the key word in his translation. It implies that the state we call yoga can’t be forced. [Read more…]