If there is one thing my yoga practice has taught me, it is that nothing is ever quite as it seems.
Everything — all of our pains and joys and deepest desires and everything in between — they are at once both sacred and mundane, everything and nothing, the source of our oppression and the gateway to liberation.
For the last four months I have devoted myself, to the best of my ability, to the astanga vinyasa system. This style of practice is hard. I have walked away from it before, and I still feel like it can slip out from underneath me if I don’t stand firm in my devotion to it.
Astanga asks much of its practitioners. This can feel heavy and burdensome. But this is where the lightness and ease has a chance to enter. This is where — if we stay — we become strong and graceful. This is where — if we stay — we get to catch a glimpse of God, right there on our mats.
In all kinds of devoted practice, we create and recreate ourselves in the image of God every single day. (And for the astangis in the house — six days a week minus moon days. (-; )
But this also means that each day, the parts of us that are weary, burdened, and hard are destroyed…
But they must be destroyed…
The muck of the world must be released and returned so that it too can be reborn and transformed into God.
This is samsara right here playing out on our mats before us and within us — the cycle of cosmic suffering that yoga promises to liberate us from. It’s hot and there’s fire and there’s every single karmic bind from this life and every other twisting and turning all around us.
The heat of this fire is strong, but the sweetness of its center is stronger. If we can walk into this fire, and just breath, and just move — in the center of this cycle — there is infinite freedom, joy, and peace.