Picture by designecologist.
Sutra 2.32: Within the gentle of intelligence illumining the life-style, come up the next observances: purity of physique, thoughts and surroundings, contentment, psychic hearth that simplifies life and purifies the center, self-study or fixed vigilance, and give up to or worship of the indwelling omnipresence.
Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda
Earlier this 12 months after I was in meditation class, Alan (one in all my academics and co-founder of ISHTA Yoga the place I examine) was describing a yoga observe that “one ought to do…” –and there he stopped himself and rephrased. “Not ought to, however in the event you do these practices, you’ll come to expertise stillness…” (that’s the gist of what he mentioned).
Yoga isn’t about proper or mistaken, what we must always or shouldn’t do. It doesn’t ply us with specific guidelines, judgments, and values. Yoga has no morals. Yoga is a state of being and the method of organising the physique and thoughts to expertise that state of being.
The thoughts, ever analyzing, ever seeking to justify and clarify what it experiences, provides worth (and morals, and judgments, and expectations) to practices that don’t, on their very own, burden the practitioner with that weight.
You might not need to expertise yoga. So then the practices of yoga could or could not have a spot in your life. There isn’t room for “ought to” in your relationship to yoga (or your self). There’s simply room to open your self as much as the practices (yogic or not) that enable you stay your life the best way you need. It’s a easy trigger and impact relationship.
I’m curious in regards to the expertise of yoga, so I’m working by way of the practices of yoga –not , thoughts you, and never with an perspective that I ought to, however with an understanding that if I need to expertise this factor outlined by the traditional yogis, it’ll in all probability assist to discover the practices they laid out to steer anybody there.
That’s why I like (LOVE!) Venkatesananda’s rationalization of the niyamas. It honors trigger and impact, and celebrates the method by which selection results in consciousness (and vice versa).
One’s observe of the niyamas arises, maybe from one’s expertise or from the expertise of a trainer, or from different practices that result in the “gentle of intelligence”.
Practising the niyamas simplifies life. It doesn’t make it “higher”, simply “easier”. Although, I gotta say, easier sounds scrumptious to me.
However simply because I just like the sound of it doesn’t imply that you ought to. And irrespective of how a lot I like the thought of easy, it doesn’t change the truth that the observe of yoga doesn’t carry that worth judgment.
It helps me to step again usually (every day!) and do not forget that.
Do not forget that what I like about yoga retains me in my waking, interacting-with-the-world-around-me thoughts. I want that to stay (so I’m gonna name it good).
On the similar time, I, such as you, am not more than a “bag of particles appearing out the legal guidelines of physics”* (or so I imagine), and my particles don’t know good or dangerous, simply being.
The yamas and niyamas are sometimes labelled the “moral” practices of yoga. The “do’s” and the “don’ts”.
I desire to consider them as simply one other set of instruments to steer the thoughts to quiet so I can develop into acutely aware of my particle nature (or no matter it’s you imagine yoga allows you to expertise!)
Hari om tat sat!
Expertise your true self and produce it into each second of your residing!
* quote from physicist Brian Greene in dialog with Robert Krawlich on Radiolab.