Wednesday, November 18, 2009
From time to time people ask me how my training is going, when will I be finished, etc.? Mainly because everywhere I have been in the last two weeks I have been carrying every piece of information from my training, which includes handouts, quizzes, a 4-inch binder, and five yoga books I had to buy, so I can study and finish my take home test. When I reply that this weekend is the last weekend, people then ask what happened to my blog? Yes, yes, what happened to my blog? Why haven't I been blogging? Well, I have tried from time to time to sit and write, but it just wasn't happening. I even have a stack of birthday cards, a mother's day card just sitting in my workbag, waiting to be personalized. So what's with the can't even write a card to my mother for mother's day block?
Well, here is the best way I know how to explain.
The best sentence that sums up my training would be: I feel more unlike myself than I ever have, but I know I am getting closer and closer to my true self. In a world of distractions, it's easy to go with the flow, to not rock the boat, but once you go down the path of Yoga, which according to Patanjali there are 8 limbs of yoga, with asana, or the physical practice being number three on the list, you begin to realize that Yoga is much more than just balancing a handstand in the middle of the room.
One of my favorite quotes on yoga is,
"The goal is not to tie ourselves in knots ...
we're already tied in knots.
The aim is to untie the knots in our hearts.
The aim is to unite with the ultimate, loving, and peaceful power in the universe."
That being said, over the course of the last six months, whether I was aware it was going to happen or not, I started to untie. I didn't go crazy or anything, but at times I felt as though I might. I spent weekends surrounded by 25 other females in a room together sharing, learning, listening, growing, breathing, and moving. There were no glasses of wine to fuzz anything, there were no distractions, just the uncensored, undistracted, unveiled women all realizing things about ourselves whether we were ready or not. And for me, I wasn’t ready to blog and share where I was or still am at times. But I did feel as though I need to finish this blog, to see it through, just like my yoga certification. Here is an excerpt from a paper I had to write a couple of months ago during training:
I’m just in a different place right now. I don’t want to pretend I’m incredibly positive and yoga is curing my neurotic mind, b/c I’m not truly there. And I don’t want to post that on my blog, the same blog I wallpaper on facebook and email to everyone I know, constantly checking in with them to see if they have read it.
The good part is that I’m far enough along, whether it’s from yoga or my upbringing with shrinks and self help books, that were given as presents for the holidays, to acknowledge what it is when I see it and have faith that I will move past it. To not be so terrified, thinking I’m going crazy and distract myself for way too long. And what is way too long? Long enough that you lose hope or not so much that it’s lost, but when you can’t see it, then it’s too long. I’ve been through the worst of it and taken care of myself enough to know that there will always be hope.
All I’m saying is that I’ve had my share of tragedy in my life and I’m not trying to play the victim card…it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m proud of what I have accomplished spiritually and mentally, b/c sometimes before you have the tools, it’s easier to go down the distracted shorter paths in life. And well, the only person I need being proud of that, is myself. Does that make sense?
In the book, “Light on Yoga”, Iyengar writes about Avidya stating,
“These causes of pain remain submerged in the mind of the sadhaka, (the aspirant or seeker). They are like icebergs barely showing their heads in the polar seas. So long as they are not studiously controlled and eradicated, there can be no peace. The yogi learns to forget the past and takes no thought for the morrow. He lives in the eternal present.”
I entered my training positive, hopeful, enthusiastic that I had found my passion in life. And although as I finish my training, I still find that to be true, I am leaving with much more. And even though I have been hesitant to share, I still needed to find out where the reluctance was coming from. All I could do was acknowledge it and wait to see what came up, on and off the mat.
From, “The Study and Practice of Yoga, An Exposition of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Swami Krishnananda, Krishnananda states,
“Our fate is not in the hands of other people. It is under the control of certain other forces, and if we ignore them and emphasis the external factors, we will be doomed. It is no use judging ourselves in terms of the colors that we put on due to the relationships that we establish between ourselves and external things. We are mostly engaged in confirming the attitude of consciousness that it is dissociated from its content. This is a pitiable state of affairs. Our activities are not a remedying process of this illness. Rather, they are a confirming process and, therefore, we are getting more and more bound every day, in spite of our making it appear that we are trying for freedom or liberation. So a very acute, incisive analysis is necessary of what is happening inside us, rather than of what we are doing outside us. We need not go on analyzing our outward conduct and activities as much as focusing on what is happening inside our consciousness."
It’s amazing how reading a paragraph can open your eyes. This next paragraph really brought everything full circle.
“Therefore the gaining of a control over the inward tendencies of our personality is a new system of educational refinement of ourselves, which has very little to do with what we regard as important in life, and which is completely different from all the values that we regard as meaningful in life. We get reborn into a new world altogether when we step into the path of yoga.”
I realized that I am continuing on my spiritual path, a path that is constantly revealing my true self. The avidya is being lifted and a self that is different than what I have known, what is considered “normal” in society, is emerging. Therefore, I felt if I posted this inward self-discovery on my blog, my friends and loved ones not on this spiritual path would judge me. But if I have learned anything at all, the judgment, the resistance comes from within.