Yoga in action is composed of austerity, self-study, and trustful surrender to Ishvara, the Divine, God. If my body and mind are the gateways to experiencing my inherent beauty, wealth and light, how could I have spent so long numbing and obstructing my vision? Even now, even for one moment of one day, how dare I question the blessing in front of me – even when it’s disguised as a terrifying collision of energies?
How dare I use my given gifts in the name of destruction, emotionally, physically, psychically? This is the practice, to keep up this questioning.
And then to connect to the Earth, to slow down, to know and amplify my gifts rather than live in doubt of them. To walk with those who choose to hold me to my highest standards and help me cultivate daily states of fulfillment, freedom, contentment. To walk with those who choose to stand next to me when external circumstances seem frightening. Their presence reminds me of what we’re all here to do.
Given the ability to act and to move, I can choose.
Either I cultivate confusion in each of my communications – both with self and anyone else – or I generate excellence. The forces ready to usher me through are clear. I practice, I observe myself, I surrender again. I practice, I observe myself, I surrender again.
I practice, I observe myself, I surrender again. Every day.
Practice. Each day a reconnection, of reminder, of re-vision. A flash of inner radiance, one deep breath that infuses my mind and body with remembrance. THIS is why I walked into that first yoga class, ballerina tail between my legs waiting to be yelled at for some mis-arranged limb, only to be met with love, with smiles, with encouragement. Acceptance. And since then, the practice has proven to be both mysterious and miraculous, bringing me to the feet of several of the finest teachers alive in this time, refocusing my sight so I can heed what’s aligned and unrecognizable sometimes. Practice has helped me stop loving what isn’t good for me and discerning that which is.
Self-observation has helped me differentiate between pleasure and indulgence. Study of scripture and study of self have helped me see when I veer away from simplicity and complicate things unnecessarily, like I did when I was a child and felt that nobody was actually seeing me. Like I still do when I’m extra tired or mired in some problem I cannot solve myself. This work has helped me be sated in solitude, needing nothing else. That’s when I’m able to recalibrate my tendencies, refine my responses, stay in the fluency or calm the moment – whatever helps me self-regulate.
I can change the world, but only through my own state.
Surrender. This is another matter. While it’s realistically the beginning of any practice or self-observation, surrender is the moment of allowing grace to breathe life into my interior wisdom spaces and soften everything.
Surrender animates the practice and the study, but it’s also the action that is done for me, with me, if i let it live in me. When I give it space to unfold, surrender emanates from the highest authority, and articulates with a most elegant subtlety. When I’m no longer motivated by emotional impulse, remembering the intelligence that lives at the source, I’ve surrendered into what must remain at the forefront – not an opinion, not a distortion, but a deepening trust in evolution. And a willingness to face it with poise, embracing the next renewal.
“This realization makes us wiser. It becomes easier for each of us to detach ourselves from painful thoughts and feelings without losing our sensitivity to conditions that are both real and significant on the material plane. (Surrender to God) enables us to operate on two levels simultaneously – spiritual and mundane. We are fully aware of the inner reality and respectful of the forces that dominate our worldly existence. We become citizens of both worlds and have the wisdom to obey and honor the laws of both. We are able to perform our actions skillfully, wisely, and lovingly, and our actions are no longer binding.”*
Practice, study, surrender. Listen to what moves you, but ultimately you’re here to teach yourself to respond consciously to the difficulties encountered when you’re mired in patterns, beliefs and assumptions. This dynamic process of releasing misunderstandings of all kinds is the gift of this human form, the blessing of this human mind.
This is the work of looking inward with abiding, expanding kindness.
*Panditji Rajmani Tigunait, Sadhana Pada, p.16