When exploring authenticity in yoga, it is challenging (at times) to not think… WHAT? 😉 and other times to think… of course! As the Bhagavad Gita says:
“Yoga is the journey of the self through the self to the self.”
Yoga Sutra 1.3 “Then the seer becomes established in their true nature.” This statement follows the explanation that yoga is the quieting of the fluctuations of the mind. Once we have been able to settle those modifications, we are then able to become connected and established with that true nature.
Through all aspects of our practice we are led in the direction of coming into contact with, and embracing the true self. In my line of work we so often discuss the multiple pathways to recovery, and the Yoga Sutras discuss this as well. There are some individuals, and they are most certainly the outliers, skip so many steps along the path, and find that connection with the true nature obvious, and at times, hard to turn off.
Michael Singer, in his autobiographical descriptor of his connection to enlightenment, discusses how meditation becomes a pull that at times is hard to shake off, and staying connected to the world around him becomes that larger hurdle. Though we at Verapose have a strong connection to Michael Singer’s work, we see this type of individual in other places as well, whether be through our Book of Joy that we explored with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
For most of us, this journey described in the Bhagavad Gita is the journey of a lifetime. And not only because there is joy in it! Also because our lives maintain that dedication to the work, and to the journey. Finding that inherent worth in our true selves takes determination, and some days it take a whole lot of grit. I have found that those spiritual teachers who will describe these challenges, and the tapas, are the ones that make the most meaningful connections to my journey. Sharon Salzberg routinely describes how meditation practices have unearthed feelings and frustrations for her, and some of these challenges have taken her years to process through, and she put in the work.
One of the beautiful things about the practice is recognizing your point on the journey, and stopping to take a look around. There are others who are on the same pathway, some who have travelled this route before, and are giving it another go. When we look around Verapose, one of the most touching and heartwarming things we see and feel is a deep support that our yogis give to one another. People offer words of encouragement, strategies, and the permission to be who and where one needs to be. That connection to the self to be able to share it is what we had hoped!
Thank you all for taking a journey with us 🙂