For many practitioners the initial WOW of yoga practice can fade almost unnoticeably. The magic of the first few moments, when you felt the sweetness of yoga, by now may be long gone.
Tightness in the hamstrings or shoulders, or burning of the arm and abdominal muscles has a way of taking over the field of consciousness. For those yogis whose bodies may not offer much tightness to work with (God bless them), their purity of consciousness can get clouded by boredom, daydreaming, or those never-ending inner dialogues and voices.
The path of yoga, however, calls for the yogi both to taste the sweetness and to feel the discomfort or boredom with equanimity and intelligent action. That means that we keep coming back to the possibility of concentration and steadiness in all circumstance.
Yoga is not only a state of union, but it is an amazingly diverse and rich offering of tecniques to bring one into the state of union.
The yoga techniques with asana (collectively called hatha yoga) are intended to cultivate acute awareness and compassionate presence, so that we can learn to heal the mind and body. By facing daily asana practice, we learn to separate our Selves from the circumstances, even if those ‘circumstances‘ are happening inside our own bodies and minds.
We become master technicians, surgeons, ‘jungle doctors’ (jangalikayamane – as in our invocation mantra), giving us a shelter and removing the poison that we may have aquired in life.