Sometimes we just know, even if we may not know why.
The classic example is, of course, the feeling of being in love. The feeling of being in love is so magical yet also so real. To the someone in love, the feeling itself may be infinitely more real than even the most scientific technical explanation of the state of love . You may simply smile and glow, because whether it makes sense or not, you just know.
Yoga is a tradition which has survived because it works – because those who have experience it, smiled, glowed and knew that this is yoga. All traditions have structure. Structure is the method or language in which they are transmitted. Yoga itself is a state of freedom from bondage, as well as a rich variety of techniques or methods to reach that state.
In the tradition of Ashtanga yoga, the method is daily practice of asanas according to the body/breathing/looking system and sequence. It’s so simple.
Yet, somehow, the Ego and the small mind can make it so complicated: Why can’t I just practice when I want or feel like it? Can I just do what I want, maybe add these few postures here or skip those ones there? And what about my problem?…
If we stay grounded in our application of the basics, disciplined in our dealings with our minds and bodies, and steady in our desire for freedom, yoga is possible for all of us. But, the truth is that I don’t know if this method actually brings the freedom of yoga when it is manipulated into serving the attachment and aversions of our egos and small minds.
How much energy do you put into dealing with the questions above? How much benefit could there be from applying that energy to working toward freedom?
What I do know comes from my own experience of searching for freedom and then finding and committing to the practice of this method. It has taught me that being committed to daily practice, to learning the asanas one by one in order, to following the instructions of a teacher, has amounted to a tremendous freedom.
My commitment to the simple demands of the practice is the foundation on which have come so many treasures: contentment and happiness, a strong and reliable body, exhilarating physical experience, fascinating quest of yoga philosophy, enchanting Sanskrit chanting, the clarity of deep meditation, the joy of devotional song, and so much more…
I am free from any struggle with the questions above and any perceived problems. It is that freedom that I would like share with others by teaching this method. So, with all my mind I continue to inquire into why the method is as it is, and with all my heart I continue to enjoy what just is.