Whenever I lose my keys, and this is something which occurs on an uncomfortably regular basis, I find them only when I stop looking. Whenever a word is on the tip of my tongue but just out of reach, I know that the word will come out of its hiding place when I cease trying to coax it. Perhaps I am just oppositional in my nature, straight through to my very core. But I hold these truths to be self-evident, that for me, seeking is not the key to finding.
And so it is with the yoga. I have gotten so many wonderful benefits from my yoga practice, despite that I have not always sought those benefits. There is a physiological reality to the calming nature of certain postures, and likewise, to the stimulating nature of others.
When guruji said, practice and all is coming, did he really mean, “practice the postures, go to workshops on the postures, go to workshops on sanskrit and pranayama, read the bhagavad gita, learn to chant the sutras, offer fruit to statues of ganesh, and all is coming?”
I really don’t think so. I believe that he meant us to do our physical practice, and the other limbs will become apparent. That there is no need to seek. Samadhi will find us when we practice.
Did Norman Allen go to Guruji in search of Samadhi? Or did he think that the postures he saw being practiced on the beach (by manju I think) were waaaay cool?
Does guruji want us to pray to his photo? Or would it be enough for us to see his face as a source of inspiration?
I feel lucky that I found a vigorous, challenging physical workout that leaves me feeling nourished, enriched and calm, rather than depleted, wasted and frazzled (like the way running fifty miles per week did). I am lucky that I found Bikram first, because it taught me that the yoga happens, even if you’re not looking for it, even if no one tells you about it, even if the posture-names are identified in pidgin Sanskrit by teachers trained through memorization of a dialogue that talks solely about the muscles, bones and skin and nothing that exists on any meta level.
Jivamukti yoga was a good next step because it provided answers to the question, “what is it that I am feeling when I do this physical thing called hatha yoga?”.
And I am pleased to have found Ashtanga finally because it will provide an infinite physical challenge for me, a never-ending supply of ways to engage myself into stillness.
If you go to the mat, it will come. Even if you don’t ask for it. Even if you don’t want it. Even if you don’t seek it.
It happens anyway.
Don’t be telling me I’m not an ashtangi.