The classical definition of yoga is translated simply as, “Yoga is the quieting down of the mental chatter” (Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodha). When thoughts quiet down, we abide in seeming stillness and an utmost presence prevails. There’s no I/you/me/mine, only Presence. This is a magical moment in your practice! Coupled with the ability to practice viveka (discernment), we are able to distinguish between our ego story and pure Consciousness.
New teachers often say that certain postures “build confidence”. Okay, I get it. We feel stronger, we feel good about ourselves. Nothing wrong with that. But a deeper practice takes you way beyond the ego feeling good about itself and more into the realm of feeling interconnected with all things. Tricky arm balances and holding postures potentially build confidence, yet are really aimed at providing you opportunities to watch the ego rather than stroke it. Do you get down on yourself when you “can’t do” the “full expression” of a pose, or do you boast when you can? (note: “full expression of a pose” is a phrase I abhor). In either scenario, the ego is at play.
Every pose is an opportunity to watch ego, whether moving or in stillness. If we are also practicing satya/truthfulness and viveka/discernment, we will know when to move forward and when to stop and take rest. As we advance in our practice, the ego remains nonattached to outcome and this takes us to a deeper level of Awareness. It is in these moments that we can be fully present, fully aware that this body and these labels/stories/identities /attachments are meaningless and get in the way of connection. They are offered merely as a vehicle to realize we are something much greater and more powerful than that little “me”. It’s the bigger “We” that moves humanity to a deeper level of Consciousness and Love. Perhaps this is why the late Michael Stone defined yoga as intimacy (into-me-I-see). What do YOU see when you look within? #loveandkindness #mindfulness #yogaphilosophy #lookinthemirror #checkyourego #enlightenment #yogaofrelationships #adeeperlove #yogateacher #philosophynerd #loveiswhereitsat #mindfulrelationships #mindfullivingretreat #mindfulloving #lawsofkarma
By Alicia Cheung