If yoga means union, what is it that we are joining with? Have you ever thought about what that means? Union with what? And how does jumping around on a purple sticky mat every morning help us toward this goal?
We are told that the union we seek is with “something” (for lack of a better word) beyond our concepts, quicker than light, lighter than air. It’s Who We Are in the absolute sense. Sustained practice with awareness eventually erodes the mental muck that inhibits an experience of this, let’s just call it divine, energy.
We are divine beings, embodied, and so you could say engaging in yoga practice is to remind us of that. We don’t have to do anything to become divine except realize that we are. But this is the tricky part, because how do you remember something you’ve forgotten? Asana is a part of the approach. You don’t need yoga asana to wake up to this larger than life experience of mind. This Big Mind is with us always, from our first to our last breath, except that most of us have covered it up with mental muck. Our task as practitioners is to recognize this, and daily practice serves as the reminder of our divine heritage by drawing our awareness in to the still, silent, spacious core of our being.
So how is it that modern yoga has come to be identified primarily by this one limb dedicated to physical practice? Here’s my opinion.