It’s difficult to summarise in a few words or even a few pages what yoga really is. There is a saying in the ancient text on yoga that ‘yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self’. But what does that even mean?
To steal an analogy from Brandon Bays’ guide on healing and liberation, we are all born as bright, shining diamonds. As we go through life, a load of rubbish gets dumped on us, and then we cover it up with a shiny varnish to make ourselves look more presentable. At some point in our lives, we will have a mild awakening where we start to see through the cracks and get a glimpse of something far more beautiful that lies deep down beneath the surface. But you know the task of clearing the rubbish is no easy feat. So, you can either keep covering the cracks with more varnish, or you can start to chip away in determination of being reunited with the brilliance that you were born into.
This is the journey of yoga. It’s a continuous process of transformation which can be beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time. We all have emotional blockages that we have to work through to be released from the tight ropes that hold the rubbish in place, and often it is can be a difficult and painful voyage to embark on. But you keep going because every time you remove a heavy load a little bit more light shines through, inspiring the strength and motivation you need to carry on.
Over the past two weeks here in Varkala, a knot that was bound fast around me has been untied. An intense physical yoga practice opens up the body to free the mind like ferocious waves that transform hard rock to a blissful bay of sand. So, as I tumbled beneath the waves in a strong turbulence of emotion, I saw another glimpse of light above the surface. I saw that my heart is heavy because it so greatly wants to love, but its fire has been dampened by the doors which shut it out in the cold. I was angry, because I don’t want to live in a world where people have forgotten how to love. I don’t want to live in a world where my neighbour is quicker to hide his own rubbish than to help the community build a garden. I want to live in a world of open hearts that welcome strangers in to warm up by the fire.
So here I set the intention to open myself up to love, in giving and receiving. To dig deep and free the diamond to shine bright among us. I surrender myself to the divine heart that beckons from within, to the one that waits to welcome us home. Because I am that what I seek, and only in trust of something greater than myself will my heart be free to serve.