As I have been reading Autobiography of a Yogi, I have been thinking a lot about union with the divine. Because that is the union that yoga (a word meaning "union") refers to - union with the divine. We call the "divine" by several names: enlightenment, bliss, ecstasy, samadhi. And we have polluted the meaning of yoga a bit when we treat it as exercise.
Yes, one of the first steps in the pursuit of divine union is the union between body and mind, and the asana/posture practice helps greatly with that. But why have we done away with the breath, energy and meditation practices? Perhaps it is simply because our western culture loves fitness, so these postures and exercises fill that role, the latest fitness trend.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda says that once we begin to pursue union with the divine, all worldly pursuits pale in comparison. Money becomes meaningless when we are pursuing God. Acceptance and admiration are only figments of our over-active human minds which quiet when we practice yoga.
I do not claim to know the best path to union with the divine, or even what "the divine" means. But I know that when I get a small glimpse of it through the postures or breathing or meditation, that my being becomes still and joyful, and my usual insecurities and neuroses disappear, if only for a few moments.
This, then, becomes my goal: to know better the peace and unity of the individual with the divine.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga