At the beginning we do the postures to serve the body. We make the muscles strong and the joints mobile. At some point the relationship inverts and the body exists in service of the postures. We no longer do the poses to strengthen our abs; we have strong abs to enable us to do the poses.
This begs the question: what do the poses serve? What is the purpose of the postures once they are no longer done in service of the body?
The goal of the postures becomes the same as the goal of yoga itself: to remove suffering. Our unhappiness is made in our minds where we create little universes for ourselves and try to rule them. We try to be the best and the most popular and have the most stuff, or whatever the rules of our ego-driven worlds are. We try to keep control.
The path to happiness is not by conquering our own mind-made universe, but by realizing its nature as a figment of our minds and gradually eradicating it. This is where self-awareness, honesty and meditation come in.
The postures become a place where we can settle our bodies, sometimes for long periods of time, and quiet the mind. They become points of focus. Each posture has a different point, and when we do the posture our mind can focus and rest there. The poses become practice for the mind in concentration and longer periods of shiftlessness.
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