The Pressures and Pleasures of Yoga

I'm often surprised to discover how few people in my local culture know what Yoga is, or even what the word itself means. The most common responses I get when I ask is that it is, "Stretching", "Relaxing", "Posing", and the closest guess, "Meditating". Even when I test the local yoga teachers, I get mostly a dodgy response, exposure of insecurities, victim based perspective, or false pride/righteousness, and all together exemplifying superficial levels of what true yoga is. Overall, I'm not particularly worried about the culture, for within my discoveries I know, feel, and trust that Nature and the patterning ways of the universe, will always have It's way and balance out the collective by whatever means necessary. Besides, "Energy flows where attention goes", being concerned and projecting problems isn't really going to help anyone out; at least not directly. I work/play towards a big "level up" of our species and discover how to integrate our internal and external selves into a solution based reality through what Yoga truly is.
 

Yoga, in it's wholeness, is an ancient study of Self, that being, the mind, the body and the breath/life force and the infinite discovery of how what we discover outside of the body, is due to what is happening inside the body, and vice-versa. What we do is find positions to put our body in and then breathe and be calm in the pressures we experience allowing for release; this helps to open and heal areas that are hard to get into, and to release stored up emotional baggage held in the muscles/connective tissue. To most this seems to be a terrifying notion, as we have become much of a culture of "wrongdoers" who consume and pollute the planet and inspire other cultures to follow suit for the sake of the ownership of stuff. So yeah, I can understand why a lot of people are over intimidated by the practice, but let me in to show you why you should embrace this fear rather than make excuses and fall short of your true potential.

Through Ecstatic Dance, a practice of free-form dancing to music, I discovered after the release of my unserving self consciousness a very real and important truth of the human condition: Be humbled for having tried. OR Be humbled for having never tried. Folks, those are your two and only two choices in life; discover humility through a practice or discover humility without one (usually towards the end of your life when it's too late). Yoga is for getting into your physical, mental, and emotional bodies and discover the depths of how you have been treating yourself and thus allowed yourself into the state you are currently in (don't worry though; it's still ever changing). Some is excusable, most is not. Through a vicious cycle and patterning of escapism and neglect of our true potential, most cannot truly look within and face their inner demons; it's too scary, it's too painful.

But is it really all that scary and painful?

At first, YES. The hardest part of yoga is beginning your practice, getting some momentum behind it and recognizing that Yoga is the practice of being a human being and a moderator of the universe around said human being. If you can get up the mountain, the view is spectacular, magical and truly rewarding; as is the next mountain, and the next and onward to the recognition that life itself is a practice in the balance between pressures (feelings and experiences that don't feel so good, but in one way or another are constructive) and pleasures (feelings and experiences that do feel good, and are not necessarily constructive).

When we recognize that whether we are in the classroom (safe zone/comfort zone) or outside the classroom (danger zone/outside our comfort zone), our yoga practice is always on. You're doing it already; you're already a yogi, just maybe have not discovered the importance of a regular internal observation practice.

How we will "save the world" is not through typical means; how we will save the world is by each of us, individually, discovering our ability to influence our entire universe at large by choosing to practice Perspective Change. There will be ups and there will be downs, but change your perspective 180 degrees and find that there are downs about your ups and ups about your downs; this is the key to a consistent state of "Nirvana" - life is a process of going with the flow and seeing the best in all things. It's a, "Whew! What a relief!" in discovering that we are all relative, all connected and all in love; be it platonic, romantic or some other form, yoga and other internal observing arts are a way to get in closer touch with who you truly are at the deepest level: A Conscious Creator amongst many other Conscious Creators.