There was a moment on the yogic path when I realized that it wasn’t all about the poses but something way deeper. The reason I practice yoga is to shine the light of awareness on the residue of fear, anxiety, and negativity that I created. Over the years, I fed the illusions that prevented myself from experiencing my true powerful, creative nature. I allowed the thoughts and expectations of others to guide my actions instead of turning inward and listening to the still, small voice of the heart. I practice yoga to get rid of the things that limit me, to see myself as I truly am, and to see my life as it truly is: something I consciously created.
The fundamental delusion that must be overcome is identifying with false perceptions, failing to see things with clarity and wisdom, and failing to see how we created those misperceptions. We are propelled forward in search of something, and we will continue to face difficulties and turmoil over and over again, until we begin to realize that nothing will ever come outside of ourselves. The search is within, and once we turn to the heart and dwell in the still space of awareness, we begin to uncover the creativity, love, and passion we hid under fears and illusions.
My teacher John said that yoga is about trusting ourselves and taking a risk. It’s about removing the voice that told us we couldn’t do something, so we moved away from our true passions. Yoga is about “reclaimed playfulness,” and connecting to our inner child. The reason we practice is to rediscover that sense of curiosity, innocence and gentleness. Yoga is to approach our lives with the clarity that comes from listening to our heart, that part of ourselves that is beyond words and intellectual understanding, into the realm of emotion, inner knowing, and pure awareness. Yoga helps us dismantle the illusions so we can move forward with a playful child-like wonder.