Last week I wrote about ‘right relationship.’ This week, I un-expectedly return to that theme due to an article in the NY Times on 1/5/12, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Life,” by William J. Broad. It has gone viral in the Yoga community, and despite being well written, and informative, has created tremendous fear and negativity. It returns me to considerations of ‘right relationship.’
As a species, we long to destroy our gods as soon as we begin to worship them. Yoga is no exception. As gods go, Yoga is as great as anything else we choose to make a god, but the issue is anything that is all-consuming, anything and anyone we do not question, that which we make master/mistress of us-rules us. We cease to question, we become child like, assuming big-daddy, or master-momma will save us. Our dis-owned child within refuses to become an adult, a peer to/with our new god, and we allow ‘the fabulous guru’ to mastermind our life.
Anytime we are that out of balance, we are ‘offered’ lessons. The teaching comes in bizarre, often insidious ways, making it difficult to understand what we truly need to incorporate, and learn. What is asking for balance? Being child-like does not mean giving up that lovely quality, for it offers wonderful gifts of joy and creativity. The lesson is forging a balanced polarity between inner child and parent. Being an adult means we grow into peership to, and with, our gods. Life is about learning to discriminate, then allowing partnerships to evolve from experience.
In the very last line of a fear-filled, negative look at Yoga, William Broad wrote what could have been a wonderful opening salvo which was that Glen Black’s message is, “Asana is not a panacea or a cure-all. In fact if you do it with ego or obsession, you’ll end up causing problems.” Duh. The article has important information for all of us who Practice Yoga. But fear sells papers. Fear is our master when we remain children.
Any practice, any love affair, any wonderful gift we worship and make ‘our god,’ dooms us from growing greater consciousness, dooms us to forever dancing with fear. Any time we are out of right relationship, even those things and people we love, or especially those things and people we love- we lose. We come to fear and loath the god we loved, that offered us many gifts, and that is a tragic loss.
Asana: Choose your pose wisely, as you choose your gods. As always, do your Asana with discrimination, with care and love. Do the pose that feeds your heart and your body, even if it is a headstand, and you’ve just read an article that says most people should never do headstands. They are terribly dangerous. If it is the pose you love, and you feel yourself happy and safe doing it, do not let someone else’s fear stop your Practice.
Health Notes: Fear breeds disease because it creates more fear more dis-ease. ‘Dis-aster’ means ‘away from the stars,’ away from what makes you shine, not ego-shine, but shine from within, with the glow of a happy heart.
Astrology Notes: We are moving toward the cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius which is a shift from safety & structure to freedom & exploration. We all have all the signs within. We are learning to access their energies, and observe when one run roughshod over the others. There is always an opposition to help re-balance. In these closing days of Capricorn, use its practical, no-nonsense energy to reconsider ego, in all its ramifications. Capricorns like to be CEO’s therefore ego-issues are loom large. Aquarians love to be leaders who take us into the future, therefore ego-issues are up. They have different drivers but understanding and working with ego is paramount for both. What a great time to evaluate a Practice, or anything else, where the ego can be too demanding, driving the car, instead of observing from the back seat.
Ayurvedic Notes: Fear lives mainly in the first chakra, the Muladhara. Lack of control of the sense organs prevents respective chakras from opening, making their function weak. Excess fear damages the earth chakra. We react instead of respond.
Ego is our most basic subconscious reaction that keeps the larger field of consciousness suppressed. Learning to observe our processes helps reveal and open ego to become co-operative with heart and body. Ego directs consciousness outward. It requires balancing from an inner directive.