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Yoga – inquiring within?
By Jessica Powers
There was this gem that I used to pass on my walk into work, written in chalk on the a-board out from a local yoga studio that always flustered and upset me:
Healthy Yogi = Happy Yogi
Um, excuse me, isn’t my yogic happiness supposed to stem from overcoming my identification with my body? Happiness regardless of whether I’m healthy or not?
Aren’t I working to identify and then release my I-amness, my ahamkara? Haven’t you people read your Patanajali?
Right, okay. You are saying that life is better when we take care of our body. I get that. I just think it stinks to promote an activity designed to take us further than the body by equating the body to the whole person.
What if I am in an accident or develop an autoimmune disease? Am I excluded then from this happy yogi state because my body is compromised?
Health in the body is not entirely in my hands, even as I push them into the mat in down dog.
Indeed, as I push my hands down into the mat and lift up into wheel pose there is always a possibility that some fractional stress will hit its utmost point and I’ll collapse in pain, harmed by my health quest through yoga.
Where’s my happy then?
What about as I age?
In our society health equates to youth and youthfulness.
My hairs are coming in white and grey and up front. I’m not going to dye over them. And while I use sunscreen (almost religiously) and I love my eye cream (organic carrot coloured stuff that smells amazingly of chamomile) I am aware that there are more lines and creases each year.
My body is changing. It has …read more