Yogis like me tend to geek out on many things.
We read the Bhagavad Gita on Muni, obsess over the Yoga Sutras, and rip out pages of Yoga Journal to post on our vision boards.
This even carries over to movies-so one of my favorite movies is Enlighten Up!
Basically, a filmmaker (and yogini) picks a subject to put through 6 months of yoga to see how it would change his life. In it, they meet with and interview yoga teachers from gurus like Pattabhi Jois, Sharon Gannon & David Life and even people like Diamond Dallas Page who markets his own style of “Yoga for Regular Guys” and teaches
“Instead of Namaste-I like T&A”
So-the subject (a 29 year old journalist who is programmed to find facts)- is frustrated over the mixed messages about yoga and enlightenment. He asks everyone over and over again “What does this have to do with spirituality???”
And, myself, as a yogini-I FEEL his pain. I mean, what is this all about??
Finally, they meet with Norman Allen-the first American to learn Ashtanga yoga from Pattabhi Jois. He lives in Hawaii in obscurity, a simple life compared to the flash and image of famous instructors.
Norman puts the journalist through a tough week of Ashtanga practice, deep adjustments and massage and they finally get to the point.
What Norman says-after being questioned again and again-is something so SIMPLE it drives the point home.
“You don’t do NOTHING for the small self”
The journalist replies “That’s a tall order. Everything I DO is for the small self. I’m hungry, I’m horny, I’m jealous-whatever.”
Norman responds “You know what you gotta do-go fuck yourself.”
A silly message but it drives the point home.
Later, he explains. “When I told you to go Fuck yourself- that’s a complete round. Your whole unit does not need another entity to confuse the matter. This is the MOST significant thing!”
And I think-when was the last time I did something that wasn’t for the small self? How many of my actions are geared towards EGO, money, status, image????
Then-I started to actively FOCUS on taking my efforts towards BIGGER things. Basic things like doing the RIGHT thing when no one is looking- focusing on my HOME yoga practice and sending those efforts towards a higher power, pulling away from the temptations that waste my energy.
And, selfishly, everything got better. More opportunities came-rewards flourished-the things that matter the LEAST didn’t override those that matter the MOST.
But, I didn’t do these things in a goal-oriented way. I do each for the sheer pleasure of offering something back out to the Universe towards the BIGGER self.
What once seemed confusing was now attainable.
Yes, yoga is a complex practice. But, it’s also amazingly simple when you get out of your own damn way…..