When we lead our lives without awareness, we are not fully present and since our energy is not focused, the results of what we do will be also lukewarm and uncertain. In life we always have to choose the direction, whether we go one way or the other. Let’s say, that I decide to walk one path and then start doubting if I have made the right choice. At that time my energy, my presence in whatever I am doing, will be diminished. Then I come to the next crossroads and again I doubt: “Have I taken the right turn”? In the end, when I am halfway through my life, I realise that everything I did before was a mistake, but by then I’m running out of petrol, I have no more energy. It is a tragic picture, yet this is how most people lead their lives.
Both in life and in Yoga you cannot make any enquiry while doubting, otherwise that inquiry is already deprived of a force. As your full self is not in there, your enquiry is half mind and half heart. Because it is not total, it has no power and will not convince you. Leading a life full of doubts, doubting whether it is the right thing to do, doubting whether it is the right time to be do it, is actually doubting yourself. If you have doubts – about your partner, the house that you live in, all the things around you – you can never enjoy them and they will never work out. Even if the actual path is not 100% right, there is a potency in everything and it will work with full power, without any doubt whatsoever. The result of that is peace. When you know that you have done your best, you’re a happy person. It doesn’t matter if you did one thing or another a bit wrong. Our ultimate goal is to make our journey, wherever we are going, more comfortable and as fast as possible. Yoga is not our destination, Yoga helps our journey. The destination is peace, no matter what.
Whenever I make a choice, I want to make sure that I’m totally present in it with my whole being, I make it 100%. Therefore when I encounter something – I have to learn how to encounter it fully. This is what we call presence. The opposite of presence is to be absent, meaning that part of me is pulled somewhere else. Whatever it was that pulled me half way, it is transient and changeable. Two years from now the thing that pulled me will have been long gone, but my choice was made because of it. And life is like that, this is my path to peace.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Article derived from the “Yoga & Ayurveda” Intensive Yoga Course
At the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre in Dharamkot, Dharamsala, September-October 2012