Yoga is not about flexibility or strength which is what most people understand about Yoga. Yoga is about peace and freedom. By being caught up in the pursuit of flexibility and strength we direct our energies in a goal which involves accumulation. And everyone knows that there is no limit to how much one can want. Than the pursuit of power, wealth are a similar attraction without end. Therefore we must devote our time to renunciation – which is surrender – rather than accumulation. For most of us the giving up of things is a threat to social norm.
When Patanjali explains in the Sutras the basics or foundations of Yoga practice, he clearly indicates that the giving up of accumulation (aparigraha) is to be understood. If we are wanting to achieve a posture and every day we work hard on making it better, we have to examine what is the purpose of our action. In common language it is said: ‘Try and try and you will succeed’. But that very trying may be coming from our will to accumulate and so this kind of action is binding. It is our desire. Someone asked Papaji (S.N. Poonjaji): ‘But wanting Freedom is also a desire’, with a smile Papaji replied : ‘If you must have a desire, than have just this one, which is to BE FREE’.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Sikinos Island, Greece, 29 August 2015