Your mental state leads you into the actions that you make: and the actions you make affect your mental state. There are people whose mental state requires self-assurance. There are people whose mental state makes actions with a goal in mind and when they do not achieve that goal they give up. Your mental state is a totality of all the things that happened to you in the past. How you move in life and how many challenges you experience in life affects this state of mind and this is visible in the physical being. An individual’s walk indicates their mental tendencies and how they might interact in a given situation. From this, as practitioners of Yoga we can make a holistic diagnosis. For a Yoga teacher, diagnosing a body in motion will reveal much more about the mind than the diagnosis of a static body.
There was a time I used to look deep inside and tell people where they were stuck. I stopped doing that. Many people refuse to accept the way they are seen by others because of the notions of ‘self’ that the ego has created. You cannot force truth upon someone. They must realise it themselves. On a personal level, also, it takes up a lot of energy to make such diagnosis. It’s only good for people who are ready. For them it is a revelation and they make very quick progress from it. A correct Yoga Practice will help in this realisation and in knowing how to proceed and progress.
The Yoga practice is always the same because with the same Yoga practice you recognise imbalance more clearly and something starts to change. Have the quest for balance as your only focus in your Yoga practice, and that will start to change the body, all its infrastructure, and give you a healthy mental state. With that healthy mental state you will stop creating karma and be able to dissolve the past.
Practicing multiple styles of Yoga and having multiple points of focus gives rise to ego. The more I do the more actions I make. The motivation behind any action is to gain something, so as the amount I do increases, so too does the ego. Most Yoga practice has the propensity to inflate the ego with the notion that ‘I am great because I keep on doing great things’. What is ‘great’ but a balloon that needs only one scratch to burst?
Yoga practice is not about the authority of anyone besides the authority of your awareness. That is the highest authority in the Universe and this is attainable in right Yoga practice. The refinement of awareness is the dissolution of ego and individuality. When you dissolve ego and individuality universality comes and then there is no duality- no ‘you’ and ‘me’, ‘this’ and ‘that’. To find universality you must have self-awareness, you must be regular in your Yoga practice and you must be committed to exploring your foundations on the deepest level.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora,
Article derived from Yoga Teacher Training Course
at the Himalaya Shanti Ashram, Spring 2017