The philosophies of the East have a big idea in common, and the big idea is the truth of connection. It is an idea that states that we are all connected, we are all one, we are waves in an ocean of being. The challenge for all of us who have some sort of yoga practice - whether that be jumping around on a mat or sitting on a cushion - is to transform the truth of connection from an intellectual concept, from just another dogma, into a realization that works for us. To transform it into an empowered belief, into something that infuses what we do and how we do it. This is a big challenge - so where do we start?
We start by investigating to what extent the separation that we believe we experience is an illusion. And we start at ‘home’, we start in our own being. When something has a hold on us - in this case the belief of separation - we bring it out of the dark and into the light, and through this process its grip on us lightens. This process is at the heart of yoga practice - it is the change that yoga practice brings. And the way yoga does this is by growing our awareness of the patterns we are stuck in: thoughts we keep getting caught up in; things we do by habit; feelings we recycle; energy states we get drawn to.
Because as we get up real close and dirty to our own patterns we experience that they are related to each other. We experience that the things we had separated out and labelled with little words - mind, emotion, body, breath - are actually intimately interconnected. So through the practice of yoga we experience that the belief in separation just does not hold up in our own being. And as our practice deepens, and the separation inside dissolves, this realization does not stop at the old boundaries of what we believed was us. It is an ever ongoing and expanding engagement with the truth of connection.
© David Dodd, February 2013
This is an edited except from a longer article that was first published on Elephant Journal on 27 February 2013.
David Dodd is a life and business coach based in Amsterdam (NL) and Bath (UK); for more information see www.awareness-and-change.com