A yoga student in last week’s class said that she almost didn’t make it. She might have been vacillating for all the myriad reasons a mind can generate: too busy, too hard, too long since the last attendance, not feeling like it, winter blues, upset in the family, or just plain slack.
She didn’t tell me why it was a close call and I didn’t ask, but I was thinking about her today when I was cycling down to Manning Point. I wanted to go out and get some exercise, fresh air and sunshine, but I didn’t want to exert myself.
I wasn’t riding a long distance all up, 20 km., only one small hill, and a break for coffee halfway. But do you think my mind would let up telling me how hard I had it? I just kept pedalling. Then, as soon as I was home again and dismounted my bike, I felt elated and there was energy coursing through my body.
I think that’s what happens a lot to yoga students when they have to drag themselves to class. It’s the memory of how good it feels to move energy in the body and pacify an overactive mind that keeps us returning to the yoga mat. Mind chatter is mostly irrelevant, and sometimes so are our likes and dislikes. What does matter is the results – the lightness of being .
Visoka va jyotismati
Or when experiencing thoughts that are luminous and free of sorrow.*
*The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, translation and commentary by Chip Hartranft