2020 has been an incredibly yogic year.
By that, we mean that it’s been a time where we’ve been forced to question or change our patterns of behavior and take a deeper look at our desires. To a yogi, these are great blessings.
We may think that our actions are important, but far more interesting are the desires that lead to action.
Desire itself is always something to investigate. For thousands of years, yogis (and Buddhists) have recognized that desire is a cause of suffering. Therefore, they teach the removal of desire as a means to spiritual liberation.
We can only confront our desires when we recognize them. Most of the time they lie low beneath the surface of our awareness. A time that forces us to recognize desire is helpful. It may not be pleasant, but it is beneficial for yogic progress.
Beyond desire, 2020 has been a time to recognize impermanence. Not only did many of our patterns die, many of us have lost someone we are close with, or lost some of our (perceived) comforts. These again are great teachers on the yogic path.
Finally, self inquiry is inherent in philosophical systems. The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita teach the nature of the self, the Buddhist Nikayas teach the idea of non-self, the Yoga Sutras examine the relationship between consciousness and matter. For centuries, inquiry into the true nature of the self has been a part of human existence. This is because incorrectly identifying the self is also a source of suffering.
In a year like 2020, we’ve been stripped of things we identify as self. Our customs, patterns, habits have been interrupted. The crisis we have felt is our sense of self being pulled out from under us. To a yogi, this is incredibly useful! We never needed those patterns in order to be who we are. We simply are.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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