Awareness and understanding of yoga, or of anything that is important, grows at a unique rhythm and pace for every individual. Trying to force a shortcut to maturity results in resistance, confusion, and separation. This is the antithesis of yoga, since yoga is the unity of heart and soul from which trust and respect arise.
Approaching yoga as a process, more akin to falling in love than to working toward a promotion, will make the experience one of expanding freedom. Mastering technique and striving for accomplishment give way to joy and wonder. In gaining trust in yoga’s process there is a loss of trust in old responses that once may have “worked” to attain position or favor. Relationship takes priority over results. Trust is gained in the the kind response, the compassionate response to bring about deep and enduring supportive connections that are divinely human.
The basic premises of yoga never change no matter what the specific intention for the practice is. Quality of attention is more important than the final form of the posture. Each progressive step has the same potential to open the heart. It is a matter of attunement and alignment to the inner frequency in every moment. Like tuning a radio, all is static until the tuner lines up with the frequency. Then the whole world opens up. There are voices and music. Depending on the station it is uplifting or depressing, inspiring ordisturbing. A song can take us immediately into joy or sorrow. Placing the attention on deep inner focal points aligns us with subtle frequencies that open and expand naturally and effortlessly.
In asana, the shape of the body and quality of attention within determines how and where energyflows. As we trust the process of inner exploration and alignment, our attunement becomes sharper. Motives and actions that were once haphazard take on meaning and direction. Mind, body and feeling become integrated and the imposing fears and static of the ego dropaway.
The ultimate alignment is that which opens the subtle energy channels or nadis and uncoils the chakras removing the entrapped obstacles to our true happiness. As BKS Iyengar says in Yoga, A Path to Holistic Health, “the chakras are tangible only by their effects. They are the critical junctions that determine the state of the body and mind.” He goes on to say, ” To achieve self-realization the sincere student of yoga will, with persistant practice, conquer the 6 obstacles to happiness: desire, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, envy.”
Trusting the process of slowing down, concentrating within, accepting our own unique rhthyms, exploring and refining alignment that removes physical, mental and emotional obstacles, increases our happiness and self-realization which feeds back into a deeper circle of trust in the process of yoga. And on and on it goes.