Most “Yoga” Experiences Don’t Happen on the Mat..

You may have heard people say they don’t like “yoga”.  Perhaps they maintain an idea that it’s “not for them.” Maybe it’s something you have said! What is really meant by this though, is that it has thus far proved elusive and simply hasn’t been found yet. Of course in its true sense, “yoga” is for everyone – who doesn’t prefer a calm, peaceful and liberated head space to a scattered/busy and anxious or dull/flat mindset? Some of us will keep trying to put the work in and may get to experience this state now and then or fleetingly, but some poor souls never will. Often, it’s because they have made up their mind about “Who” and “How” they “are”. They may entertain a belief that they cannot change, this is how it is, and as the saying goes, whether we believe we can or believe we can’t, we are correct! Either way though, the state of “yoga” cannot be forced and neither can we desire it too intently, since it exists in moments of complete acceptance when there is no attachment; when we completely surrender and let go and allow ourselves to feel safe and content with what is. In this place, labels such as good/bad/comfortable/uncomfortable are irrelevant and neither here nor there. This can happen in a yoga class and/or on a mat, of course it can, but it’s more likely to happen instantaneously; in that moment just before we go back to thinking too much about what just happened! One example is that millisecond when a child is born. There is no sense of time or space and for that one moment, there is a sense of joy and love and everything just is. Even non-related humans may feel the urge to suddenly laugh or shed a tear if they are sharing in this time. When it comes to getting on the mat though, that’s the easy bit because “the work” doesn’t end when the mat is rolled up and put away. In our world, “attachment” is one of the main impediments to experiencing “yoga”. It is perhaps the hardest and most difficult thing to manage in a world where success is measured in terms of ambition, goals, finances and fame. We are all attached in our own way to some or all of these things, but goals, ambition, competitiveness and our plans for fame and fortune and glittery futures have nothing to do with feeling content with where we are at right now where everything is just as it should be. Whenever we experience a deep knowing of that ultimate truth – even if just for a short time – that’s the instant, that we actually found yoga.