Many of you often ask me ‘what’s the point in doing this Ashtanga yoga practice?’ Most of you are already experiencing the amazing transformative benefits on a physical and mental level, but ultimately Ashtanga yoga is a deeply spiritual practice. I’m not a massive fan of speaking about the term ‘enlightenment’ as I feel that a lot of the terminology around it is not really helpful and doesn’t resonate with a lot of us in modern day Dublin.
It’s a difficult concept to get passionate about – I know I don’t wake up in the morning feeling excited about becoming enlightened! We can say the ultimate goal of having our yoga practice is about becoming enlightened and yes, on some levels it is, but it doesn’t feel like a practical application to me. Perhaps we can think of it as a very pure and sustained form of happiness. This is not the false happiness based on the ups and downs of the roller coaster of life which we all experience, but a true happiness that is deeper and unchanging by the ebbs and flows of life, It’s about being able to be comfortable in your own skin and being content with who you are as a human being, and more importantly, that you feel you’re able to make a contribution to the world.
In such a results driven society as ours it’s easy to get caught up in materialism and the ego-identity of a great job and financial worth. Ultimately, these things can never bring us true happiness and contentment. They often just bring more suffering as we get caught up in the materialistic matrix. In my humble experience, being of service to others is the ultimate way to help ourselves and others.
So, the next time you’re feeling disillusioned and asking yourself ‘what’s the point in doing this practice?’ remember that we are truly blessed to have this gift of Ashtanga yoga to help us live happier, healthier lives both on and off the mat!
On another note, it’s a full moon day this Wednesday, May 10th, hence no morning or evening mysore classes, otherwise it’s regular classes all week and I look forward to seeing you at the Shala,