I love you between shadow and soul
I love you as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet
and carries within it the light of flowers . . .
Pablo Neruda wrote these beautiful words to his lover in one of his sonnets. We may not all have an intimate love relationship in our lives, but we can still be intimately in love. In love with life itself. And loved by something. Yoga loves you.
I know this, because in the first class of the first part of my Yoga Meditation training – Healing with the Esoteric Principles of Yoga – my teacher told me it was the truth, that this love and acceptance are totally unconditional. And there were many of us there in that classroom searching for Truth (capital intented). The acceptance of this Truth took many years, but I believed my teacher right on the spot as all of his life had brought him to that moment of transmitting to us, his students, the essence of Life Freedom (Vedanta) through Yoga practice.
So, I know this now, deep in my soul as a teacher, and here are 3 reasons why Yoga loves you.
Yoga loves you.
Before Yoga in my life, nothing was my own and it all belonged to someone else. As Pablo Neruda also said: it makes you feel possessed and owned by something – your life can belong to you because of Yoga. Yoga gives a way of being.
Yoga gives, just as much as you give to it. It’s an equal relationship most of the time, and then sometimes, surprisingly Yoga gives more than you could ever imagine receiving. When you suddenly, and spontaneously, feel those spaces opening up inside. When you suddenly ‘get’ the experience of your subtle bodies. Yoga knows you are a part of the Divine, moved by divine vital energy and even when you are not aware of your connection with the Ultimate Mind and Heart, Yoga knows you are . . . and loves you unconditionally.
Yoga loves you so much it waits patiently and eternally for your practice, so that it can unite you with your soul and your source.
Yoga gives you reasons to breathe.
And of course Yoga teaches you how to breathe. It teaches you, through the breath, how to teach those scared parts of you inside, that you can be in control, that something bigger moves you and keeps you alive than scary little transient life stuff . Yoga always gives just as much as you need, and sometimes it can give you reasons to be here on this planet still breathing. This is what Yoga gave me when I needed that.
Just to keep breathing is a very good reason to be alive. To experience that the breath can take you to soft and sweet places within is exactly like a kiss from a beloved. Appreciating breath is a gift from Yoga.
Yoga trains your soul.
Yoga has been about enquiry and discovery for nearly 6,000 years since the Ancient Yogis, of the Vedic people in India, got up every morning and asked themselves: “what happens if we do this . . . ?”
And this could be: stand on your head; breathe in a certain way; meditate, etc, etc . . . or, also, act grown-up and get values (the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga). In other words, it gives you a mature connection with life and nurtures your connection with eternity.
Yoga teaches us to ask ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ and ‘why not? ‘ . . .
. . . “trains your soul” is a reference to: “I am the life in all living beings and the striving of those who train their souls . . . “ from the Bhagavad Gita (the “Song of God”).
And the “values” reference is to Satyananda: “At a time when the world seems to be at a loss, rejecting past values without being able to establish new ones, Yoga is the most valuable inheritance of the present. It is the essential need of today . . . and the culture of tomorrow.” (Swami Satyananda Saraswati: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha).
As a Teacher, I absolutely know a big Truth: Yoga loves you. I know this is unconditional because I have experience that myself. And all those people who came before us as Teachers, Masters and Guides deeply cared that you live your life to the full, that you love your life.
Pablo Neruda’s beautiful sonnet says it all just right now. It is how I feel about Yoga, how I love it, how it has loved me and how I feel such love for life now because of Yoga that I never would have guessed existed.
“Before I loved you, nothing was my own
It all belonged to someone else — to no one. “
PS: I’m sending you “victorious kisses of our riotous hunger for love” as Pablo Neruda would say, just in case you don’t get any from anyone else at the moment! Om . . . and here’s a gift: try this for free on me (because breath is free): Breath from the www.suzenyoga.com website’s Help I Need Yoga section
Founder of suZenYoga, Susan Ni Rahilly is a published author, Meditation and Hatha Yoga Teacher. Her teaching typically draws on breathwork in deep Hatha practice, as well as Raja Yoga (the Yoga of Meditation). She lives in West Cork, Ireland where she writes and teaches.
27 years in her own practice now, and teaching Meditation for 20 years, Susan’s Hatha Yoga teaching is inspired by Zen and her ongoing research into our innate abilities for deep listening and intuitive practice. And never more so than in her work with children and young people. Susan describes her approach: “My Yoga became a way in which I could experience life and ‘my yoga’ developed with my experience of life: exactly what it’s supposed to be, individual, vast and rich.”