Updated: Jul 17
"Enlightenment" Acrylic Painting on Woodblock by Srimati
I have been practicing yoga for many years, though I am not skilled or practiced in asanas. Yoga means union and the yoga I practice is not based in asanas, but in the sadhana of my real life.
I am sharing this specifically with anyone for whom this may resonate, not because it is the right or only way. This is simply the way I have carved for myself and isn't meant to undermine or tear down the practice of another as there are many ways to practice yoga and many yogas to practice
My practice in bhakti-yoga is completely rooted in my real life and the culture of my family. Not the culture of another land or people. I haven't appropriated any religious observances, but I have adopted the philosophies through connection to my spirit guide, Neem Karoli Baba AKA Maharajji, who guides me from beyond. The philosophies have been unified with me in practice and awareness of my everyday life and my own culture. This means I am not going anywhere or doing anything (technique or ritual) to experience the yoga or union. It's just here with me in my own awareness, rooted in my everyday.
Yoga isn't about the movement. It's actually about the stillness. The stillness is the awareness of the movement, but not the movement itself. It's just becoming the witness and allowing the mind, body, self to simultaneously open and commune, come into union in that awareness. This is what somatic movement is. This requires absolutely no asanas or technique, just awareness applied to living life and being still while observing the movement or technique. The asanas are not the point, they are the opening.
When us westerners think of yoga, we're usually picturing people in downward dog, but that's just a small corner of what yoga is. Yoga is baking bread and washing dishes. Yoga is kissing your child goodnight. Yoga is making love to your partner. Yoga is communing with the beloved. Yoga is applying awareness to the moment and the movement, and coming to a place of stillness where you are in the union of it all, coming to one point and single space with God.