YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY

Real transformation doesn’t come from doing yoga. Yoga on its own is not spiritual. Ujjiay breathing, handstands, Mula Bandha, Pranayama, they don’t have the power to transform you. The universe couldn’t care less about you squeezing your perineum. The universe couldn’t care less if you push up into a handstand on an inhalation or an exaltation. Spirituality doesn’t need yoga, yoga needs your awareness to become spiritual. Transformation in yoga comes from the consciousness with which we’re doing it.

By realizing this, Yoga will lose its importance, as we will bring this consciousness into every single part of the day. A yoga class can’t profoundly challenge you. We can’t compare the fear for a drop back to the fear we experience in real life. How much consciousness can I keep while I’m losing my job, when my relationship ends, when I get trapped in a traffic jam, when I want to express my real feelings towards my family. Am I still at inner peace than? Am I still awareness only? If we haven’t been able to bring light into these life situations we will not practice a spiritual yoga. We might come to class and try to focus on our breath but will get lost in our minds. We might come to unload stress. Or we may even go to yoga just because we are feeling bad and want to flee away from this unpleasant feeling. Yoga in this way is a bandage solution. Unloading stress out of our bodies. Bringing a temporary free flow of Prana – Sensation. A temporary feeling of release. Without going to the source. Life and its problems will stagnate this flow again within no time. Like a beach clean-up without stopping the production of plastic.

As long as we think we can practice non-attachment while still buying seventeen pairs of yoga leggings every week, we just don't get it. As long as we keep searching for freedom through tradition, mantras, the mystery of the Bandhas, Prana and Apana, we just won’t find it. We believe there is something we don’t yet fully understand. That there is some magic to these techniques, but we just don’t exactly get it yet. Maybe someday in the future we will understand. And so we postpone our freedom to some hallucinated future.

This is not spirituality. Spirituality is about learning lessons in life and finding out who we truly are! About being present. Everyone on earth is here with that same reason. Whether we practice yoga or not. The universe couldn’t care less about you rocking your chaturangas, about your Uddiyana Bandha or if you place your hands together in warrior one or not.

There is a sort of fear in the yoga community. A fear for yoga not being spiritual enough. And so different styles of Yoga claim to be more spiritual than others. More real than others. There seems to be a fear for Yoga just being physical. And so we start to overprotect it. The asanas aren’t spiritual enough and so we search for it in different places. But no matter how hard they try to argue it, it keeps on leaving a feeling of void. And so they will give it spiritual names, hide behind Patanjali, Sanskrit words and Eastern philosophy. The reason we can’t find spirituality in yoga is actually very simple: it can’t be found there. The only place you can find it is within yourself. 

Real transformation in yoga only comes when real transformation happens in your life. Transformation in yoga comes from the consciousness with which we’re doing it. Stop trying the explain why your headstand is spiritual. It’s not worth the energy. Just enjoy and don’t worry. Yoga is a wonderful practice! Enjoy it! Use it as a time to look at your self. Don’t get stuck on certain techniques if they don’t work for you. There is a million ways to look at your self. Find out what you like! Don’t get lost in tradition. Don’t make it all too important. Your consciousness doesn’t care if you are doing yoga or if you are brushing your teeth. Just do it all with great care and full attention! Be here now! In whatever you do! And then Yoga will transform.
© Joakim Peper (just click)


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