Is Your Yoga A Narcotic?

In Intention, Self-Reflection by admin4 Comments

Gosh, I sure hope not.

But quite frankly, I’m seeing it. Hearing it. Feeling it. Yoga has fast become the new drug of choice.

For many of us in the yoga community we choose not to get down and dirty. Play in the mud with “those” people who try to drag us into the mire. We so desire a more peaceful world, one that supports the equal rights of all, that we turn the other way when what we are seeing does not match up to our ideals.

We go to our mats with a mission, and sit on our cushions with unfailing commitment. Just like good yogis.

Let me state it another way – we often times use our yoga to numb our senses. We use our yoga as if it were a prescribed drug in a futile attempt to blot out the pain of the injustice that we witness daily.

But! And! We are not aesthetics hiding out in a cave on a mountaintop. We are everyday people. Householders who are living in the thick of messy lives. Attempting to clear a pathway.

Our yoga’s purpose is not to dull the senses and cloud the mind. It is antithetical.

Our yoga, my yoga, is a yoga of engagement. Full throttle go for the ride of your life. Yes, be discerning. Put your helmet on. Buckle your seat belt. Press your foot to the pedal. Hug the mid-line of the track, and enter the race.

I’m looking at myself here. I’m wondering how I may have used my yoga to remain silent. When did I re-imagine reality because I was either too complacent or too fearful to speak from my intelligence and my heart?

In what ways have I been ignorant to the pain and suffering of others because I threw down my mat and set intention for the highest? While I’m not saying that’s not a worthwhile practice, it is! I am questioning how often I’ve told myself that was enough.

Although I am forthright, it’s not my nature to be belligerent. If you ask for my opinion I will honor the request. But I’m not an in your face kinda girl. Stomp my feet. Wag my finger at you if you disagree. So how to reconcile what is one’s nature and what is one’s duty. One’s dharma?

We can only know by asking ourselves some tough questions. Perhaps you might begin with the initial query– is your yoga your drug?

And if you aren’t a practicing yogi, on the mat or cushion, you don’t get to pull the get out of jail free card. I ask you – how are you numbing yourself to the woes of the world?

My hope is that each one of us begins with an inner revolution that we might gain clarity on the outer revolution that is brewing and can no longer be ignored.

The spiritual teachings from many different lineages espouse the same basic tenet. It’s something like this – take a really long, hard, honest look in the mirror. Everyday. Can you live with what you see?

We need to educate ourselves. Put our minds in service of our hearts. Use our yoga to live engaged lives. Not checked outness. It’s simple really, albeit not always easy.

You might be wondering just what kind of holiday greeting this is? Well, as we move towards the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, it brings to mind the dark night of the soul.

In many ways it feels as if our human family has already entered into the winter of our lives. So what perfect timing to wrestle with our innermost demons. We must confront the shadows that are hiding in the darkness in order for each of us to rise out of the depths of numbness more fully alive. Emboldened to stand up for one another in a universe gone slightly mad.

I ask you to join me in this essential contemplation of the self simply because the world needs us.

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Comments

  1. Once again Paulette you have struck a real nerve with me, and no doubt with all your other readers. I am so in awe of your insight into this, our “human condition” and am so grateful that you are in my life as Guru and friend.

    1. Author

      Dear Karen,

      Thank you for taking the time to write during this busy holiday season.

      As we continue to explore our individual inner landscape we often find the thread that connects us to our shared humanity. And that is one of the elements of what guru means to me. The ability for each of us to have insight and revelation.

      Me, I’m just a really intense student on the path along with you.

      Much love to you~~

  2. Thank you for these thoughts, Paulette. Because I feel the same as you, I have been setting intentions in my yoga and meditation that focus my attention on developing strength in my body, mind and soul. I need to feel and know that I am up to the task we see before us. It is so easy to think being on the path is all that needs to be done. It’s apparent to me now that being on the path and acting on my values in service to others is what I need to do. Yoga and meditation are not my drug, they are my boot camp.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your response Suzanne. I miss your presence in class. That’s it! Perfectly stated, “yoga and meditation are not my drug, they are my boot camp.” Indeed.

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