Yoga is a journey from the gross to the subtle.
Both gross and subtle states are always there, so in a sense nothing is changing. The journey is a mental one with your awareness penetrating ever deeper layers of your being. It’s as though you start out as a hard, solid and opaque creature and as the years go by and your yoga practice deepens, you begin to perceive yourself as softening, becoming translucent, and in strange fleeting moments, as immaterial, something that resonates like peculiar music.
I sometimes think of myself as a song that is in a continual process of being sung even though my ears can’t hear it, and that this thing we call hatha yoga is the unblocking of the ears so that we may hear ourselves, the Nada.
This process is not hastened by doing ever more advanced asana, nor necessarily more anything. Practicing four hours a day in the wrong way will at best leave you puzzled as to why you’re not really going anywhere, and at worst, in a state greatly diminished from where you started.
The old saying is true:
“It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it”
Quality not quantity! That’s what matters. I don’t mean quality in the sense of good and bad, I mean as in the feel of something, it’s texture and tone. The expression of something, it’s undulating speeds and rhythms.
It is by paying attention to these speeds and rhythms that we find a way to align ourselves with the natural force that sustains and moves us.
Our ego desires to control this force, to somehow use it to gain a sense of empowerment. Perhaps. Who knows? Maybe that’s just me, and we’re all different anyway and have our own desires, but most of them are borne out of ignorance of what we already are, of our true nature, and so, it is with some irony that if we do things right and begin to perceive something of our true nature, we realise that not only are we already complete and in need of nothing more, but that this force does in fact control us, not the other way around. It is one with the Universal forces and therefore so are we, we are bound to everything else in existence by some cosmic ‘fascia’. This isn’t some mindless mechanical structure, it’s intelligent, omniscient, and the best thing we can do is to simply ‘get out of the way’ and allow it to move us. To dissolve our ego as best we can and align ourselves with it’s current.
This can’t be done with the ‘thinking brain’, that just gets in the way and messes things up. We need to quieten down this chattering companion and use the ‘feeling brain’. By tuning into what we are feeling we can dance in time with our internal music.