I have had a few experiences in the last few weeks that remind me of how FULL Iyengar Yoga is of all that is yoga. But, I am also reminded of how unfortunate it is that many introduced to the subject looking for ONE THING in particular maybe miss out by not continuing if they don’t immediately find what they are seeking. Even more unfortunate is the person who finds the ONE THING they are looking for and takes that alone and runs with it…never looking back for all the other amazing gifts and transformations!
Of course we ALL arrive in yoga for one reason or another and whatever brings you there is awesome. I myself came to yoga because my friends were interested in going and it was going to be a fun “girl’s night out!”, so why not?? But if it stayed there, as the “yoga night out”, I would NEVER have had the full experiences that I have had around the globe and inside myself since that time. And I do believe there is a choice we make, consciously or unconsciously, about what we get or don’t get from our practice of yoga. If I left after my first classes because it was uncomfortable and I was stiff, I would have not have captured the drops and layers of knowledge that keep filling me up and overflowing!
Maybe I am lucky…ok, I KNOW I am lucky…or blessed…or however you want to say it…but I wish for these blessings on every student that comes through the door, and I am constantly searching for ways to share and give these experiences to students so they may also reap every benefit possible!
But it takes an open mind. There is a reason you arrived in yoga and maybe you have a preconceived notion or a goal you want to accomplish….and maybe Iyengar Yoga does not have the instant gratification effect that fulfills that specific expectation…but I would argue that it has an instant effect! Maybe you wanted music, but all you got was your own mind and body to listen to. Maybe you wanted to flow, but you had to stay and experience every moment as it is. Maybe you wanted to hear about your chakras and bandhas, but every pose you aligned physically also aligned you energetically. The beauty is that everything is there… FULL BODY, FULL MIND, FULL SPIRIT experience…to pull one aspect or the other out and only do that would deprive you of the rest….to only seek what you “want” or what is “pleasurable” may drive you down only a one lane highway.
In order to fill a container, it must first be empty. If we have filled the container with expectations, then only the small amount of space left will be filled with experience. If I crave only to fix my physical problem, I might miss the healing of my mind. If I crave only a spiritual high, I may miss the beauty (both pleasurable and not pleasurable) of this physical existence.
In my experience, in my readings, in my practice, and in my visits to the Iyengar Institute in India, the beauty of Iyengar Yoga is that it is not just that … it is not just one thing … in it you will find all things … you just may have to look deeper, look longer, look from a different angle, hear from a different voice, read a different book or article…but being in this system, the vastness and fullness is overwhelming and enlightening…sometimes frustrating and sometimes blissful…sometimes the same old same old and sometimes inspiring!
But isn’t that the true fullness of being the true fullness of yoga?