In just a few weeks, I will be offering the 5 day Inner Yoga Immersion retreat at Omega Institute. I am currently in Boulder, CO working on my Bhagavad Gita book. If you don’t know, the Gita is one of the main texts from the Indian wisdom tradition that mentions yoga. It mentions it alot. And there is basically no mention of the physical asana sequences that have come to be the modern definition of yoga.
In the Gita, and in my experience teaching this stuff for more than 20 years is that yoga is, ultimately, a healing modality. And the affliction its healing is the affliction of separation. And the separation it heals, at the deepest level, is the separation from God. We come from Spirit. The whole universe does. Every object, every plant, animal, person and everything that a person has – including our thoughts and feelings and other aspects of our inner world – comes from a Sacred Source. And, when we are separate from that Source, we suffer.
Animals and plants and objects all share the same big difference from us as humans. They can’t really be separate. Because, the separation is not ACTUAL. The mystics use imagery like waves being inseparable from the ocean or flames being inseparable from fire. That’s how Spirit creates – by morphing into everything like the ocean’s waves. So nothing is separate. Maybe an octopus lives in this state of total oneness. Who knows. What I do know is that we humans have a part of our creature-ness – the mind and ego – that can feel separate. This part of us can create that “wound” of separation. It’s our wrong understanding. But it’s also a deeply felt, knowing and way of being.
One can only really know this from experiencing one’s oneness with Source – but it’s important to say. All suffering comes from this experience of separation. And all suffering is healed by healing this sense of separateness.
This is what yoga does.
Of course, I’m not talking about downward-facing dog (although DFD is a beautiful thing to do and very healing for the body). The yoga that heals the wound of separation is inner yoga. It’s the deep work we do in meditation. It’s the powerful transformation that comes when we associate with people who have found that oneness. It’s the deep work of identifying the aspects of our body, mind, heart, understanding, and life that keep us separate, and one by one releasing them and letting them go, letting ourselves regain our natural connection.
That’s what we’re about. That’s what every class, every private session, every meditation, and every retreat is about that I do. If it was ever something else before. That’s what it’s about now.