Before I left for the ashram I saw this billboard above.
It will be professional deformation, but it immediately reminded me of an important part of yoga: how do you stand. Naturally that reflects directly in the daily life: how do you stand in life, what do you stand for, what is your foundation, do you lose your balance soon? And how do you relate to what is happening around you?
I fall into repetition when I write down this observation: we live in a world where everything changes rapidly, certainties fall away, values are liquified, loyalty is found weird. The moral compass points in all directions, ‘fun’ is the guideline for action and a frenzied entertainment industry wants to fill all hours for you. How do you find yourself in a world that bombs you with increasingly noisier stimuli? You have to work hard to be a successful consumer. And you have to be flexible to be able to go with all the hypes. When satisfaction of the senses directs our actions and we subordinate our values there, then the end is lost. Why?
The answer is given as a metaphor for horses who favor a car. This metaphor comes from one of the ancient Vedic scriptures, Bhagavad Geeta.
The cart (our body) is pulled by 5 horses (the senses). The reins are in the hands of the driver (the intellect) and you are in the car. The intellect is the faculty that makes decisions to achieve a specific goal. You understand that if the horses go their own way, or if the reins are not controlled, the car can shoot in all directions and eventually fall apart. Does that sound familiar?
Without control of mind and senses, there is no yoga!
To get back on the feet and the text on the picture: if the roots are weak and you are not firm there is decay. Decay means spiritual decline.
Is yoga a next ‘fun’ thing to feel good, or do you realize that this is something much more fundamental, namely yourself. Are you silence and space in a busy world, what makes you the starting point of your world? Truth is quiet and simple. Are you firmly in there? I sometimes quote this piece from the yoga sutras: Sthira sukham asanam.
Are you stable (sthira) and comfortable (sukham) in every posture and every action in life … do you live yoga?