Union with the Divine

carolyn yates yogaIshvara-pranidhanad-va
(Yoga Sutra I:23)

By giving your life and identity to God, you attain the identity of God.

At the beginning of each of our individual yoga journeys, presumably, someone offered us the meaning of the word “yoga”. Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the root yuj, meaning to yoke. Yoga means, to unite. “Unite what”, we wonder, and someone offers, “to unite body and mind.” To be more accurate, yoga means to unite our small-self (or our ego-self) with our true nature, our Big-Self, our God-Self, our Divine-Self.

Not long after our first yoga class and instruction on the meaning of the word yoga we begin to say to each other, “I do yoga”, or “You should do yoga”, or “Do you do yoga”? These are not true statements at all! How can we “do” union? Either we are united or we are not. In actuality, however, we are always united with our Self. We sometimes feel that we are not united because we are temporarily identifying with illusions that tell us we are disconnected. Yoga is our natural state of being. After all, we are human beings not human doings.

So if we don’t do yoga what is it that we are doing since it sure feels like work sometimes in our yoga practice? What we do are practices that reveal to us our resistances. These practices reveal where we are resisting our natural state, where we are resisting yoga. We may find ourselves in bound triangle and that voice of our small-self rises up and says, “I can’t do this!” My body just isn’t made for this pose.” This pose then, is offering us a look at how we resist our true nature by way of our misidentification. We misidentify with our inability to accomplish the pose the way we think we are supposed to accomplish it. We may decide to fake the pose instead of going further into exploring it because we don’t like the resistance. We want to run away not go further. On the contrary, this is the moment we should celebrate! This is where we get to clear a new pathway to our Self!

We could define yoga as the state where we are missing nothing! It is the state of I-AM. I-AM not this, nor that. Just, I-AM. Our true nature is perfect all of the time. At our essence we long for nothing, desire nothing, need nothing. The entire lessons of our yoga practice could be summed up in one simple mudra; Chin mudra where the thumb and index finger are joined in a circle and the middle, ring and pinkie fingers are open and directed away from the circle. For the ripe student, the teacher would merely sit before the student in silence and point his thumb up (symbolizing our Higher Self), then point his index finger up (symbolizing our small-self/ego-self) and then join the two in Chin mudra. The student would understand and rejoice, “Aha! God and I are one!”

“Our whole notion of reality has actually been topsy-turvy. Instead of God being a vast imaginary projection, he turns out to be the only thing that is real, and the whole universe, despite its immensity and solidarity, is a projection of God’s nature.”

– Deepak Chopra, How to Know God

Comments are closed.