The pursuit of ‘Yoga bliss’ can be so demanding or intense that it can drive us as students to search for it through moving experientially from one Yoga seminar, workshop or retreat, or live or online Yoga class, or the latest Yoga hybrid or crossover style, to another.
The primary purpose for Āsana is to take us towards Yoga,
rather than just taking us towards more and more Āsana.
One irony from this pursuit is that any experience will not be exactly the same next time we reach for it, once we have been through that ‘first time taste’. This is the nature of Avidyā and its illusory mimicry, as lived through its child Rāga.
“Attraction is the consequence of happiness.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 7
In other words when the sought ‘experience’ no longer satisfies the need to be ‘feeling good’, or ‘blissed out’, or as if having had a ‘good stretch’, or leaving ‘chilled out’, or having tasted ‘serenity’, et al, as an outcome, then we can be drawn to go elsewhere in search of someone or something that can appear to offer this as an outcome.
What is important is the refinement of one’s
practice and study repertoire, rather than
just the enlargement of one’s repertoire,
whether it’s more Āsana, Chants or Texts.
Plus, the more time you spend on enlarging,
the less time you have to spend on refining.
These are factors I feel can influence modern times Yoga teachers in that they can confuse their priorities amidst assuming the identity of becoming as if ‘service providers’, in terms of promoting or even ‘guaranteeing’ the outcome of the contact with their teaching as one of the above experiences.
The irony of seeking well being,
is that our being is always well.
In reality Yoga is about looking inwards at what we fear most, rather than just looking outwards at what we desire most, in terms of seeking yet another socially addictive pursuit, albeit under the guise of bliss, happiness, feeling good, etc.
Before there can be Yoga or linking there must be Viyoga or unlinking.
What are we prepared to unlink from in order to link?
From this it is also possible that our externally based pursuits of happiness can be so demanding that they can cause us to confuse those pursuits that can actually turn us inwards towards facing the deeper reality of our existential sense of impermanence, in favour of the search for the illusion of permanence through desiring to taste again and again the ‘experience’ of transitory phenomena such as ‘bliss’.
Initially our Yoga Journey is towards our relationship with living.
Ultimately our Yoga Journey is towards our relationship with dying.