Identity crisis. I hardly know myself. I live in a world where self-image is based on perception of values. Our formulaic ego-ic identities develop from, and become entrenched in, socio-cultural experiences, which include the commercial products that we buy, and the community groups that we gravitate towards. All of that which we know form the mental attachments of our consciousness – memories and behaviour – that affect the course of our lives.
It is the deterministic and predictable behavioural pattern from a person’s rigid adherence to vanity that locks the individual’s true self in a dilemma of dichotomy of ego and brand identity, a sense of ichspaltung, which relates to the nature versus nurture debate regarding cognition.
The packaging and branding of Yoga classes in a certain style or method, often do not take into account what it is that the individual wants to achieve out of the practice at the time and place. Will the course of exercise be of any use or detriment to the student? For example, imagine teaching Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Raised Hands Pose) to a pigeon (who has no hands), if you can work around the communication barrier. Take into consideration that not every being understands the wonderful language of squirrel.
Namaste to that.
Putra: son (child)
Ahaṃ: I, the one single being
Pṛthivīvyāhā: of the earth
Pṛthivī-Sūkta, Atharva-Veda (12.1.12)
What the world provides freely, people take for granted. Greedy industrialists exploit the Earth’s natural resources on a grand scale, often producing much needless waste and harm. Somehow with the growing concern that the tax on the world is unsustainable, people seek to conquer the far frontiers of space, as if finding a new Earth would solve everything. Why do we look outwardly for the answers, rather than looking within? In the same vein, why do we push ourselves to the limit, without taking some time to relax?
By practicing Yoga, we observe our relationship to the Earth, the room we inhabit, the air we breathe and share with others, Gravity that makes us strong. Without the relationship/attachment to the Earth, there can be no Yoga, which is the yoking of You and Mother Earth. As we recite the verse, mātā bhūmiḥ putro’ham pṛthivyāḥ, we express gratitude and delight for receiving the gift that is Yoga.
Excerpt from the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.4.14:
Sarve sukhino bhavantuḥ (May all be happy)
Sarve janaḥ sukhino bhavantuḥ (May all people be happy)
Sarva jīva jantu sukhino bhavantuḥ (May all beings be happy)
Lokaḥ samastaḥ sukhino bhavantuḥ (May the whole world be happy)
Maitrī (मैत्रि) (Loving Kindness) Prayer:
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be free from all negativity
May I be aware of the light of my true nature
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be free from all negativity
May you be aware of the light of your true nature
Thereafter send it out to the world:
May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be free from negativity
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature