Yoga shows up in times in distress, when the principal paradigms and religious practices don’t offer enough of a solution to our internal discord. Sometimes the dominant cultural institutions can’t offer us the answers we hope will put an end to our suffering, so we must leave behind the answers being offered all around us and instead turn to the basic questions that being born and having to die press upon each and every one of us. Being separated from those we love, living in bodies that are aging and prone to illness, and discovering that we are not being skillful and working with habitual energies of the mind and emotions, motivate us to slow down and pay attention to the basic truths of being alive. When we look to the causes of violence and hatred, even in contemporary times, we do not have to look far; for if we look into our own psyche, our own body, our own families and communities, we can begin to see the psychological causes at work. The yogis of old have continually turned to their own minds and bodies, to the breath and the natural world, as sources of inspiration and awakening, and not to the “ready” answers that the dominant culture promotes. We see our holding patterns appear in our own bodies, our intimate relationships, and the habitual grooves of our minds.
The above text comes from a book I just started reading called Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Writings on the Connections Between Yoga and Buddhism edited by Michael Stone who has a centre right here in Toronto called Centre of Gravity, which I have known about for a long time but have never personally visited. Nevertheless, I am super excited to get going on this book since I would like to know more about the ying and yang relationship between yoga and meditation outside of the intuitive aspects I have learned through experience.
I will make sure to share any insights with you!