Yoga: To unite ones soul with the Divine Universe
My favorite documentary, Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey, is a film following one woman’s quest for inner peace and enlightenment after the passing of her mother, parting ways from her fiancé, and leaving her job and life in New York City. Initially overcome with an emptiness and loss of external identity, she embarks on a journey to feel connected again and alleviate the darkness in her soul. As she travels to India and speaks to Yogis from all around the world, she discusses the essential and recurring themes of peace, presence, conscious awareness and oneness as the destination rather than simply pathways to an external source of completeness.
It is only the overwhelming intensity of inevitable worldly darkness and human suffering that forces one into looking inwards and discovering ones true self. This documentary supports that yoga, along with meditation, obviously cannot solve all problems and create a world of only happiness in which there is no pain. That would be silly and unrealistic since life is created of problems for everyone, all the time. Rather, light and darkness are opposite sides of the same coin which exist in the external and transient world. What yoga does is allow oneself to remove the layers of human conditions such as anger, pain, anxiety, and worry to reveal the inner light of Truth that already exists in each human being, which can only be found within oneself in the present moment.
“Do not curse the darkness. Instead, light a candle.” -Chinese Proverb
The documentary then goes on to discussing Yoga as a gateway to meditation, and mind being the only thing one ever has any control ever; however, it is also the most important thing. Once that sense of connection to where we all come from and return to is discovered within ourselves and all living creatures, life becomes much less complicated and it becomes clear, then, what truly matters. It is only after observing our thoughts and emotions without judgement that we begin to accept life as it is, rather than resisting it to mold to our expectations, which is the ultimate cause of all suffering. The end result of this practice is that of finding worldly purpose and spiritual enlightenment.
“So much of our life gets complicated and covered up in ideas about how we should live, that life becomes a mental process. And if we live in our head, we won’t actually live in our body.” – Saul David Raye
There is one more theme that is shed light on in this film which I feel is worthy of mentioning, and that is the root nature of all people to crave connection and love above all else. Love is often mistaken for placing expectations in another person who we believe can give us what we want- even if that is simply to feed the Ego and help us feel better about ourselves. Yoga and meditation and other acts of looking within reveal that this is a very temporary form of love that comes and goes based on situation or circumstance which often fades or turns into hate when things go wrong.
True love is selfless and limitless, given freely without judgment, expectations or attachment. Real love has no opposite; rather, it is the essence of who and what all living beings really are. It allows us to discover ourselves in all others, and recognize others as a reflection of ourselves. Love, along with patience, tolerance, compassion, respect and empathy is the basis found at the core of every spiritual practice. Ultimately, it is love that is both the journey and the destination, which guides us to discovering our true purpose in life.
“Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls.” – Paramahansa Yogananda