Yoga teaches me that the body has needs, wants and desires. These are communicated to the mind through pain, pleasure and longing.
Yoga teaches me that male and female – and everything in between – practitioners can come to respect the needs and signals of their bodies, overcoming the dominance of the mind.
Yoga teaches me that until we come to yog, we are necessarily involved in a submissive or dominant mind-body relationship. When the mind commands the body to move-make-do-act constantly, incessantly, the body is obliged to do so, until it collapses in a foetal heap in need of sleep. Sometimes, the abuse is so severe that the body rebels completely and starts to run the show. But, the body does so through a passive-aggressive kind of submission. “Oh, how I ache, it cries, I cannot wake I cannot sleep. Help me!”
Does the mind listen? Maybe, maybe not. I suspect that quantities of pain killers are usually consumed before any listening begins.
Yoga teaches me that the dominant mind will first chastise the body, bending it to its will. The body will oblige, but again, only for so long.
Yoga teaches me that true yoga begins to happen when the mind and body listen to one another, establish a mutually co-operative, symbiotic relationship. Like a settled old couple, the mind asks for booze, the liver says perhaps not, the mind concurs, then perhaps has a small nip before bed, and the body happily settles into a comfortable sleep. Or the body asks for magnesium, the mind is listening attentively and selects appropriate foods, the body is satisfied and the cravings cease.
Yoga teaches me that this is possible. Yoga relies on an ancient body of knowledge in which a reproducible formula for self-realisation is laid out. I have trod this path for 16 years. I have lived these changes. I would not bother to blog about things I did not experience myself.
Yoga teaches me that we can heal the mind-body relationship. Abhyasa-vairagya, discipline and detachment. Yoga teaches me to keep at it.