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Yoga Means Union

One of our previous Heat Yoga presenters, Cassandra Justine, once said, " We are here to love and be loved. Period." That has since stuck with me and when I contemplate the question of "Why are we here?" and "What is the meaning of life?", I usually come back to that quote.


Yoga is many things, and what some don't realize is that Yoga is many things other than just the physical practice of the postures. The word yoga can be defined as "union". But when we say union, what "things" do we mean come into union? Well, there are many words that we can use to attempt to explain this idea of union, although I believe that language falls short when trying to describe what this truly means. Some may take it to mean union of myself with the divine energy of the universe (aka God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Brahman, etc). It can mean union of myself with the wisdom of the universe (supreme knowledge). It can mean union of myself with ultimate truth or reality of the universe. But it can also mean union of myself with the non-self; or better yet, absorption of myself into the non-self. Meaning that the "self", this idea of "I" and "I am separate from that", goes away, and we experience and become one with Sat Chit Ananda or the Truth Consciousness Bliss that is ever present in the universe.


I have a friend that has a horse farm and I have heard her say that horses are "herd animals"; that they thrive in herds and do not do well if separated from their herd. I believe that humans are greatly the same. I believe that we continuously wander, either purposefully or aimlessly, through life searching for that union, whether we realize it or not. We start that journey physically connected to our mother through the umbilical cord and then once we leave the womb, we consistently seek out that connection.


Now the "union" that is used as the definition of the word Yoga, means that union happens all internally, however, I think that we learn a lot about how to achieve that union through our interactions with others and I think that the main way that our eyes are opened to this path toward union with our higher self is through unconditional love. One of the greatest ways that we seek out this idea of union and unconditional love is in a life partner. To quote the movie Wedding Crashers, "True love is your soul's recognition of its counterpoint in another." When we find what we believe to be true love, I believe that we get a glimpse of the unsullied soul that is a part of every sentient being. When someone in your life accepts you for who you are, with all of your "flaws" and loves you because of them, instead of despite them, we experience unconditional love. When we glimpse this in someone else, it starts to act like a mirror for us. When we are accepted for who we are and loved unconditionally, we begin to accept ourselves for who we are and love ourselves unconditionally. This is the type of love that is at the core of our absorption into the non-self.


How can you be the guiding light for someone else's path into union? Who has shown you that you are deserving of unconditional love?


Affirmation for Vairagya (detachment) : "I let go of anything less than the vibration of love."


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