Month: July 2014

Yoga as a form of Death

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Transformation is such a motivator. The word transformation means 1. the act or process of transforming. 2. the state of being transformed. 3. change in form, appearance, nature, or character. I prefer the idea of change in form since the root word of transformation is FORM.

What does this have to do with Yoga? In a class a couple of weeks ago, we talked about Ayurveda and how this is considered by some a science of Life.  With Ayurveda, you follow the path to balance out your doshas and sustain better life through your food, your surroundings and many more things that would make this another title all together. See here:

In the same class, we discussed Yoga as the science of Death( gasp!). What does this mean? How could one possibly have any notion that yoga is a type of death? Back to my quote above, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. If you are not changed, you cannot be transformed. At the heart of yoga are the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which aim at transforming body and mind. Anything that transforms in nature( a true change of form)  really shape shifts somehow… apples rotting, leaves breaking down to become matter, rocks cut away by wind or water. these things die their own death of the form they once were. Death is what comes to nature and is necessary for change or growth or renewal. Yoga is all of these things. Death to previous ability, death to the person that would not do yoga, death to thoughts that hurt or food that was not fuel.

Change is scary, probably the single most debilitating thing where we can actually control our reaction to it. Many people are alive yet dead in their progress. Many people take the easy route, whatever that is at that moment. If we focused on our imminent death…. true physical death that is something we cannot change, I know we would look atthe time we have now to transform, be a new self. It may not always be our best self, but one that changes and grows up and down with life. I reflect often on my own fear and how resistant I am to transform when I need it most. if I have to choose, I need to choose the pain, the pain in life that is like the idea of being a muscle tearing and reworking after a workout. I need to feel the growth and not think about the end, when I won’t even know real physical death happens. This brings me to a quote I love, one that is spoken by someone who can agree.

“People fear death even more than pain. Its strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over.”

-Jim Morrison