If you have not seen this because it was published in 2001, we’re bringing it back again since it is as true now as it was fifteen years ago!
Through experiencing the essence of yoga, the possible human becomes known. So much more than its outward look, yoga’s essence is a system for ultimate spiritual merger. That is why yoga means the yoke, the junction, the union, the place of meeting and merging.
It is a mistake, a great waste, to treat yoga as an exercise system. That is just the surfacing point of yoga! In our image-oriented culture, yoga can easily be viewed as exercise for the body, but no matter how precise the execution of a pose, or the beauty of its form, the consciousness will not change. Engaging the mind to control the body is another level of awareness, but what distinguishes yoga from exercise? Nothing so far.
When we apply our consciousness, defined as the indefinable living essence of our totality in relation to the totality of the universe — when that is applied, we wake up. We activate the devotion, the love, the gratitude, the wisdom, the insight of our true nature. We live in awareness of the infinity of each finite moment. Then our outer world begins to change because the outer is only a creation of the inner.
This precious awareness developed through yoga then radiates outward, into every aspect of our lives. It heals us and heals others — from relationships with those we love to those we meet only in a passing smile. The real goal of yoga is to awaken, and once awakened, all that is left is to serve — serve the highest in each person, each situation that life presents. This is aptly expressed in the sacred writings of the Sikhs, “Gone is the appetite of the awakened ones. Rather others feed themselves in their wake.”
Everything is touched by consciousness when consciousness has been touched by yoga.
Shakta Khalsa, as published in Yoga International Magazine (Oct. 2001)