“A testament to the practice is the person it produces.”
— Jay Brown
A description of the mythical form of Pantanjali, the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, is nestled in the opening mantra of Ashtanga Yoga-- Sahasra Sirasam Svetam, meaning the thousand white brilliant heads that Patanjali was said to bear atop a serpant’s body. A symbolic translation of this figure is many paths can lead to one destination. A greater meaning is that there are many ways to see the truth. Honoring truth, which we endeavor to do through yoga, means we cannot judge the method and the path of another’s truth. If their way is invalid, then so is yours. This week on the mat, eyes open and eyes on you. The more you focus on invalidating the type of yoga, place and method of practice; the more you invalidate your own. Through drishti, the gaze of focus and personal insight, we are steadfast in our equanimity. Through mudita, delight in the success of the other, we invite our own success and abundance. Imagine the progress that can be made when the only practice you are concerned with is yours. We cannot build our strength through attempting to weaken another. What you see as wrong in someone else’s life and on their mat, will soon be mirrored in your own. Yoga will unearth the vulnerabilities that you need to confront and we must fully be there to meet them. Competition and comparison are the ingredients of an endgame. Lack is collective. Abundance is collective. Which do you fight for in your practice? Choose wisely, because we are all in this together.