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Yoga and Love

I do Yoga

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In the midst of wedding season, it seems like a good time to think about what we are committing to when we gaze longingly at our mat or wish we had more time for Namaskar-ing at sunset.

In chapter five of the Bhagavad Gita:

“The resolute in yoga surrender and gain perfect peace; the irresolute, attached to results, are bound by everything they do.”

So, we’ve got to resolutely let go? Sounds tricky. Even if we can conceptualize this, how is it applied and how do we live this truth on and off the mat?

Susan Piver at the Huffington Post seems to have hit it right on the yoga toes. Not sure if she does asana on a mat, but she certainly sounds like a yogi in this reflective blog written on her twelfth wedding anniversary.

“It’s just now, 12 years later, that I’m finding out what, apparently,
I said yes to.

I said yes to the unfolding, impenetrable arc of uncertainty. I guess
I thought that finding love was an endpoint, that some kind of search
was over and I would find home. We would leap over the threshold
together into whatever we imagined our ideal cottage to be. But really
we stepped through a crazy looking glass.

It seems that I committed to a lifetime of delight and sadness,
inseparable from each other.
Every time I look into my dear one’s eyes
and feel how deeply we’re connected, the moment disappears before I can
actually hold it–and I have to watch that happen. It’s excruciating.
It’s much easier to do this with your thoughts when you’re meditating
than with the feeling you get from his breath on your shoulder as you
fall asleep. But now I get that I have to repeat this until the end of
my life, and that somehow this is love’s road.

I didn’t really understand that love does not arise, abide, or
dissolve in connection with any particular feeling. It has almost
nothing to do with feeling. (Nor does it seem to be a gesture, a
commitment to stay, becoming best friends, or anything else I might have
thought.) Love has become a container in which we live.

Through time,
riding mysterious waves of passion, aggression, and ignorance (and
boredom), I think we began to live within love itself. At least I did.
Each time I have opened up, extended myself, accepted what was being
offered to me, stepped beyond my comfort zone to embrace him, the
structure has been reinforced.
I no longer have any idea if I love my
husband or not. I can’t imagine what the feelings I have for him could
be called. I’ve even given up trying to love him. Our relationship is
what gives us love, not the other way around. This is how it is.

And if you’re looking for a
crucible in which to heat compassion, this is a really good one. Someone
once told me that compassion is the ability to hold love and pain
together in the same moment.
So at least we’re learning something, which
is what I tell myself.

When you
find your true love, there is something inside that simply and
inexplicably says hello to him. Yes to him. Of course to him. Certainly.
Obviously it’s you. There is no choice.
I do.”

Are you ready to commit or re-commit to your practice? What poses do you use to remind yourself to commit to surrender? I like Ardha Chandrasana for this balance.

Whether you’re getting married this summer, attending a commitment ceremony or finaly ready to take the leap with yoga, this article on celebrating with meaning may help get you in the mood.

Erin Chalfant is a
writer, yoga teacher and the Web Editor at Yoga Journal.