Question: Is this yoga?
The Santa Cruz alt weekly Good Times has an in-depth interview with Krishna Das, which is well worth a read if you’re either a follower of Bhatki yoga (and kirtan) or just a fan of KD.
Here’s a link. And here’s what struck me when I read it. At this moment, KD is talking about returning to India as he struggled with too much of his ego getting in the way of his chanting (too much like being the rock star he nearly became). The “he” he refers to is Neem Karoli Baba, his guru:
And then he really changed things. Whatever he had to do, he did it. He changed something in my heart, and it allowed me to come back and really sing, and really give myself to it fully. And I completely knew that it wasn’t about me, even if people thought it was. He was the one doing this whole thing, and he was responsible for it. All I had to do was sing, and I didn’t have to worry about anything. That freed me to continue to do what I do, and that’s why it is what it is today. [My emphasis.]
My question is: Is that yoga? I ask because we’ve discussed a similar idea before, only you replace Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in as “he.” From a post by Bobbie:
I tell Jörgen I’m not sure I want to begin second again. He tells me, “You are not doing the practice. Guruji is,” and he points out, “Practice without attachment to results.” Jörgen is paraphrasing Krishna, I realize.
Bobbie wrote about this more recently, too:
I’m aware, for instance, that when I drop back to a backbend—something I thought would be physically impossible for me because of the ruptured disks in my spine—I know that it’s the full complexity of the practice that made that happen. I didn’t do it: my teachers, leading back to Sri K. Pattahbi Jois and beyond, got me there. I know this. So I’m aware in that moment that faith happened without my willing it. It was an unwilling suspension of disbelief. Faith without will.
See the common thread? In none of those cases is the apparent “doer” really “doing it.” Bobbie wrote, “I didn’t do it.” KD says, “He was the one doing this whole thing.” The “I” in these cases disappears, becomes one with something greater than itself. (In the same KD interview, there’s talk about being a “bubble on the surface of the ocean.”)
Union with something more. Aka: yoga. And here we have two different paths, expressing essentially the same thing. That must be the heart of it, then, right?
Posted by Steve