I love the morning conversations I have with Chad over a fantastic cup of coffee. Today, we talked about what people mean when they say, “I want to be free.” For some people, I have felt that this expression means that they want less obligations, less responsibilities, less commitments. I have felt that way many times! For others, I feel like they are searching for some place, some future time when they no longer have struggles because they have settled into the rhythm of life. In the body postures of yoga, we bring freedom to parts of our body that hurt by binding them, narrowing the flow of blood circulation and holding the pose while deeply breathing . When we release the bind, a fresh flow of oxygenated blood moves into that area of the body cleansing the area.
To bind is to set free.
Jesus said take my yoke for it is easy and the burden light. Jesus also talked about coming to fulfill the law not to abolish the law. The law is found in the Old Testament and the purpose was to set out a way for humanity to be in relationship with God and in relationship with each other. To live this way promotes peace and brings our attention to the things we do not (restrictions) want to do because they would harm ourselves, our neighbor and our relationship with the Divine. In essence, the law brought freedom to “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength (body) and love our neighbor as ourselves.”
Law brings freedom.
Now, I hear so many people talk about the Old Testament having no meaning for today and especially the need to get rid of the law. I agree that man took love for the law a little too far by adding to the law over and over and over again so that there were so many rules that no typical person could remember. Why try when you are bound to fail, right? Agreed. All those extra laws aside, we still need the law. The law protects the integrity of our practice of following Jesus and grace preserves the practice.
The 8 limbs of yoga draw us closer to God by constant practice. We become aware of and train the breath. We become aware of and train the body. We become aware of and train the mind. But before anything, we commit to living our life with certain restrictions (do not kill, do not lie, do not steal, keep our body/mind pure, do not break commitments with our sexuality) and we commit to living our life with the desire to add (cleanliness of mind and body, contentment, Tapas, study of self and scripture and devotion to the Divine).
Discipline brings freedom.
The Union of Opposites…Hatha Yoga.
What are your thoughts?