Yoga and the quest to know it ALL!

Inspired by Conference with R. Sharath Jois

11/10/13 – Mysore, India

Yoga is a journey of Self-Discovery, a journey of knowledge. And along this path we will learn a LOT. The journey inspires curiosity and awakens a ‘thirst’ for knowledge within the practitioners. We learn about our bodies, we learn to stretch our limits both physically and mentally and we learn to perform seemingly impossible feats of the body through its physical manipulation.

We also begin to learn more about our selves – what makes us happy, what makes us sad, what pushes us out of our comfort zones and we can even begin to identify our typical ‘programmed’ responses. Additionally, yoga teaches us to be a witness to our own actions, to see the way our actions impact our environment and the people around us.

Often, this perspective gives us the inspiration to learn EVEN more, to try to understand our place in the world and why people exist in the way they do.

This path of Self-discovery leads many practitioners to begin to learn and explore many new disciplines that seem to align with the practice of yoga, including Yoga Sutras, Philosophical studies, Ayurvedic medicine, Reiki, Meditation, Sanskrit Chanting, – just to name a few. These are extremely healing and powerful practices that open the doors of knowledge even wider, providing a flood of information for the practitioner to integrate into their daily lives, this is information that can also be used to help others along their own path of healing.

While, as students begin we to heal ourselves, and maybe we even start to help others heal along this path of Self-discovery; it can be easy for some to fall into the mindset of thinking they ‘know it all’.

In conference this week, Sharath was talking about what it’s like being a student, he mentioned the tendency for students to feel as if they know everything, and shared his insights with us. Please keep in mind, I’m paraphrasing what Sharath explained here – when I know there is more for me to learn, then the door to knowledge is opened. The man who thinks he knows everything cannot grow, because in his eyes, there is nothing left to know. While the man who knows everything, would never admit he knows everything, he will always be searching, exploring, and seeking to uncover more truth.

To me, this is a beautiful perspective. The idea that we will ALWAYS be learning, and that we are not expected to ever know everything is very liberating!!! Acknowledging that we will be wrong sometimes, that we WILL make mistakes, and that making mistakes is ok, it’s part of our process as humans; we make mistakes, we hopefully learn from them (eventually at least), and because of these mistakes we learn, we grow, and then we make different mistakes!!!

The more we learn and discover on this journey the more we see we have much still to learn. Embrace your knowledge, and at the same time, celebrate the opportunity to continue learning, to continue growing, and to continue exploring. The ability to change, adapt, grow and evolve is an amazing quality we humans possess – Let’s celebrate the fact that we can change – we can grow, and we can spend the rest of our lives doing just that, while making a few mistakes along the way!!

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