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Tapping into the flow of oneness is the ultimate purpose of yoga. The only way we can feel this sense of oneness is if we are willing to go within to see the source of our own connection. The inner world is really just a reflection of our outer world and the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. To know ourselves is to know the life we have created and the world we live in. To know ourselves we have to choose to go within and listen to our inner teacher.

Inner guidance is one of the only real things in this world if you ask me. We are poorna, full or complete. We have all the answers we are looking for. Somehow the mirage of the world fools us into thinking that we don’t have it. That we must look and read and ask others for the answers. Looking outside can be helpful at times. But when it comes down to it, the answer never comes from the world. The world can only inspire and awaken what already lies within.

The beauty of our yoga practice is that it helps us come inward. We can leave the craziness of everything going on in the world around us and for a few minutes, maybe even an hour or more, just be with ourselves (even in a room full of other yogis). We slow our bodies, minds and breath down.

The asana (poses) we move through help our bodies feel vibrant and healthy. The Yoga Sutras tell us that “asana is a steady, comfortable posture” (YS 2.46). It doesn’t matter which poses we are practicing. Instead if we tune into their qualities of being steady and comfortable we realize that the body has the ability to become settled and less of a distraction. Our shoulders don’t always have to carry the stress of the world. Our tight spots don’t have to be a painful distraction. We can find peace in our bodies.

When the body feels more at ease then the mind tends to follow. The mind becomes focused on the tasks at hand when we move through asana. By the time we reach savasana our minds are friendlier than when we began. They are more willing to relax and slow down. When we are in the world it can feel as if the monkey mind is impossible to tame. Yet we experience in our practice that it can become settled.

If we combine the mindfulness of the movements (body and mind working together) with the conscious attention on our breath, then we really get into the flow. Something shifts within us when we are in a state of yoga or union with our inner selves. Yoga helps us to reduce the distractions of our lives, be them from our own bodies and minds to the world around us. It facilitates us get out of our own way as we invite a deeper relationship with our selves. Yoga helps us to see through the chaos to the beauty of the world. It does this by helping us live more in the present moment. Every time we choose to trust, to love, to be happy in our yoga practice, it supports us to embody that essence when we aren’t on our mats.

Yoga is a reprieve from the world. When we take time to look within, everything we are looking for eventually finds its way to the surface.

Om poornamadah poornamidam
Poornaat poornamudachyate
Poornasya poornamaadaaya
Poornamevaa Vashiṣyate
Om śanti śanti śantihi

Om All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness remains still.
Om peace peace peace.

From My Inner Light to Yours,

Mindy Arbuckle,
Founder of Maitri Yoga