I Am Yoga, I Am Union, I Am the Paradox

June 04, 2013 at 10:28 AM



by Joe Bundy

Yoga starts my day. Yoga ends my day. Throughout the day I am Yoga. Arising, abiding, dissolving each day. I am Yoga. I live in the paradox of inhaling and exhaling. Bringing in and letting go. I am Yoga as I engage in my sadhana each morning. I am Yoga in facing and working with my fears and hopes and in just being myself each morning on the mat and on the cushion.

I stand firmly on my mat each morning, giving gratitude to my higher power that I release myself from self-will. In my rootedness I ask for the understanding of groundlessness.

I am Yoga as I arise into Tadasana, step back into Chaturanga Dandasana. I abide in the repetition of Adho Mukha Svanasana, I dissolve in my hope to be the yogi I am meant to be. As I sit and say my morning prayers asking for the abundance of life then, practice pranayama, I watch the dreams that come, arise, and know they are the illusion of my mind. 

I am Yoga.

I am the union of my opposites.

I am the paradox of my best self and my worst. I am the yamas and niyamas because I have known their opposites. I am Yoga as I sit in prayer and meditation at the end of the day. I am Yoga as I give thanks for all that I have experienced during the day. Giving up the joy and the sorrow as I see the fruits and the pits of both are not mine to claim any longer. 

I am Yoga when I run, releasing the suffering of the past and future to the present in and out breath. I am surrendering at mile 16 the hope of going any faster. And instead, I go deeper into the joy of the paradox of letting go and going on. I am Yoga in laying back, like Swami Kripalu, and letting the river of my run, my life, my breath take me to my destination.

I am Yoga when I teach. Preparing for the unexpected. Laying out a sequence of lessons, of postures, that will engage and release my students. I am Yoga when I worry at the beginning, am completely in the moment during the experience, and reflective when the students walk out the door. I am Yoga with the 6 year old kindergartener and the 60 old yogi. I am Yoga as my practice deepens because my students teach me to be a teacher. I am Yoga when I volunteer for what makes me happy and for what scares me. In each, I do the work and “abandon any hope of fruition.”

I am Yoga when I ask for the practice of silence and yet am offered the opportunity to meet a new friend, a kindred spirit, a generation apart and a world away but exactly the same as me. The paradox of joining opposites, the new and the old, creating union and letting the separate be what connects.

I am Yoga as I drive back from meeting an old friend and her sister that I adored in my youth and in meeting her children. I am Yoga in staying present to the now and not getting lost in the dreams of the past and seeing the beauty in the gift of letting go without the knowing that the now is so sweet and tender. 

I am Yoga as I surrender to Isvara Pranidhara and the miracle of being humbled in the presences of the greening of the prairie after a long, white winter in the presences of baby animals trotting across the landscape that is framed by glorious snow capped mountains.

I am Yoga when I eat. Sitting quietly at the table once shared and saying thanks for the opportunity to be grateful for all that was offered then. I bow to this food that so many sentient beings had played a part in creating. I am Yoga when I sit quietly holding this bowl that was created so long ago, its curves and glaze still beautiful and not marred by time and use, still looking new, because of the care in looking after a gift given by a friend.

I am Yoga as I bow in surrender to the bounty of abundance that this life has awakened in me, the joy, the sorrow, the run of the mill and the run over by a truck. I am Yoga as I ask for the volume knob of my life to be turned up for all stations, the ones I want and the ones I don’t. 

I am Yoga, union, when I join my left and right palms together, when I join together the paradox of modern life and ancient practice. I am Yoga because I am arising from the person I was and abiding in the person I am and I will be dissolving into the next breath of me.

I am Yoga as I surrender to Isvara Pranidhara and the miracle of being humbled by this amazing opportunity to be in yoga, to be in union, to be in the paradox of myself.

I am Yoga.

I am union.

I am the paradox.

I am whole.