there’s a yogi in my trash room. ask patanjali. he’ll tell you all about it.
in the astanga of the yoga sutras, there are eight limbs. the first two are yama and niyama…the code of conduct for living. and the culmination of the niyamas is ishvara pranidhana, submission to a higher power. the final limb of the astanga is samadhi, bliss or being at one with the divine.
basically, while we in the west tend to think of yoga as being gymnastics and contortions, in the beginning, it was actually a true, deep and meaningful way of life. not just waxing philosophical on instagram to the tune of look-how-cute-i-am-upside-down-in-my-bikini.
it all starts with just being a good person. like, don’t steal or lie or be greedy. you know, the usual stuff. and after a lifetime of integrity, maybe–just maybe–you can be at one with the divine.
the key is to just hand it over to god (that’s all). i mean hand it all over. your life, your love, your successes, your failures, your joys, your sadnesses, your…well, your everything. accept your lot and be happy with it. know that you are blessed.
and, now, let me introduce you to mario.
mario is the guy who cleans the building that i live in. he used to be a collegiate track coach, college educated, before moving to america. now he cleans our trash room.
and he does it with a huge smile. always.
this guy. i tell you.
i’ve seen him sick as a dog. i’ve seen his car break down when he can’t afford to fix it. i saw him lose his wife. i’ve seen his work taper off, sometimes to the tiniest trickle.
his response: praise jesus.
now, i happen to be jewish, so jesus isn’t my personal dude. but to see mario’s unbroken, unwavering faith is something to behold.
if i am sad, he tells me jesus will fix everything. if i am happy, he thanks jesus. if i am traveling, he says jesus will watch over me. and if i’m busy wallowing in pettiness while he struggles in ways i’ve never had to experience, he consoles me…with jesus.
mario has arrived.
nothing gets him down. nothing breaks his faith. he knows everything will be okay. and he knows it already is.
what would it take for you (read: me) to find that level of samadhi? where there is no separation between you and god (whatever you like to call him)? only love. only happiness. only joy.
well, i’m not giving up on my handstands any time soon–or instagram–but i am looking a lot deeper than my bandhas and further than my mat to find my yoga.