The Yoga of the Body

Occasionally I go for a run.  It is a great way to get some fresh air, take care of the body and listen to some music along the way.  I set my MP3 on shuffle so I never know what will be playing next.  It keeps it interesting.

As I rounded the bend on mile number three the music change and the unmistakable voice of Swami Muktibodhananda fill my eardrums.  Among his many productions, the Swami has created an audio series on meditative practices.  I reached for the shuffle button.

With the button at my fingertips, I changed my mind.  Who knows, I might learn something new I reasoned.  He began with a detailed description of establishing one’s meditative posture.  He emphasized the importance of remaining still.  And then he uttered one simple phrase that dramatically caught my attention.

“Now we will practice the Yoga of the Body.”

What initially caught my attention was the reverence in his voice.  We were about to enter sacred territory, to enter a temple full of mystery, depth and elusive truths.  His words opened up a whole new field of possibility.  The entire path of yoga was held, cradled, hidden, within the innocuous folds of our skin.  From this perspective the body was a port-hole into the secrets of the cosmos.

His comment implied that there were many other forms of yoga practice, each holding the same limitless possibility that was held within the body.  “Yoga” stood as the center most expression in his sentence.  The feeling behind the word conveyed a kind of sacred endeavor or elixir that could be applied to any discipline; the Yoga of Sound, the Yoga of the Breath. The Yoga of the Mind.

The hidden promise contained within the sentence was that mastery was possible, yoga practice, in its many forms led to profound spiritual unity, that Yoga was a sacred vehicle.  I was grateful for this lesson as the miles pealed away.