Yoga helps this separateness by managing the 5 Klesha's: ignorance,pride, attachment, aversion and fear of death (IPAAF)
Classical yoga breaks the universe into two parts, matter and spirit. Matter is broken down into 3 more parts called guna's: sattva, tamas, rajas. When we are in a sattvic place we are most centered, less separate. We accomplish this through yoga asana, pranayama and meditation.
This week the P in IPAAF, the second Klesha is for Pride. In sanskrit its called "Asmita"
What is pride? Where does it come from? How do we have it? Can we recognize it?
I am so proud. So how does this pride contribute to making me feel separate from the universe where I am already connected to it on so many ways: biologically, chemically and atomically!
Our dear ego, yes ego. The "I" in me.
When you manage pride through the practice of yoga it connects you to the universe more.
What would a human with little or no pride look like? Self deprecating?
What would a human riddled with lots of pride look like?arrogant? Hubristic?
A basic rule could be: The less pride the less one will feel separate. However we need some pride, a healthy amount, to be human.
Look around you. Think of the people you know with massive amounts of pride? See how it effects their lives with their loved ones, their business life, career, day to day interactions.
What is pride? A belief inside ones own head that your are "better than"?
You deserve? You are more than? Are you? Why? Don't you perform human acts like all humans. Yet in our heads we feel different? Better? Worse? It's in our heads.
How do we manage the P for pride in IPAAF? Our ego! Yes our ego.
"Ego has been compared to the filament in the light bulb, which because it glows with light, proclaims itself to be the light source, electricity" -- B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
The "filament" in the light bulb is not the light source. However it is a conduit that delivers the end product of the light source. So like the light-bulb, we need an ego as it is a conduit to delivering our own light source. When the filament knows it's place, knows its role it can be more efficient. When our ego recognizes its place its role it becomes more efficient! We need an ego in my opinion, but ego recognizing the true source of its brightness. No ego and the light bulb does not work. Too much ego and the light-bulb may explode?
Through yoga asana, pranayama and meditation the ego is revealed not as the source of the self but a simple part of the delivery of the self. Like the light bulb analogy it is important to have one but to be aware of the true source of our human condition.
In my opinion, through yoga, we become aware of our ego and how it affects our pride and our life. With this recognition of our pride we learn to soften our individual self which allows the universal to be more prevalent in our lives. More universal, more connectedness, less separate.
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." -- Albert Einstein
Through the practice of yoga we become aware of our ego and pride, our light bulb "filament" and it is in this recognition that the real source flows more freely through us.
Next time you find yourself judging something or someone else ask yourself is it the light bulb "filament" or the "electricity" doing the judging and then, in that moment we may become a little bit more free of that which may restrain us! It's hard but like any habit gets stronger in time.
Next week the first "A" in IPAAF, for Attachment...