Life is about connection, and experiencing the interconnectedness among all things and beings and being established in the connection with our authentic self is the highest goal of yoga.
Our present understanding of connection, however, seems to be about how many Instagram likes our tree pose gets or how well our healthy breakfast post does on Facebook. We seem to be drifting away from the awareness of how tuned, centered, and balanced we are in life, on or off the mat.
So, let's go back to the beginning or at least as far back as our memories allow. Ask yourself: Why do you practice or teach yoga?
In fact, why do you do anything? Why do you get out of bed every morning? Go to work? Want fame and recognition, money and power? Want relationships and families, experiences, feelings, and objects in your lives?
If you ask me, the only thing we all truly want out of life is happiness.
Everyone, from the most powerful humans to the tiniest ants, long to be happy — permanently, not temporarily. We can be happy for days and months and years, and we certainly don't complain about it. But when we experience even a pinprick of sorrow, we are desperate to escape it.
Why? Because happiness is our nature. It is when we are at our best, when we feel balanced and strong, generous and grateful, alert and efficient. And rightly so — the happiness we seek is synonymous with peace and is aligned with our authentic self. Not excitement, restlessness, or neediness. Not dependence, control, or approval. Not fame, wealth, or power.
We seek the security of peace, whether we know it or not. However, we search for this permanent peace in all the impermanent and transitory things and beings of the world. In how popular or respected we are, in the ever-changing opinions and thoughts of others. This, in itself, is a perfect recipe for discontentment, agitation, and suffering. People and things change, our bodies, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and values change over time. What is great today doesn't work so well tomorrow.