Imagine, if you will, you are given a special clock to fix. The clock parts are all out of place and it’s not ticking rhythmically like it should. It can’t tell time and the numbers are all in the wrong place. The clock is also not polished and looks old and battered. Even if you simply polish it, inside it still won’t work. Oh, and let’s also add that you’ve never fixed a clock in your entire life.
So, to fix the clock you’ll need help from an expert. Someone who can quickly identify the problem, who knows all the gadgets and gizmos that could make it work efficiently and who teaches you about the techniques and tools needed to carefully repair the clock. Equipped with the right tools and skills, you start the process of repairing each piece. Once all of the parts are accounted for and operating in sync again, the clock’s functionality is restored and it is ready to be polished and used. And because this is a special clock, you will see that it is cared for regularly to keep it ticking for many years to come.
This is analogous to practicing yoga without having the proper understanding and education behind WHY yoga is practiced to begin with. If you’re practicing yoga just to be able to do yoga poses better then it’s the same as polishing a broken clock. The outside might get stronger and more flexible, but the inside is not in sync with the true intention of the practice. The ancient teachings are the manual for your life (your clock) and all the instructions and parts needed are in there waiting for you to use them. But unfortunately, most people get stuck polishing their broken clocks rather than trying to make them tick again.
The philosophy of yoga is the essence and the nectar of your physical practice. Without it, you’re just exercising. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Just realize that when your actions are paired with much deeper intentions and understandings, they have a deeper effect. You can unconsciously choose to go through the motions, which means, you are just in a routine and not evolving. OR you can consciously choose to ignite the spark of learning within yourself and start reflecting. With reflecting, you start getting curious. With curiosity comes questioning. With questioning comes thinking for yourself. With thinking for yourself comes discovering truths. And discovering truths will lead you to your true Self, which is pure consciousness… true yoga. Ding Ding Ding!!!!
Our body is like the clock… it keeps aging and ticking so at one point your body will give out in ways you never expected. And instead of needing something to fall back on, by utilizing the philosophy of yoga, you’ll have something to STAND on through every stage in your life.
Seek your Self. Seek the Truth. Seek to learn the skills, techniques, and tools needed to discover the truth about yoga because in turn, every action, whether it be doing a Warrior 2, washing dishes, driving in traffic or offering your help when needed, will have purpose and intention. Then your life will be fulfilled in a way that you’ll be able to genuinely say “I’ve had the time of my life!”