Jun 05, 2024


Life, like the natural flow of the breath, moves in a continuous cycle of giving and receiving - the fundamental energy exchange that underlies every process in the physical world.

The Vedic culture that preceded yoga recognized the delicate balance of reciprocity inherent in the web of life, and honored it through hymns, sacrificial fires, and other rituals. These aimed to foster harmony with the natural world and place human beings in right relationship with the earth.

As yogic practices emerged, these outer rituals became interiorized. Recognizing that all the cosmic and elemental forces exist within the human being in microcosmic form, yoga sought to unify the individual with the universal through internal, rather than external, observances.

The practices themselves became the sacrificial fire; the body, mind, and senses became the offerings.

Last week, I shared Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching that the most important thing we can do for the healing of our world is to hear within us the sounds of the earth crying.

The flip side of this is that by opening ourselves to the earth’s pain, we also open ourselves to receive her gifts.

If we’re willing to listen to the sounds of the earth crying, we might more deeply feel her generosity, sanctity, and healing power.

In embracing the natural cycle of reciprocity that honors our mutual dependence, you discover the earth as a source of strength, regeneration, wisdom, and solace. 

Yoga as a means of bringing us into right relationship with the more-than-human word brings a richness to practice that expands how you see yourself.

Embody the strength of the mountain as you stand in Tadasana, open to the freedom of the sky as you lift your chest into Bridge pose, and flow like a river as you perform your vinyasa. 

The unity of yoga isn’t achieved only by calming the mind or spending time on your mat, it’s also about nurturing your innate connection and belonging to the wholeness of life.

Read more from the Beyond Asana blog