Suffering

Written December 2014

I think people who have suffered and experienced darkness are more drawn to the Ashtanga experience. Not that those who practice any other form of yoga, or don’t do yoga at all haven’t suffered. But I think there is something in having deeply felt suffering in life that calls us to the practice…Because once you’ve experienced the pain, it is always there. You may be better from it, but you are never the same after it. Ashtanga is so valuable because it is an outlet to express the suffering we feel. Life is full of it. But society teaches us to hide our pain, lock it in the basement and turn off all the lights no matter how hard it bangs on the door. But when we practice Ashtanga, you unlock the terrifying monster and let it run around the house like crazy until you learn to tame it (and then it opens another door and you have to try to control it all over again). Those who have already experienced deep suffering are more drawn to Ashtanga because we have already been trying (and likely failing) to tame the pain. But Ashtanga gives us a more tangible way to experience it and more opportunities to become friends with our suffering.

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