So I just finished watching a documentary called "Enlighten Up". I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it highly!
This woman, Kate, who has been practicing yoga for 7 years decided to take a random person, Nick, and follow him on a 6 month yoga journey to see if it changes his life. They travel all over the world speaking to Gurus and visiting Ashrams. Nick is completely anti-God, and has an extremely hard time linking up his yoga practice with any kind of spiritual awakening. This is what I loved about the documentary. Along his journey he speaks to numerous yogis of different practices.
One of the most outrageous being Diamond Dallas Page (ex-wrestler turned yogi) who created "Yoga for Regular Guys" and who believes that men need an incentive to practice yoga..and his incentive is "T&A"....good god, that was painful...
Kate then takes Nick to meet her current Guru, Norman Allan (first American to learn Ashtanga yoga from Pattabhi Jois & bring it to the US). I loved this part of the show. His energy and passion was beautiful, and he was very real and personable while making sense of Nick's questions regarding spirituality and yoga. On a side note...I learned that Moksha means "the soul liberated while in body". I love this!!
They then journey to Mysore, India, to practice with Pattabhi Jois himself and gain an interview with him. Nick tells Pattabhi that he is not spiritual. The advice he gets is to continue with his practice and he will get the spiritual gain from it in time.
What he gains from BKS Iyengar is beautiful. Iyengar started on his yogic path purely for the physical level. To get healthy and control of the body. It wasn't until 6 years after he gained health that he moved into the spiritual side of his practice. "Yoga is a subjective way of eradicating the instinctive weaknesses of human beings" ~ BKS Iyengar ~ "Yoga can take a person into two ways of living. Enjoyment of life or liberation in life"
The movie flips between a lot of talk of god and spirituality and the importance of both to the practice of yoga, and then discussion not to worry so much about spirituality. That it will come as you move deeper into your practice.
Guru of the Blissful Refuge was the final stop on his journey through India. The energy eminating off this man was such a positive, happy and loving energy. "It's not important what you are doing. It's important why you are doing". I can't possibly put into words everything this Guru says, but it was the most poignant part of the whole documentary for me.
I, like Nick, struggle with my non-belief system and melding it with my yogic lifestyle. Guru of the Blissful Refuge says you can have religion/spirituality without believing in a god, Krishna, Bachdi (sp?), as long as you Be Your True Self. Happiness is not outside. It is within us. This is a Guru I could follow :)
So though this has nothing to do with the LYM Challenge, I wanted to share in the hopes that others who struggle with their melding of the mat with the mind may gain some insight as I have through getting their hands on a copy of this documentary.