Lets talk about hobbies. When you were a kid and someone asked you what your hobbies were, what did you answer? I asked the question in this morning’s yoga class, and some of the answers I got were dancing, playing in nature, and playing dress-up. Everyone found something in childhood that, after discovering it, found so much pleasure in it that they and (possibly) their friends made it their hobby. What growing up inevitably led to, for those of us who didn’t excel at sports or have the proclivity to do what later was admired, was the moment in the teenage or pre-teenage years when all of a sudden it didn’t matter what your favourite pastimes were, what mattered was what was “cool.” In the name of fitting in and being accepted, we all, to greater or lesser degrees, let what made us happy fall by the wayside, and we re-directed our efforts as best we could to be cool.
This weekend I’m giving the teacher trainees a lecture on one of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Sutra 1.23 – Ishwara Pranidhanad Va. This sutra speaks to the ability to move closer to a place of truth, peace & light by putting our faith, and the fruits of our labours, towards a higher energy, towards what each and every one of us, in our own way, interprets God as being. Putting God/light/energy into the forefront. From my purely non-denominational point of view, that energy is exactly that – an energy that has taken shape in the form of light in my reality, an energy that is always within me and that I find myself tapping into and falling back on when I most need it. I’ve spoken before about God in yoga (God Talk), and how the practice is often mistaken as a religion, and I’ve also written about how I firmly understand that we all need to believe in something, we just need to figure out what that something is, and then believe in it, wholly and unapologetically (Up to You). Both these points are key in interpreting Sutra 1.23.