I sat in sukhasana for the first time in Mrs. Carey’s gym class. It was 1975 and I was a junior at Northwestern Lehigh High School. I didn’t know it was sukhasana. For that matter, neither did Mrs. Carey. Most of my classmates sat slumped, legs crossed. But I was in sukhasana. I didn’t know it. I could feel it.
It was ten years before I sat in sukhasana again.
It’s wrong to call the path I’ve walked for most of the past three decades a ‘yoga journey‘. If I’m to be truthful, it has been an ‘asana journey‘. Asana. Asana. Asana. For years I collected asanas like some people collect stamps. And why not? It was fun. I was young. And no one taught me any different. They may have tried, but I wasn’t listening.
I knew I was taking the ‘scenic route’. I knew there was more to yoga than asana. I craved something more – I was hungry for it – but I didn’t know where to begin.
I had the texts to prove it: the Gita and Upanishads, Patanjali and the Pradipika. I had books from teachers who brought yoga to the West. For a time I carried Iyengar‘s Light on Yoga with me as if it was the Holy Grail. I was a yoga poser. I was proving that what my teachers back at Northwestern said about me (“she’s a bright girl but she doesn’t apply herself”) was true.
Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe it’s true that the universe conspires to open your heart only when you’re ready to receive. I’m ready. Patanjali, my heart is open. Teach me.
1.1 Here begins the authoritative instruction on Yoga.
1.2 Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.