There is no enlightenment at the end of a pose. Actually, there is no end to these poses. It seems to me in a general sense we as a society are enamored with the mystical, mysterious, the unseen & unknown. We are looking for the hidden teaching, the secret scroll or fountain of youth, and of course heaven and hell. Yoga practice seems to be used to access some deeper dimension or some enlightened state. Understand right now there is no connection between flexibility and enlightenment. Your physical capabilities have nothing to do with higher consciousness. The depth achieved in any posture only has the ability to hurt or help your body. These asanas are simply tools to access different places in your body and care for them. The reason there is no end to the asanas is because our bodies constantly change and therefore so do are our boundaries. The depth achieved in any given asana depends on many known and many more unknown circumstances: for example, our age, injuries, job and daily activities, the type of food we have eaten and how our bodies are responding to the weather or temperature, etc. What about the position of the moon? Well, we all know what the moon does to the ocean in the form of tides. Well, we are about 85% salt water; don’t you think it is also affecting you? Maybe you cannot quantify that effect along with zillions of other effects, but certainly you are being affected. I do not believe you could intellectually comprehend all the different forces playing upon us. Yet what you can do is become very silent, so you are not distracted and then begin to feel how these forces playing upon us are affecting us, and according to how we feel, we can then make intelligent decisions as to how far, how deep, how much, we explore in any pose. That is how these postures become healing, when we are honoring what we are feeling. We certainly can comprehend that! So please stop worrying about how much you can do! STOP judging yourself and others on physical abilities and prowess, stop believing MORE is better, stop the madness! This is not a competition. It is actually the opposite. It is meant to help force us from our competitive mentality. Now, do you understand there is no enlightenment at the end of an asana! Enlightenment is higher states of awareness. Higher states of awareness is a by product of mental development and conscious evolution. Mental development is a by-product of hard work and effort. Conscious evolution means having the desire to evolve.
I do not believe you would be reading this if you did not have the desire to evolve as well as I do not believe you would have come to this training without some willingness to work hard and give effort. That being said, now what is mystical? What is powerful? Why do we believe that it is mysterious, unseen and unknown? Who found the mystical? Who became truly powerful? What did they say? What was their teaching? Firstly, is there anything more mystical and powerful than life? Why does mystical and powerful have to be otherworldly? Why do people constantly look outside their circumstances for meaning and teachings? It’s not on a sacred scroll; it’s in the mirror! It’s in the smile of a child; it’s in the smell of a rose. It’s in that injury, and it’s in that divorce. It’s in that bankruptcy, and it’s that kiss! Most of us can agree there is nothing more special, mysterious, mystical, powerful and important than life! It seems to me if I would want to access the special, mysterious, mystical, powerful and most important, I simply need to live my life more fully. I need to somehow peel away the dullness and heighten my sensitivity and alertness. I need to start sucking the juice out of every single moment of the most precious gift ever to be had, “my life!” I see this in the life and teachings of all the masters, poets, god-like beings and yogis. Jesus said “love,” “forgive,” have “compassion” and “don’t judge.” Buddha said “observe,” “be silent,” and “serve.” Mother Teresa was a life of service, and Gandhi was a life of truth and non-violence. The goal of yoga according to Patanjali I am told is citta vrtti nirodha, which means to be silent or free from mental fluctuations. These lives and these teachings are only esoteric in their simplicity. We are so busy and have become so complex, being simple is actually esoteric. These lives and these teachings did not in any way express that there is anything needed to access the ultimate beyond what exists in our lives right now!
This is what our yoga practice is trying to accomplish. Not white light descending from heaven and engulfing you, not energy released from the base of your spine going up through your crown chakra so you become a human lightening bolt, not a halo floating on top of your head. Simply heightened states of awareness, enlightenment, becoming more and more aware which gives more and more insight, which brings wisdom and gives choice. With that wisdom and choice, we become the masters of our destiny and at peace in our life. We see more and more clearly how we create our own suffering, how we can create our own prosperity, and we begin to live the mystical life.