We all move through various transitions as we move through life. As we grow up, the more obvious ones are from childhood to adolescence and then on to adulthood. We transition through periods of ease to those of stress along the way. We transition in the seasons and everything that brings as well.
In yoga, certainly as teachers, we often think of our transitions as moving from one pose to the next ensuring a fluidity in our movement so that the participants feel that flowing motion, the meditative quality that can happen in a class. There’s a much bigger transition that happens though. That’s the transition from doing yoga to being yoga.
When we start to be yoga, we embrace the philosophy of accepting things as they come, of bringing more loving kindness and peace into the world. We begin thinking of the beings around us as more spiritual beings on their own path. We embrace the meaning of namaste, literally meaning ‘I bow to you’, often interpreted as ‘the light in me honours the light in you’. We acknowledge there is light, spirit, in all beings. That allows a much more compassionate view of our fellow beings.
Of course, the final transition in yoga, in life, is that of death. The successful end to our journey. When all suffering ceases, the body is relinquished. As quoted by Paramahansa Yogananda, “Life and death are but a passing from dream to dream. They are only thoughts: you are dreaming you are alive, and you are dreaming you are dead. When you get into the great Christ Consciousness, you see that life and death are dreams of God.”