In my yogic journey, I do not wish simply to rid my physical body of impurities, tension and anxiety. However, I wish to make my study of yoga a study of my Self, referring to the definition by C.G. Jung of the archetype The Self. My interpretation of The Self is: to be familiar with my soul which is passed my Persona as the world knows me, and through to discover my unconscious.
I believe that with a religious practice of meditation, it is possible to reach a level of subconscious. “No one can know himself unless he knows what, and not who, he is, on what he depends, or whose he is (or to whom or what he belongs) and for what end he was made” C.G. Jung. The “what Jung refers to is the neutral self or the Collective Unconscious. As a Catholic I would understand this as the Holy Spirit. It is to be completely tranquil, to find peace and gratitude in everything.
If this essay is not entirely comprehensible, it is because I do not completely understand meditation. My spiritual path has been limited by the rituals of Catholicism. I know that as a human, I am a creature of habit. Currently a habit of mine is to recite The Serenity Prayer to myself. “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” To me this prayer is what a practicing yogi strives for.
They must be indifferent to the world and just accept it as it is. I am trying to be mindful of how my decisions are affecting my mind and body, and furthermore how I can affect others. I have learned what is said to be the greatest truth when it comes to Love, and that is “you cannot love another until you learn to love yourself”. My father explained this concept to me. In a metaphor, you cannot enjoy a butterfly when it is still in its cocoon; it may still be a beauty, but it is not what it was meant to be. In this case, I am in my cocoon, and I know that my Self love is not full.
There are aspects of the life of a yogi that are unknown to me, but I am willing to learn. I know that I am familiar with Asanas and some Mantras. I know that I enjoy helping people, and as I enjoy learning new things, I also love to teach others. I understand that happiness is not to be pursued; it should just be. And beyond this, I know that my intentions are pure. In a collection of essays by Thomas Merton titled “No Man is an Island”, he speaks of pure intention.
“In order to make our intentions pure, we do not give up all idea of seeking our own good, we simply seek it where it can really be found: in a good that is beyond and above ourselves.” I do not wish to be taught by Leela Mata so that I can simply mirror those lessons in a studio to my own students. Instead I wish to expand my current understanding of yoga in its entirety (body and mind). Then I can absorb the knowledge given to me in everyday life, interpret it and grow from it personally so that I can share with my students the truths that I have come to know, and enjoy enlightening people through rituals of physical, mental, and spiritual nature.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Katie Fisher
If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!
Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.