1:3 Tada drastuh svarupe avasthanam Then the seer (the soul) abides in his own true nature
My next-door neighbour recently purchased a bio ring. I was intrigued, and soon enough, completely overwhelmed by its ability to read data. What would have previously required stepping into a lab for a day, wiring up to numerous monitors & ECG machines, is now available by slipping on a small and inconspicuous ring. How incredible.
The ring works like this: while my neighbour sleeps, this Bluetooth bio ring monitors his heart rate, sleep patterns and much more. Each morning, he’s given comparative feedback, along with numerous graphs. Based on this report, he’s informed on things like - when to train, how long he should train for, what kind of intensity is required, what time he should go to bed, even what food or protein should be consumed on any particular day. It’s remarkable, to say the least.
These days, we all own a computer, iPad and/or smart phone containing a tremendous amount of technology and data from calendars, audio books, alarms, text messages, photo albums, GPS, and the list goes on. Soon we’ll have an infinite selection of biosensing wearables that will be AI operated, detecting things like possible heart attacks, falls or seizures. This will in turn direct and notify medics, tracking the individual down to their very GPS co-ordinates, sending out the appropriate emergency assistance needed. It is undoubtable that this technology allows us to understand our functional anatomical body. But, does it help us find - as the sutras say - ‘our own true nature’? Truth on the scientific plain is permanently shifting. Many academic papers are written with the very purpose of provoking questions, proving or disproving theories based on a limited amount of information at the time of writing. This is how we learn more, in an intellectual sense.
As we navigate our way around the practice of yoga, how are we to understand or even quantify what the essence of our true nature is? For certain, over the 44 years of my practice in yoga, I have accepted that this exploration is much like a scientific paper. As I move my internal barometer of self around the sphere of my humanness, I’m able to gather and store information and data about myself, my habitual patterns, my likes and dislikes. My yoga practice gives me a unique opportunity to observe the various sensations that arise, without judgment or attachment. For me, an advanced practice is any movement that brings me closer to who I really am - the rhythm of my heart beat, the pulse of my blood, the flux of my mind. This is oneness, this is integration. This awareness requires years of practice. There are no quick fixes and no amount of 5-day challenges in the practice of yoga that can bypass the hard work. It’s about getting back on the mat, over & over again. It’s a waking up. It’s the Pandora’s box of emotions and sensations that opens up to us, day in and day out. Yoga is everyday living. And it is for everyone, without exclusion.
Could technology ever replace the depth of inquiry that yoga asks of us? I’m not so sure. But each and every day I practice, I become more sensitive and more attuned to the discovery of my own biorhythms. I get to listen to my own heart rate. I wake up and am given the opportunity to check in - not to the iPad or the smart phone, but to the iEileen. This and only this is what keeps me connected & fully charged.
Please stay safe.
If I’ve done my job well, I know you’re all maintaining some form of practice.
Love & light to you all,