Yoga Philosophy Talk, Mr. Manouso Manos, Intensive at the Abode of Iyengar Yoga, Day 1:
“What are we doing here? Why do we do what we do? Where are we making our choices and why? Some do things out of guilt—some will try to turn up the shame on us so that we stay in our box. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’
Yoga is part of the six great darśanas (called “mirrors of spiritual perception” in Light on Pranayama) of India.
Looking deeply and questioning may provoke a sense of wonder, excitement and restructuring of everything we think we know.
Oldest definition of Yoga may be “Yoga is the chariot that takes you to heaven.” The Bhagavad Gita about 5000 years ago calls Yoga “skillful action”. This is doing the right thing at the right time. Truth is not an absolute...”
Manouso tells some strange stories with strange choices from the Mahabharata which exemplify the point of taking a look at where we draw our lines about morality, how we make our choices... “Truth is a moral dilemma—how do you justify your existence? What is your social contract? Do you try to hold other people to a higher standard than yourself?” He gives some examples: a potential student interested in studying with BKS Iyengar but needed to know whether he ate a vegan diet first—or he wasn’t pure enough for this student. Another example was that at the Republican Convention in Ohio there were no guns allowed in, although the state law permits concealed and carried handguns so those going to a restaurant would be sitting with others who have guns, but the Republican politicians didn’t have to worry about that.
”What stories do you tell you about you? Look at the stories you tell others and look at where you shave the truth... is there a right time to tell the truth? This self-examination is life-changing. When practicing, can you look to see what you do first, second, and third? Look at the interaction between actions. Integrities can be changed to make different effects. What was the truth then, may not necessarily be the truth now. Keep asking, why do you do the things that you do? Because it works better for me? The āsana can make you re-examine what you do... “
this sharing is distorted by my act of listening to his talk 2 weeks ago, periodic note-taking and then rewriting... i take responsibility for any mistake, offense, or confusion. Any light this sharing brings, the credit is due to Manouso...