discovering the inner space

In Asana [postural yoga practice], we are trying to broach the mass of our gross body, to break up the molecules and divide them into atoms that will allow our vision to penetrate within. Our body resists us... With regard to Asana practice, this means that initially we need to exert ourselves more as resistance is greater. Of the two aspects of Asana, exertion of our body and penetration of our mind, the latter is eventually more important. Penetration of mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat. But once there is movement and then momentum, penetration can start. When effort becomes effortless, Asana is at its highest level. Inevitably this is a slow process, and if we break off our practice, inertia reasserts itself. What we are really doing is infusing dense matter with vibrant energy. That is why a good practice brings a feeling of lightness and vitality. Though the mass of our body is heavy, we are meant to tread lightly on this earth.
— BKS Iyengar, “Light on Life” p. 45-6

Dwī Pāda Viparīta Dandasana ~”two legged inverted staff pose” from Śīrsāsana

Of course I have always known you are present in the clouds, and the black oak I especially adore, and the wings of birds. But you are present too in the body, listening to the body, teaching it to live, instead of all that touching, with disembodied joy. We do not do this easily. We have lived so long in the heaven of touch and we maintain our mutability, our physicality, even as we begin to apprehend the other world. Slowly we make our appreciative response. Slowly appreciation swells to astonishment. And we enter the dialogue of our lives that is beyond all understanding or conclusion. It is mystery. It is love of God. It is obedience.
— Mary Oliver, excerpt from “Six Recognitions of the Lord”