LONGWAVE YOGA BLOG
July: Moksha Freedom Within
Within the geographical and political borders of the United States, the concept of freedom takes a specific shape. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This ideology influences one of the greatest experiments in history—the right to live fully without fear of legal or political retribution.
Though this sense of freedom is complex and has witnessed both great injustices and improvements, this idyllic sentiment of freedom paved the pathway for personal freedom that can be revealed in nearly any expression: brilliant works of art, religious practices, scientific exploration, and political belief. But, in the quest for freedom, what is often desired is two-pronged—a culture that embraces freedom for all and the ability to be free within.
The yoga practice transcends the borders and complications of political freedom and explores the esoteric realm of “freedom within” or moksha. Though the yogic teachings would support a free nation, the goal of yoga is to create liberation within. For when we are bound to inner conflict, self-limiting beliefs, or misknowing, we are not truly free.
This is where our practice comes in as the safety net that ensures our ability to rise above the confusion of the mind and live out our birth right as free beings. Despite political and cultural freedoms that determine how we operate in the physical world, moksha allows us to find freedom within so that we are closer to the highest Self. In this sense, we are free from our attachments, aversions, and thoughts.
In the asana practice, we learn to identify attachments, limitations, habits, and resistances that hold us back from living fully. For some practitioners, they discover this through physical sensations such as pain or tightness. For others, it might be experienced through the thought patterns of the mind. Despite the revelation, by witnessing the experience, the yogi is forced to make a decision—to hold on or let go. When we choose to let go of the outcome a yoga pose or let go of self-limiting belief, we experience growth, space in the body, and quiet in the mind.
In turn, this sense of freedom on the mat informs our daily lives. It encourages us to examine the ways in which we derail ourselves from the path to the highest Self. Upon uncovering the conditioning of our thoughts, beliefs, and actions to which we have attached, we are given the gift of expanded consciousness. In this sense then, we see ourselves and others as free beings of the world. When we are aligned with our own divinity, we are able to see that same divinity within others. As such, the way in which we interact with others inspires happiness and freedom for all beings. We become agents of change within the world. Our impact rattles and shakes the very ground we walk upon as we gently see ourselves and others as one and the same.
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi
May prosperity be glorified
May rulers rule the world with law and justice
May divinity and erudition be protected
May all beings be happy and free
Om, Peace Peace Peace
Image from Active Hands Yoga