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Come as you are – Yoga the Secret Door Inside the Wardrobe – By Claire Hall

Come as you are – Yoga the Secret Door Inside the Wardrobe
by Claire Hall

In the words of Nirvana (the band, not enlightenment!) ‘come as you are.’ Not as you’d like to be but who you really are. Yoga invites you to drop the roles you play in life, whether that is a mother, daughter, father, son, sister or brother. It allows you to let go of being an employee, employer, a friend or enemy. Yoga gives you that chance to just be, just to be in that moment, on the mat moving through your practice.

Patanjali’s Avidya explains this. Avidya is that process of life based on ignorance, the ignorance of our spiritual nature. To live without ignorance of our spiritual nature or ignorance of our true self we need to know ones self. Aristotle said ‘knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom’ 

What then is ‘knowing the self?’ The self is never changing but Avidya or ignorance only sees the ‘nonself’ or ego, ‘I am a mother’, ‘I am a daughter’, ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’. ‘I’ has many roles, it is constantly changing to fit in with expectations. These expectations are set within society and we feel the need to fulfil them. Yoga practice gives the opportunity to leave the ‘nonself’ at the door, to leave the roles society sets for us behind. It invites us to just let go of those roles for while but as I say to my students, those roles will still be there when you leave but maybe the burden of them will be a little bit lighter.

We engage in the practice of yoga as our true ‘self’, as we are, without burden or expectation and how wonderful is that? When in life do you ever get that chance? Yoga is that place where nothing else matters for the time we are on the mat.

In his book Yoga Revolution, Jivana Heyman puts this idea beautifully…

“Yoga is like the secret door inside the wardrobe. Every time I practice I seem to go somewhere away from my daily worries and stress. And that is huge because so often I feel trapped in my own life”1

Maybe Jivana is suggesting we are trapped in the roles that life has given us. Let go of these roles just for a short while, engage in your practice, however that looks for you, find your true self and be who you truly are.


1 P78,  Heyman, J, Yoga Revolution: building a practice of courage and compassion, 2021, Shambhala Publications, Boulder, Colorado, United Sates of America.