ELIMINATE EXCESS TO BE IN YOGA





Bridge of Light, The Hindustan Times, 2001



There is power in saying ‘no’ to what you do not need in your life. Indeed, we need very little, and accumulating unnecessary luggage is a huge contributor to our nameless daily existential strife. So let us, for a moment, forget about complex yoga postures, and just focus on eliminating excess from our lives. This in itself would be a great accomplishment, and a sure stride towards a yogic lifestyle, since excess is the antithesis of yoga. If we are masters of excess, we cannot hope to become masters of yoga, which is the path of discrimination and balance. Lack is better than excess if you truly desire yoga, and starvation should be chosen over gluttony, while striving for the ideal of moderation.


Look around you and you will spot many a thing, many a habit, many a relationship, many an obligation that you can do without. Most of our obligations are self-imposed, and give us a false sense of purpose. They really do not exist. If you are serious about following the path of yoga––know that you have one obligation alone and that is to figure out who you truly are and why you are here. If you are serious about yoga, know that yoga is about giving up. It is not about accumulating. Practice eliminating clothing from your wardrobe that you can do without, and eating not a bite more than your hunger dictates. Ponder on what you can eliminate next, such as unfruitful relationships, self-defeating habits, or the web of plans that crowd up your mind. You will feel lighter in body and mind from doing this simple practice, and much more deserving for walking on the golden path of yoga.