The essence of this blessed practice of yoga is Self discovery. Nothing is more central to our practice than to look deep within and to continually seek to experience the essence of who we are.
Naturally, this kind of inquiry is not easy.
Everyone of us (except the most highly realized souls of course) is entangled in a very complex web of delusions and attachments, which we normally identify with as our true selves.
This identification with these conditioned patterns of thought and emotion is what leads us to the deepest and darkest kinds of suffering.
The whole set of practices that we commit to regularly are all designed to begin to loosen our entanglement in those deep seated beliefs about ourselves.
Over time, through discrimination and discernment, we can begin to distinguish between those parts of ourselves which masquerade as our true selves and those parts of us that are timeless and transcendent.
This is a process that takes a profound level of devotion and dedication, for the machinations of ignorance are truly powerful indeed. Never underestimate the strength of the bonds of ignorance and unconsciousness.
Each day, each moment, we must constantly look beneath the surface of our moods, thoughts and emotions to discover what is true and what is merely transitory. Most of us have identified with the transitory for so long that it truly seems that that is all there is.
However, if you sensitize yourself more and more, you will begin to notice something remarkable. Amidst the intense morass of continuous thoughts and oftentimes dark moods, there is a place in you that is timeless, a deep calm that is untouched by anything and which speaks with a transcendent joy.
One of the most powerful things you can do is to direct your attention, even just a little bit of it, towards this deep stillness within you. Ever so delicately, let is dwell there a bit. Now, naturally, it is easier to do this when you are in a good mood, but for a real dose of insight, try doing it when you are in an uncomfortable, unpleasant place. Yes, at first, it will be very difficult, but over time, you will find that it will be a movement that will become more and more effortless.
Over time, you will begin to identify less and less with the different moods and bouts of anxiety that we are all prone to. Then, it won't even matter what kinds of states of mind come and go, good or bad. You will have found a connection to an essential part of yourself.
That kind of connection is exactly why we practice. It is who you are.
OM Namah Shivaya...!!!