We may not all aspire towards the divine, but yoga has enough lessons to share too with those who want to continue to live happily in this life and dimension. One of the things yoga has taught me is to move from conditional to unconditional love, and with that, moving from dependency to fearlessness and freedom. Often, relationships are imbalanced, and even become a form of emotional crutch, when we allow ourselves to be dependent on others, when we demand that we be acknowledged, and loved back, to be happy. If a love relationship moves off course slightly, we become uncertain, we fear, and we hold back on investing further into it. This creates a lot of unease, and even unhappiness and missed opportunities when a partner second guesses another.
I believe I have understood fearless and unconditional love through a headstand. Much like a new love, most of us attempt the headstand with care the first few times, unsure if we would actually like it. However, it is only when we persist, and when we go forth unwaveringly do we finally make a complete lift-off one day. What sweet success in the break-through moment! But only in continuing beyond the first euphoric wave of success, coming back to labour on the asana over and over again, can we draw the full comparisons with love and understand what unconditional love means. It is uni-directional, giving, and not expecting anything in return; it is steadfast, even when things get boring; it is constant, even when circumstances vary. This love can be for a person, or it can be for an object, or a career. In all of these, we need to love and believe in what we are doing, and keep at it, before we approach the first milestone appearance of success. After that milestone, we need to continue on, even if further recognition and assurance of success is not forthcoming. It is the only way to be happy in any moment, when we keep going on, driven only by fearless confidence. There is no final happy-ever-after. This very moment is the moment of our dreams.
Yoga guides and builds our capacity to be completely and perfectly happy and to be equanimous at any moment, drawing joy from the fact that we are true and one with our breath. And we have to be willing to be confident in our commitments, not letting fear and doubt get in the way. Freedom and happiness comes when we can love the people around us and what we do with an open heart, with a fearless dedication, and with no conditions attached. At the studio, we are not on the mats to prove a point, or to ask for recognition or for something back. We keep doing our yoga, and we feel good. When we truly love, without fear or need of external assurance, we feel good from deep inside too.
This post first appeared in Intheloop