Have you seen the yoga documentary Enlighten Up? If not, you can catch it online at Hulu:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/192682/enlighten-up

I particularly love Swami Shri Gurusharananandaji Maharaj’s discussion, which takes place about 1 hr 5 mins into the film. Such eloquence in describing that there are many paths that can lead to the same goal. Make sure to take at least five minutes to check out this clip with him.

Overall, the film is a great look into multiple yoga traditions, and if you have relatively little yoga background, this is a great overview into seeing a glimpse of the inner workings of a few different traditions.

One point, however, is really lacking in the film, in my opinion. The premise of the documentary is to introduce someone to yoga, and expose him to multiple styles of practice, and notice if he experiences any growth–physically and/or spiritually. The unfortunate missing component of the documentary, is that to experience spiritual or physical growth within a practice, one must stick with a single practice or perspective.

As Swami Shambhavananda suggests, “It’s important to choose a path and stick with it until it bears fruit. Many people in our culture jump from practice to practice. It’s like searching for water by digging a well two feet deep, finding nothing, moving to another site and digging another two feet, again finding nothing, and going somewhere else and digging five feet, and still finding nothing. You’ll never find water unless you pick a site and dig deeply. It’s important to pick a practice and commit to it. Otherwise, when you meet resistance, you’ll switch to a different one. It is my belief that if you find another path that serves you spiritually, it is not necessary to follow the practice that I teach.”

The participant in the documentary commented that he didn’t really feel that he experienced much growth. In order to truly experience a transformation, one must not merely scratch the surface, but be willing to continue digging deeper and deeper in the same direction.

So pick your direction, whichever direction you prefer, and start digging. And keep digging. And don’t stop. 😉

Shantipremananda

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