inner guidance

Talking Shop with Erich Schiffmann, by Nora Isaacs, www.yogajournal.com

Q:  Do you ever find that yoga takes you more “out of the world” than “into” it?

 
A:  What do you do in this case? At first, it did. I had to withdraw in order to go within. I left home, went to India, and really felt like I had to extricate myself from everything I was familiar with in order to get away from my conditioning and external influences, in order to get in touch with my deepest motivations about what to do. But once you go inward and start feeling the Energy that constitutes you, then, because the Energy that you are is the creative Life Force of all the universes, then as you get in touch with it and dare to go with its Flow, then, inevitably, because the Energy is the Substance and Source of all Creation, what we call life, you will find yourself coming back into the world, so to speak, and living in the world from this seemingly other-worldly place or perspective. You will come to life. Your life will come alive. One of the main things you learn in yoga is to participate more fully, to really get into the asana, or to really immerse yourself in the chant or meditation, etc. As you do this in the relatively simple context of a yoga class or your personal practice, you will spontaneously start doing it more of the time, that is, in your life. And the more fully you participate in your life, the more fun your life becomes, and you’ll find yourself becoming a more effective and meaningful presence. When I was young, I was the shyest person I knew. If someone asked me my name, I would turn red. It wasn’t until I started teaching yoga when I was twenty-one that I felt I had something important to talk about and share, and that it would have been weirder to not talk and stay shy. Teaching yoga brought me out of myself, made me more extroverted, more in the world. I’m happy it works like this. The world needs more yogis who are willing to participate more fully in all aspects of life. This will help heal the world.

Read full interview here.

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