The root meaning of the word science means knowledge.
And the process is learning by experience, trial and error, systematic and logical.
Love on the other hand often seems illogical, at least romantic love. And even when we think of love of friends and family, when boundaries blur, this magic of life gets messy for most of us.
But in my experience love is what life is all about.
And yoga, the art of awareness, is armed by a science of experience to teach us to love.
We have the Yamas and Niyamas as guideposts in classical yoga.
Yet for most in contemporary culture, yoga’s focus is more on the poses though depending on where you go and who your teachers are, the spirituality behind it is often shared.
But even for those who aren’t seeking more than a good work out they usually get a lot more.
We learn to be with the self in yoga. We learn to work from where we are. We learn to breathe with awareness. We learn to root into the earth with our legs and let our heart open and reach toward the heavens.
And as we all know or learn if we don’t, in order to love another we have to love self.
For most of us it is a lifelong process of letting go of the negative talk and accepting how we are, the things we embrace and are proud of, as well as those things that bring us shame or embarrassment.
So you are in your asana class trying to balance in Vrksasana or Tree Pose. You know you can balance. You know you can find a way to do the pose that works for you in this moment. And because you’ve tried it and fallen out so many times you know falling is okay. You know in fact falling is good because your teacher reminds you that that is how we learn how to get back up.
In life we fall down. With practice, we get better and better at getting back up.
Now maybe the first time you tried this pose the woman in front of you nailed it. And you compared yourself to her. You compared her seeming poise. You compared her shapely buttocks to your round one.
Then one day you bump into her putting on your shoes and you compliment her and she confides how long she worked at balancing in this seemingly simple pose and some days she falls out of it all the time and others she does not.
You just had a lesson in loving yourself and loving another handed to you in this exchange. And the irony is the simplicity, by sharing an honest observation with a classmate you gave a bit of yourself and received even more in the giving.
For what is love? Some say God is love. But some find that three-letter word a bit loaded. Without resorting to google, I would say love is radiant energy that flows among us all and throughout the universe. Love is the energy of giving, growing, accepting and hoping.
Love asks for all and love gives all.
In loving, we learn to know who we are and how we are.
Yoga is the science of love; the science of building the energy of love through experience. We connect to prana, and let it grow and flow whether in an asana on the mat or in our homes.
We find our breath when stress grabs us and we realize all we have to do is be, balance and breathe.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons