Cure Or Endure – the Healing Path of Yoga
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” B.K.S. Iyengar
Our culture teaches us that as long as we are “happy” and “healthy”, we are perfect. The moment we are not healthy or happy for any reason, we not only feel “broken” in our self, but we also suspect that others think of us as being “broken”. We may be so obsessed with that “broken piece” that it becomes part of our identity. This is why the teachings of yoga can offer a path toward healing.
Yoga is based on the holistic idea that mind and body are connected and work together as a whole. As a student of yoga, you learn very simple ways to get to know your body in its current form, how to move, how to be still.
As your body learns, your mind is also learning to better understand and react to that bodily construct, whether stiff, loose, fat, thin, “broken” or “healthy”.
Iyengar Yoga in particular offers accessible and sustainable methods for working with mind and body in new and creative ways no matter what life in a body throws at you.
This is not a “quick fix” or a painless way toward healing. You are learning new practices that inform our whole life.
BKS Iyengar teaches, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” Yoga is the teacher; we must be willing to learn.
Many students see yoga as a collection of physical exercises that can have some healing ability to “fix problem areas” and come to a yoga practice for that reason alone.
As you practice, you will find that alignment of the body provides us more stability and mobility prevents and repairs injuries, “curing what may not need to be endured”.
However, the true healing power of yoga goes even deeper. As you become aware of your body, you learn to work through difficulties and “endure what cannot be cured”.
Harnessing the healing power of yoga lies not in just the doing of the asanas themselves, but in your commitment to be present with each practice. Concentrated effort on your breath and experience of sensations deeper than the surface of your skin can bring a focus and calm to your mind.
Instead of becoming caught in panic and worry due to changes, you can use your yoga practice to focus on the present moment and to fully experience your being in whatever form it takes at any point in time.
Through yoga, you learn there is no retreat from life or practice, no matter what gets broken. There are just more opportunities to get creative and open the door to new experiences.
Either you cure what can be cured through strong physical determination. Or you endure what cannot be cured through a deeper, subtler work with the mind.
We all live in a body that is constantly decaying and breaking down. None of us can choose to stay the “perfect age” or the “perfect form”. Life happens, and when it does, the best choice to make is the first step on the healing path of yoga.