One day the vines will cover it all.

Looking at this house we see the battle between a white house standing strong, and the vines tearing it down. We see the battle between the human ego and the forces of nature. It doesn’t matter what the owner does to trim them back, eventually the vines will win. Her strength will fade with age, and her body will return to the earth.

Because of this inescapable inevitability, the vines already cover it all.

The house is a thing of beauty and a living work of art. So impressed, we’ve gazed at it for an hour, taken a photo and put it on the internet.

Us too, one day the vines will cover us all.

We only have so much time here, and it doesn’t matter what we do on this earth, the physical ending is always the same: Our bodies will return to the earth, and anything we build will eventually be torn down by the vines.

So what can we do? We focus on the inside. This Ashtanga practice we have gives us the tools for growth and development, and the guidelines for living our everyday life outside of our yoga practice. We can enjoy the discovery and adventure of life; we can play! We can have fun! We can have a positive impact on those around us – A smile, a kind word, a helping hand, a laugh. The ripple effect of even a single smile at a stranger in the street is instant, laughter is contagious, and a good story retold a hundred times.

You can devote your physical body to physical pursuits, but not your stresses, your anguish and your emotions. Save that mental energy for the things that really matter: For family, friends and loved ones. For discovering, both inwards and outwards. For new ideas and feelings. For laughter, joy and play.

Sitting in the cool shade of this tree, gazing at this house, it is nice to imagine the owner enjoying the pleasure of her practice, being the living artwork of her house. That she doesn’t fret and worry about the eroding mortar and flaking paintwork. But that she laughs and plays and entertains friends in her courtyard. Enjoying life, sharing joy and spreading love. Everyone who’s sat under this cool tree and admired the beauty of the house has enjoyed the fruits of her labour. That she’s made a positive impact on those around her, without perhaps even meeting a single one of us.

But not needing to, because of this inescapable inevitability, the vines already cover us all.

 

This article has touched on some of the points in two key Yoga texts, being Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.

If you are interested in the philosophy of Yoga, and how it can apply to everyday life, speak to your yoga teacher about considering our Deepen the experience – study and practice course or attending one of our guest teacher workshops.

Specifically on Yoga philosophy, we have a Yoga philosophy workshop with Gregor Maehle in August next year.

Om Shanti.