In Iyengar yoga, there is much about teaching the “effects” of the asana, the sequence, and pranayama. We all know the immediate effects of our practice…we feel less tension, more relaxed, our mind is less busy. But what about one hour later? Two hours later? One week later?
There is much in nature that we cannot see or measure. Yoga obviously works the muscles and glands, but what about the subtle parts of ourselves that are beyond measurement? If we have a daily yoga practice, do these effects compound overtime like interest? Einstein said that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.
Think back at a major accomplishment in your life. What were you like when you attended your first class at a university? What were you like when you walked down the graduation isle? You probably didn’t notice the difference while it was happening, but in hindsight you can clearly see the evolution.
When you first start yoga, it is all physical. You ache all over. You lose weight. You are calmer. You gain strength and flexibility. After time, the aches are not as intense. You can practice longer and more deeply. You start to become more aware of your body and it’s tendencies.
With correct practice, the impurities will start to burn away, not just from your physical body, but from your consciousness.
With continued intense practice, they will burn more.
Until you are just a ball of fire.
Then come the “obstacles” of yoga practice. Illness, relationships, work duties, child rearing. Has the compounded effect of practice made a difference, or does it stop? During times when you cannot do asana practice, does your yoga still stay with you?
I have found that yoga is very forgiving to those who have taken time away. The wave you were producing with your droplet has turned to light and is showering you with grace.
The Bhagavad Gita patiently reminds us: “In this yoga there is no loss of any endeavor, there is no diminution of result and even the slightest effort performed righteously saves one from the greatest of danger.”
I like the science experiment of adding cornstarch and water to a sub woofer to capture what sound “looks” like. It is more evidence that there is much more in the universe than we can perceive.
I can only imagine what daily yoga practice over years does to one’s whole being.