Article by Sala Watura, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Yoga and spirituality, as well as the use of the word "divine," have sparked questions that I have received from followers and friend. Here I express and shed light on what my life and work are all about as a teacher of yoga and a practitioner who has found great meaning and truth in surrendering to its wisdom.
Yoga, to me, is a process of finding the divine within myself, aligning myself with my truth about who I am and how I choose to show up in the world. Yoga is about finding the divine in our bodies, literally meaning that we all house the divine spark within us; it is both unique and all-encompassing. Our spirit, or the essence of who we are, shows up in this world through our bodies and the actions and movements our bodies produce as reactions to everything that is happening around us and also the things we choose to experience. Yoga is about choosing to dive deep, to breathe air into our bodies with the intention of allowing the divine to speak through our body's natural expression. Yoga allows us to lean into who we truly are and allows that energy to lead us through life - unapologetically. Receiving and letting go!
I have a problem with the word religeon because of what it represented in my world and the world I grew up in, which was not conducive to the "free spirit." Rather, it existed to cage the spirit and clip its wings with shame, guilt, and blame. They made me believe that the person I was was not enough and that I needed to change and be something I was not. The yoga I received when I opened up to it was a way of seeing that who I am in my core is a shining spirit, an embodiment of love, and all I must do is surrender to it and allow it to flourish.
I see the divine, or God, as this spark we all carry within us - this light we see as we are born and the light we carry and place at the mantles of our innermost happiness. Along the way, this light is snuffed out by so much distortion that we find it hard to pick up the pieces of the shattered lamp, and we are afraid to let it shine lest someone snuff it out again. As we move through life, we find that we receive moments - sparks of energy and life-changing events that allow us to decide how we take this life forward, as a leader or a sheep.
Are we life, or is life happening to us? At this very moment in time - right now, right here, at this moment, the entire world is experiencing this shift and is called upon to listen, reflect, and release. To trust in the person that we are becoming and to have faith in the world that we envision. Trust that all that you consider divine and godlike in your own vision resides within you and all around you. You are the key, the lock, and the door.
Growing up, I was told I was too much and also not enough at the same time. As a queer kid, I felt this so much that I felt the need to hide myself from the world for 30 years! For me, coming out felt so scary, and it also felt like breathing for the first time. It was the first time I leaned into my truest self and told myself that it is OK to be who I am, that I trust in the person I am becoming, and that right now, all I need to do is love the spirit, trust in its infinite wisdom, and know that my body is in alignment with who I am.
Yoga tells us that our bodies hold the keys to our liberation, and I found that wisdom to be an earth-shattering truth. Our bodies hold onto our truths; our bodies carry us through this entire journey we live and our body has witnessed everything we have ever experienced. Our bodies are our soul's embodiment. Our body is always here; it has and always will be with us as long as we breathe. Yoga allows the body to be free, to release and also to receive; it is a message of infinite magnitude. Our bodies are a reflection of life longing to live, not to remain still and stagnant but to move with grace and gratitude! Humanity is a movement, a collective movement towards embodying our best selves.
So when I say, "Trust in the divine," I say trust in yourself, Have faith that the person you are becoming has always been there and is there with you right now! - Trust that you are divine and that the movement that bubbles inside you is a freedom movement that is already in motion and is always in motion. Know that the person you are becoming IS here with you and is you, and it always has been you. So now when you breathe, breathe with that knowing, when you move, move with that wisdom… draw every breath with purpose, as you meditate, watch, acknowledge, and release, knowing that you have arrived.
Yoga is spiritual - it is a divine prayer to the SELF. We inhale and exhale deep in reverence to the body, giving it strength and vitality with just simple breathing. Every conscious breath is gratitude to the body that houses our soul. The millions and billions of cells work as individuals and as a collective to create this embodied existence. Yoga is uniting your body with the soul's intention - in this life, our souls exist to live and experience life, to live with meaning! It is our work to define what life means to us and live with the intention of living life with the purpose of simply living and existing and being in service to the self and seeing this very self-reflected in everything and everyone around us. We are one and we are all.
When I practice, I summon forth my courage as if I were a warrior on a brave mission to find myself and my divine spark, bring it to the surface, and let it shine bright. The divine light that is all of us. I find myself and become aligned with who I am with every breath, with every subtle movement, and with every blissful moment of stillness, I see myself shine!