I’m really hoping you’ve seen the Wizard of Oz. It’s a cultural classic that I hope has not been replaced by Transformers or The Care Bears.
When you practice and teach yoga enough, you start to see yoga everywhere.
Like in the Wizard of Oz.
Take the Wizard, for example…he is always hidden behind a curtain, unseen, yet manifesting great control, projecting illusions of great power and generating large doses of fear.
In the vernacular of yoga, this can be described as Maya or illusion. That all too human trap of believing all that our thoughts and feelings present to us are relevant and real. Our senses and mind chatter often trick us in to believing strongly that our experience is real, when in fact it is only a result of our perception and conditioning.
Because the Wizard remained hidden, the illusion was perpetuated until the curtain was pulled back. In essence, yoga is inviting us, even begging us, to pull back the curtain and see things more clearly.
Dorthy’s ruby slippers, magically glued to her feet by Glinda, The Good Witch of the North, reminds me a lot of yoga. You may recall, they could not be removed until she died, or presumably, returned home.
She had the power to go home the whole time, she just didn’t know it until she had walked the path (yes, the Yellow Brick Road!), and done the work, determined in her search for the answer of how to get back home.
Reminds me a lot of the breath. We breathe in and out all day long, but don’t really tap into the power of the breath to take us home, in other words, inwards towards that very subtle inner sense of self or spirit, or soul…whatever you want to call it.
We have this magical tool with us perpetually from birth to death. Just as Dorthy learns that she’s had the power all along, she only needs guidance, to be taught how to use it and an awakening of sorts, after a long and dedicated journey.
The Breath and its Mastery are our Ruby Slippers.
Yoga is our Good Witch of the North.
The Yellow Brick Road is our Practice.
(still thinking on the Wicked Witch of the West ;)