Yoga, Joy and the Future of the Feminine
During an interview published in Beverly Hills magazine, Sadhguru answers a few questions on yoga, joy and the future of the feminine.
Q: There is so much talk about yoga but how can one follow the path of yoga in its true form?Sadhguru: Yoga is not an exercise form as is commonly misunderstood today. “Yoga” literally means union. But in you experience right now, there is you and there is the universe. When life gets a little acidic for whatever reason, it is you versus the universe. That is a bad competition to get into. Every problem that human beings have – their fear, their insecurities – comes because they live like it’s “me versus the universe.” Yoga means you consciously obliterate the boundaries of your individuality, not in thought and emotion but actually in your experience. You made the individual and the universal one.
So, yoga is not a morning-evening kind of practice. There is a practice but that is not the only aspect. Every aspect of your life, the very way you walk, breathe, interact – everything can become a process towards this union. Nothing is excluded from this. It is not an act, it is a quality. If you cultivate your body, mind, emotions and energies to a certain level of maturity, a certain quality arises within you. That is yoga.
If you take care of your garden well, there are flowers. In the same way, if you take care of what you call “myself” well, flowers will bloom. That means, being peaceful, happy or joyful is not determined by anything outside of you, it is determined by you.
Q: What do you think is the future of the feminine in our world?
Sadhguru: Masculine and feminine are two fundamental qualities in nature. The physical nature of the universe happens between polarities, and one dimension of this polarity is masculine and feminine. When I say masculine and feminine, I am not talking about male and female. You may be a woman, but you may have more masculine in you than most men. You may be a man but have much more feminine in you than most women.
When one’s survival instinct is very strong, the masculine is very important because it is all about survival. For a long time, because survival was the dominant factor, humanity has given too much significance to the masculine. The feminine can come to its proper place only when societies have handled their survival well and reached a certain level of stabilized culture and civilization.
Today, as a generation of people, our survival process is better organized than ever before. However, economics is still the main force in the world, and once again everything is back to the law of the jungle – survival of the fittest. Masculine attitudes and values dominate. Generally, anything feminine is considered a weakness.
But if you want to be a full-fledged human being, it is very important that both masculine and feminine are there within you in equal proportion. Only if music, art, love and tenderness are as important as economics, then the feminine will flourish. If this does not happen, there will be no room for the feminine in the world. Female you may be, but masculine you will become.
Q: What is the one thing a person can do from today to start feeling more joyful?”
Sadhguru: When you get up in the morning, the first thing you should do is smile because just the fact that you woke up is not a small thing. So many thousands of people who slept last night did not wake up today, but you did. So smile because you woke up. Then look around and if there is someone, smile at them. For so many millions, someone dear to them did not wake up today morning. Everyone who is dear to you woke up – Wow! It’s a great day, isn’t it? Then go out and take a look at the trees. They didn’t die last night either.
You may think this is ridiculous, but you will know the reality of it when someone dear to you doesn’t wake up. Don’t wait till then to realize the value of it. It is not something ridiculous, this is the most valuable thing – that you are alive and everything that matters to you is alive. Appreciate it and smile at least. Learn to look at a few people lovingly.
If you are one of those people who will forget all this in an hour and pretty soon your reptilian brain wants to bite someone, then go through this reminder process every hour – give yourself a dose, a reminder of the value of life.