On the surface, people tend to think the benefit of yoga is increased flexibility and balance. To me, this is just icing on the cake. Yoga, more that anything else I do, helps me get to know myself. This helps me be true to myself… “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” – William Shakespeare.
Actually, the doing of yoga isn’t what helps me know myself. I only find the knowing when I seek it — “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” – Jesus. In other words, action is action and nothing more. The value we find lies in how we approach action… any action!
A by-path for me has often been allowing action to substitute for approach. Action for action’s sake is just treading water. “At least I’m doing something”, I tell myself. Nope! Better to stop treading water and just sink. As chapter 32 says, One ought to know that it is time to stop. Knowing when to stop one can be free from danger. Perhaps the greatest danger is letting life slip through your fingers.
Still, to paraphrase chapter 36, if you would stop a thing, you must first start it. By-paths are prerequisites for finding the way. Ceasing to tread water and just letting yourself sink often marks the transition from one to the other.