By Annie (Aanandi) Ross
In an early Svaroopa® Yoga Teacher Training, someone told me, “You might have to realign your rearview mirror when you depart.” That image has stuck with me through many years of practicing and teaching yoga. At the time, It was amazing to consider that yoga could make me taller.
Little did I know that it could also fill me up. Yet it fills me from the inside, not like a dear friend recently described: “Happiness is when I can fill up my calendar.”
In her June 2021 Teachings Article: Why Is My Mind So Crazy? Gurudevi says:
“When you feel empty, your mind goes crazy.
It tries to find something to fill you up.
It’s like trying to fill an empty reservoir with a teaspoon.
You need an underground stream to be filling it from the bottom up.”
She is referring to the stream of Guru’s Grace. When I look to the external world to fill me up with activity, I’m sunk. Yoga’s teachings explain the cause. There will never be enough in the external world to satisfy me fully. Yes, I may be momentarily satisfied, but then what? The external world will not fully satisfy — ever. The “More” that I yearn for is only found inside. And when I simply allow that to happen, when I look inward, I’m settled. I’m at home in my own Self.
I remember one incident when my mind was clearly confused. It was 1973. I was returning from a stay overseas, passing through JFK International Airport. I was jetlagged, tired and inexperienced at exploring the world. I saw something my mind did not know how to interpret. There were twenty or so people, dressed all in orange. They were singing something, swirling and dancing around in a big circle. This was right in the middle of the busy airport. I was astonished. I stopped to watch, as did many others. I now recognize the people in orange were chanting Hare Krishna.
The interesting thing is that my mind was spellbound. I felt transported to somewhere else. I wanted to know who they were and what they were doing. I stayed for a while. I tried to grasp what I was seeing. I felt something but had no idea what.
Then, in a moment, my mind told me, “These people are crazy, really crazy.” I scoffed to myself and left the crazy scene, shaking my head. I headed back into the business of the external world. I felt busy, important and arrogant.
I couldn’t have figured out how life works on my own. I needed a teacher — a Master who had already tread this yogic path. I needed one who had grasped the teachings from her teacher, who got it from his teacher.
Finally, stumbling into Svaroopa® yoga and meditation, I began to understand the mind. My mind can be tricky and crazy making. Then I came to know what really fills me up from the inside. It is the Self, described in the ancient texts. And I came to understand how my mind can serve me better. It takes practice. I am forever grateful for this blessing.