A yoga practice is like an archeological dig. Each day, you have to get out your pick-axe and shovel and do excavation work. In the early years of practice, you hack away at the surface layer of big, tight muscles. Later, you learn to proceed slowly through layers where precious artifacts are buried. Sweating, weeping and with bleeding knuckles, you dig through the dirt on hands and knees using tiny brushes, picks, and combs.
You sift through shards of personal history– through recollections, traumas, and past lives. You proceed delicately as memory is a brittle thing. As you chip, brush, and chisel, vestiges of your former self begin to emerge. Astonished, you can hardly believe your eyes. Have these artifacts been interred here all along? As your old self is revealed, buried feelings of hurt, loss, and shame get exposed. As you reclaim lost parts of yourself, you become the curator of the relics of your old self. Then something amazing happens. Way down under the wreckage, below the fossilized feelings of hurt, loss, and shame, you hit something you never in your wildest dreams expected was there. You hit the core of your being, like a vein of light, a stream of pure potential the yogis refer to as ananda. It shimmers up your spine and shines through every cell in your body. It is hard to describe and even harder to comprehend.
You go back before the formation of “you,” before any measure or calculation your ego can conjure. You spend time there, not doing anything. And then you “come to” and find yourself back on ground level, rolling up your mat, packing up your gear, ready to head home.