Kundalini yoga works on this very principle. Whether it is the meditation itself or the commitment to the practice that pushes you, if you give yourself no choice but to keep up, you learn the depth of your own strength. This isn’t the purpose of it all, though. It’s when you’re not meditating that you can then draw upon your knowledge of your strength, your will and your power to get you through times in your life that are challenging and difficult.
I remember when my best friend committed suicide and the subsequent grief and shock nearly drowned me. My practice fell off in the weeks to follow. Life was just going through the motions. Part of me felt like I was failing in my personal practice, until I realized something. I wasn’t there to serve my personal practice; my personal practice was there to serve me. It was the practice itself that was designed to support me. It wasn’t something I had to do, but was something I could do when I needed help, a totally selfish act to help me. It was something that I had done to prepare myself to battle through moments just like that one. When I realized this, my relationship to my own sadhana changed. I reached out for pranayama like it was a life raft. Re-establishing the rhythm of my own breath, opening the heart center by flexing the spine, all of these things hurt in my grieving body, but provided relief, too. What should have been simple was challenging, but I remembered moments in White Tantric Yoga where I felt like my entire body was going to break, but I had kept up. I remembered the emotional release and the elation at the end, and told myself, “Just a little longer, just for today, just for this breath in this moment, keep going. We’ll talk about tomorrow when it comes.” I got through it.
None of us know how strong we are until we are tested. We are stronger than we will ever know, or course, and in the moments of challenge we can stand up and let our soul be counted. We can remember the light within us and refuse to allow our radiance to dim. This much we owe ourselves; this much we deserve.
“Keep up and you will be kept up.” ~Yogi Bhajan