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There are many yoga teacher trainings worldwide – Vancouver, Bali, Thailand, Toronto, Hawaii, New Zealand, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne – teach about enlightenment. I have been hesitating to formulate an answer to this question for a while now. The term enlightenment can hold so much power that I feel somewhat intimidated by it at times. I feel as though to be enlightened is to come to a place where one can recognize and live one’s truth.
In the video, “Enlighten Up,” to be enlightened was described many times as becoming closer to god. I have similar struggles as Nick did in the movie as I do not believe in a classic representation of God as a religious figure.
I do however, believe in the laws of thermodynamics and allow the law of conservation of energy to guide my spirituality. “The total energy in an isolated system remains constant, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, rather it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another” (from Wikipedia definition of Law of Conservation of Energy).
This is how I have come to believe in the movement of energy and karma/reincarnation within the closed system of the universe. To become enlightened, for me, would be to realize and be in tune with all of the energy I am taking into my body and mind and to be able to feel/regulate the energy I put out into the universe.
A balance of energies in and out would allow me to feel whole and complete and enlightened. Through my yoga practice I become more able to cultivate and harness energy and dedicate it out into the world, I become cognizant of this interaction between my body/mind and my environment.
It’s not important what you are doing, but it’s important why you are doing it!- The Bhakti guru at the end of the film. This line resonated with me. Part of my struggle within my yoga practice comes from the voice inside my head that tells me I am only doing this to get in shape and that I am not doing a good enough job.
When I go to my mat and set an intention, for example, choosing to dedicate my daily practice to someone in need, or the intention to be kind to myself so that I can be kind to others, it is those practices that feel the most meaningful and enlightened. Sometimes I just don’t feel great in my body, I ache, or feel off-balance, or feel tired or hungry.
For me the moment of enlightenment comes when I say to myself that those things don’t matter. What truly matters is that I am still trying. I am still trying to better myself, to become closer to the best version of myself so that I can be a positive force in the universe.
I search and wish for enlightenment every day and try to recognize it in the small things. I know it is a process of a full lifetime or many lifetimes. I regularly remind myself that so as to not get overwhelmed or intimidated.