What would Bruce Lee do…Jnana Yog

 Many of us come to Yoga through the path of the physical body, to get fitter, be stronger – many of us however don’t realise nor understand the importance of working from within – using the philosophies of Jnana Yoga (Yoga of knowledge), Pranayama (breath practices) and Meditation .

My background (British born Bangladeshi) and my faith as a Muslim gave me the chance to practice Yoga through the form of meditation, prayer and stillness but I also saw the appeal of the physical path. Like most people I wanted to have that ‘yoga body’ and many teachers at my time of practice were teaching mainly Yoga focused on Yogasana (postures).

I strived to attain the beautiful Yoga body pushing myself further and further into each posture with my false ego not caring nor being aware of the importance of breath and acceptance until one day I injured my shoulder and was told I would need surgery.

My shoulder was dislocated through incorrect use of the supporting back and shoulder muscles which led me to having surgery. This was a traumatic time for me as I was just starting my training to become a full time Yoga and Pilates teacher and later I found out that when my shoulder hadn’t healed the struggle would be much worse.

So I sought the advice of another surgeon who told me that the first surgery was performed incorrectly and he would try to help me but there would be a chance that I may never be able to use my left arm again.

I was devastated… so I wept and I got angry and I wept some more but then I remembered one of the great philosophers and artists of the body Bruce Lee and ive never looked back.

I stopped all forms of activity and went back to my roots and started to heal myself from within using all texts from all faiths from The Bhagavad Gita, Patanjalis sutras of Yoga, The Quoran, working with Tibetan Buddhists amongst others.   I finally saw what was really there rather than what I wanted to see  or perceived to be there. I exercised the greatest muscle of them all… the brain.
After Bruce Lee injured his spine to the point he was told he may never be able to move again, he  turned to his readings and he read and read and read and went back to the principles and philosophy of martial arts .
We all know that certain things happen for a reason but its accepting this that can lead us to a path of Sukkha (joy) or Dukkha (sorrow). I found the strength to turn to the path of sukkha. I was grateful that I was given the chance to stop seeking the external and come home to within.

I have now full use of my arm thanks to my studies of anatomy, and the joys of what Yoga is really about aswell as the importance of working mindfully through Pilates exercises.
There’s a minefield out of texts and its hard on your own to plough through what Yog is really about, always ask questions, be curious and open minded.

Yoga is much more than the body, for me without breath, without love, kindness and compassion Yoga cannot exist.