This is teacher, David Garrigues’ third time on as a guest on the Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast. David is someone who sees the yoga through the eyes of an artist – finding magic in the ordinary and painting the familiar into delightful new forms.
Full of all the same passion, that same spark of enthusiasm that sets souls on fire – he also seemed different. Definitely very clear – and especially about his role in this world and as a teacher. In fact, when he says his whole life has been leading up to this point, I believe him. This is the process, he tells me. A process through practice.
Is ego always such a bad thing?
It’s kind of interesting when you look up the word ‘ego’ in the dictionary – it’s not what you think. We use it negatively, generally. But it’s a very positive word. It means self-worth, self confidence, self-respect, these types of things. And it makes sense to me. Because there’s a really interesting paradoxical aspect to yoga and that’s that you have to be nuanced in your looking at what things are saying.
Like the kleshas – afflictions. You’ll see different interpretations of that word, klesha. But the main one is affliction. And if you take that word and you go down the list – asmita is one of these afflictions. And that’s ego. So automatically you think of this I-sense as being an affliction. And yoga is sort of like encouraging that idea that kleshas are to be attenuated or eliminated.
“Klesha as a corrupted force.”
There is this a whole different feeling about those things … because first of all, they (the kleshas) are forces. Basic forces of a human being. Like attachment to pleasure … And even clinging to life is one – abhinivesha. But underneath the afflicted aspect is a very central aspect of being a human being.
In a yoga sense, everything material serves a purpose … and so (the kleshas) serve a purpose. A positive purpose. Every single klesha is a force – like you NEED your ego … you need a very strong sense of identity, and confidence, and respect for your self.
And – that can also become corrupted.
“My whole life has been leading up to this!”
And it’s also connected to this whole idea of dharma. Every person is born with some kind of destiny, some very individual work. It’s part of the reason you have a body and a mind because you have something called a seer. And it needs something to see. Something that’s never been seen before … how can you do that without an I-sense?
Samadhi as the ultimate attachment
Samadhi, that’s the 8th limb. The ultimate yoga technique is this absorption. And what does that mean, absorption? I’ll give you some synonyms: It means to be absorbed, absorbent, captivated, enraptured, bewitched, enchanted, in love with … Samadhi, the ultimate yoga is to fall in love with whatever is the object to the degree where nothing else exists.
Think of the bliss. There’s a bliss quality to yoga that absolutely requires you to be attached. It absolutely requires attachment.
- David Garrigues website – with David’s upcoming events, videos, and books.
- The Asana Kitchen Podcast – monthly philosophical talks from the ‘yogi in a cave.’
- The Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast with David Garrigues – David gets fired up in our second recording together – about asana.
- Together Rising Led Primary – an audio download, free with your donation to Together Rising to benefit the children who have been separated from their families at the U.S. border. David leads shoulderstand – one of his favorites!
The Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast is edited and hosted by Peg Mulqueen along with Meghan Powell, and produced by Chris Lucas. We are an incredibly small team, dedicated to exploring the yoga practice in mindful and insightful ways. And we work hard to find inspiring individuals who make this practice come to life and bring them to you – all without any third-party advertisers.
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