The Lotus Flower
In the Buddhist culture, the lotus flower symbolizes divine birth. The lotus, the national flower of India, is a symbol of supreme reality. The roots of the plant help in getting rid of the body’s toxic wastes and in strengthening the lives. The lotus also helps in reducing body heat. The roots and rhizomes are useful in treating small pox, throat complications, pigmentation problems in skin, and stomach issues. In his essay “The Secret of Work”, Swami Vivekananda opines, “just as water cannot wet the lotus leaf, so work cannot bind the unselfish man by giving rise to attachment to results.” There is no such thing as an orange lotus flower. In Buddhism, saffron is the color of illumination. In Hinduism, saffron or Agni fire burns away the darkness and brings awareness, in the same way that knowledge burns away ignorance.
Yoga to You is not unique in our use of the lotus flower. However, it is a symbol that cannot be seen and remembered enough. Yoga is ultimately not about the postures; it’s about preparing the mind for death. And before death, we seek to understand impermanence and detachment, which is true freedom. Detachment to results such as the response to an Instagram post. Non-attachment to putting years into a job, a relationship, a friendship. All we can do, the only thing we hold is the power of the now. This power comes from knowledge. We move, nothing happens without movement. Everything begins by making a move toward change. From that movement, we elevate. Whether it is positive or negative, change is elevation. It’s evolving, the opposite of stagnation. To elevate is to enhance, enhance our understanding of the magic of every moment in which we are alive. Elevation is to redefine and open up the fixed view of ourselves. Without movement, there is no ability to create the tools to elevate. Without that, we cannot flower and grow. At the end of growth, we die. And that is the cycle of life. It is not morbid or sad; it is life. Impermanent. A continuous reminder that the NOW is sacred. There is magic in each moment, good or bad, sad or happy. It is an opportunity to be.