As western science continues to investigate the benefits of Yoga that have long been known in the region of its origin, one word continues to pop up: happiness. Happiness, an ever-fleeting emotion that is prioritised in the West, is often named as one of the many benefits of Yoga.
But what if you practice several limbs of Yoga consistently and frequently and aren't happy (however you may define that for yourself)? Does that mean you're doing something wrong, not doing everything right, or missing it altogether? No, it doesn't.
The now overused "Yoga is a journey" cliché is still true. Sri BKS Iyengar was known for saying "repose the pose". Just as there is no final point in an āsana (posture), there is no destination in your complete Yoga practice that ends in happiness.
Every time you step on the mat or sit on the cushion, your state of mind, body and spirit has shifted from the last time. From one session to the next, you may find yourself confronting joy, anxiety, depression, optimism, and any other fluctuation of the mind.
Our mats offer us an opportunity to simply be who we are - our truest selves. Let go of pressures of how you should be, in general yet especially on the mat, and embrace your whole Self.
You are not alone on this journey.
Stay true to your practice.
And let the rest be.