6 Reasons Why Yogis Are Actually Jedi Knights
Christmas is coming! More importantly, new Star Wars! Over the past few months I’ve been working through the old films in preparation, and I have come to the conclusion that Jedi Knights are actually just glorified yogis. Or maybe yogis are glorified Jedi Knights.
What came first – Yoda or Yoga? Well, Yoga, obviously. Only by about 2000 years. Still, the parallels are unavoidable. Levitation and moving objects with our minds aside, here are six reasons why us yogis are actually Jedi Knights:
1. We feel the Force
If you practice Kundalini Yoga, you might already be very familiar with the concept of there being a force that can be found deep within in all of us, lying snake-like at the base of our spine in our lower chakras, just waiting to be awakened. Whatever type of yoga you practice, every time you step onto your mat you are connecting with the breath, prana, our life force energy.
We can feel this from the moment we lift our arms in sun salutation, flowing along our spines, through our core, and down to our toes in downward facing dog, breathing deep and rich inhalations as we rise again with hands in prayer. As yogis, we are bringing awareness to ourselves. We connect to the infinite power that changes within us and all around us daily. If anyone feels the force, it’s us.
2. We are peaceful warriors
Ahimsa, meaning non-violence to all, including ourselves, is found in the Second Limb of Yoga. As yogis, in our practice and in our lives we try to extend kindness to all beings, and accept without judgment. But this acceptance does not necessarily mean that we are just sitting back and giving up when the going gets tough. This acceptance is about courage. The courage to recognize the truth of a situation, seeing it clearly as it is, before making a conscious and active change.
3. We have great balance
4. We share the same philosophies
“Fear is the way of the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
According to Patanjali, the Kleshas are the five sources of misery for human beings. These Kleshas are ignorance, pride, greed, hate/anger, and fear. Following these can lead you into the dark night of the soul, a deep depression that many go through on their spiritual journeys to enlightenment. Sound familiar?
“Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.” – Yoda
Yet again, Yoda’s Jedi teachings reflect the yogic belief that we are all spiritual beings in physical bodies, rather than the other way around.
Just consider Yoda’s name – change the “d” to a “g” and, of course, you get Yoga. Coincidence? I think not.
5. Ujjayi breath
Fondly known by yogis around the world as ‘Darth Vader breath.’ I say no more.
6. We have magical powers
Yoga is much more than strengthening the body – it is also about having control over the mind. When we practice asana, we also practice focusing our attention on our physical bodies, just as they are. We actively try to be aware, preventing our minds from drifting off and losing focus while we have one leg behind our heads. We root our attention in the present moment.
We are not doing yoga for the result of being able to do the splits, or balance on one hand – although these are great bonuses! When we truly practice Yoga, we are doing it for the enjoyment in itself. We free ourselves from desire, and can reach a state of yogic contentment, loving and accepting every moment.
Through deep practice, it is believed yogis are able to connect with Siddhas, or spirit guides. However, Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras warns us not to be distracted by these magical powers from the real aim of Yoga, which is to reach Samadhi – a state of bliss – as we connect with the divine.
In the same way, Jedi must learn to master their desires, and resist the temptation that their powers can give them to live in the past or the future. They must be present, patient, and focused, much like the master yogi.
So there you go. Now you have a strong case for explaining to your friends why you rightly deserve Jedi Knight status.
May you be healthy, may you be safe, and may the force be with you.