Sometimes when I was younger in yoga, I got lost in admiring or idolizing some of my teachers. I couldn’t separate the teachings from the teacher. I thought the wisdom was within them instead of within me. This got me into trouble - especially in one case where I entered what I see now as an abusive relationship with someone I looked up to as a teacher. I couldn’t separate the teachings from the teacher, and I thought he was all knowing/wise. I now realize that he was not the guru - he was just awakening the guru within me (and doing so in a way that was abusing his power, grooming his clients/staff, talking the talk,and not walking the walk… but the ethics of dating your yoga students is a story for another day! 😂).
Pantanjali saw this confusion - which is why he laid out sutra 1.26 to explain it. (If only I was forced to read this sutra before I started falling in love with my yoga teachers😂).
This sutra reads, “From that consciousness (ishvara) the ancient-most teachers were taught, since it is not limited by the constraint of time. (purvesham api guruh kalena anavachchhedat)”.
This means - no teacher can be our guru, because this knowledge is only available to those who transcend time.
We are not practicing yoga to try and connect with a guru outside ourselves, we’re practicing to connect with a guru inside ourselves. Attaining union with an inner guru, an inner guide, the universe, this force - THIS is the goal of yoga.
There is no guru.
You are the guru.
“God resides within me - as me.”
This is yoga.