No wave can exist without the ocean behind it; so we must realise the great Ocean of Life throbbing behind our lives.    ~Paramashana Yogananda

History and Philosophy of Yoga

During one of the history and philosophy lectures of my yoga teacher training we were encouraged to consider the concept that we are all independent waves within the ocean of life.

The metaphor seems quite logical but it was simply something that I hadn’t contemplated deeply before. Like a wave we can act as we wish – growing in height, shimmer with different tones of colour or simply rolling with the flow of the tide – however, if you do indeed take away the rest of the ocean we fail to exist. A wave can only exist with the ocean around it.

In Hindu teachings the Atman – soul or spirit of the individual – is like the wave that exists within the realms of the ultimate god, Brahman – the ocean that surrounds us.

Flowing Forward

During these unsettled times it is worth considering how your actions really only have meaning in the context of those around you. It is therefore a prime time to focus on being kind, generous and conscious of the consequences that our actions have on others as we hopefully all flow towards calmer waters, after all without those around us we have no meaning.