I really had to laugh at last night’s episode of Mad Men when Harry Crane was suckered into a Hare Krishna chant. Because after being on my yoga journey for fourteen years, I’ve been there, too! The difference is, I went willingly. There was a period when I was exploring all facets of yoga, searching for the divine. It led to me many different places, and one of them just happened to be a special event hosted by Sivananda Yoga and the Hare Krishna Temple in Los Angeles.
A yogi friend of mine and I ventured into this strange and enchanting territory one Sunday afternoon, not really knowing what to expect, but hoping to find some sort of enlightenment. We were not disappointed. We were wary, at first. The group was a mix of western yogis like my friend and myself, and musicians, dancers, and Krishna devotees. And just seeing those guys in the yellow robes with their shaved heads was a little freaky. But once they passed around the music sheets and the lead guy brought out his harmonium, we quickly fell under the joyful spell of the chant.
So, when I saw Mad Men’s Harry clapping and chanting and singing along with complete abandon, I knew exactly how he felt. No, he wasn’t going to become a Krishna devotee. But he’d tapped into that place of freedom where the body and soul unite in a celebration of love. A place where time stops and fear dissolves. Pure joy. Unfortunately, it didn’t make a lasting impression on Harry. He went on to do some pretty terrible things later in the show, but I loved that someone as shallow and superficial as Harry could connect with his true Self, even if it was only for a few minutes.
To me, that’s what yoga is really all about. Connecting with your true Self. Finding the joy within. And you know what? You don’t have to spend hours in lotus pose to get there. Just do what you love, whether that’s gardening in your backyard or rafting the rapids or writing a novel. You don’t have to don a yellow robe and dance in the street to achieve enlightenment. You just have to connect with your joy. Find your joy, and then find time for it. If Harry Crane can do it, anyone can!