One of yoga’s many teachings is unity—there is no separation between the doer, the act of doing, and that which is done. There is no difference between the yogini, the act of practicing yoga, and the poses themselves. After all, one cannot exist without the other. You can’t have a yoga pose without someone doing it…and so on. This lesson dates back to the ancient Vedas and Upanishads and plays out in modern times on a daily basis.
The word “manifest” has increased in popularity in recent years. We all have goals and desires and want to be sure that we’re focusing our energies towards things that will benefit us. When we practice without a guiding principle, it can leave us feeling all over the place. We’re taught to set an intention and get clear on what we want to manifest.
Right now, practicing manifestation can feel a bit confusing. Many of us have experienced great loss and those who have not are experiencing a sort of “survivor’s guilt.” Either way, it’s tough to get a clear head during this time, but now more than ever, we are called to clarify our core wants and needs. In all directions, life looks very different than it did just a few months ago. While most of us have a little extra time on our hands, this is our moment to ask ourselves, “What really matters to me? What do I want to create during this crazy time?”
Since we are in a moment of great transition, it’s worth reflecting on the evolution of the word itself. “Manifest” appears as an adjective in the 12th century from the Latin “manifestus,” meaning “clear, apparent, evident,” and from the old French “manifest” meaning “evident or palpable.” It shows itself as a verb in the 14th century Latin “manifestare,” meaning “to discover, disclose, or display by actions” (we really like that last one, which might also be expressed as “our actions show who we are”). Lastly, it shows up as a noun in 1706 in a “ship’s manifest” and yet earlier in 1610, when “manifest” is simply a public declaration [of what is].
Why is this interesting? It shows that the word has its own intelligence; its own ability to metamorphosize. As a verb, manifest describes the act of creating (to make manifest). As an adjective, it describes the object that is created (the manifest world). And as a noun, it becomes the thing that is created itself (a ship’s manifest). Therefore, to “get good at manifesting,” we need only look to yoga’s ancient lessons of unity. The act of creating and the thing we want to create are not separate. To manifest something, we begin by being that which we want to bring about.
In these uncertain times, we may find that we’re desiring simpler things, like social connection, a healthier lifestyle, or a sense of calm. These are all things that start with us. When you find yourself wanting to manifest something, the first step is to start with gratitude for what you already have. Then, take baby steps to become a little healthier, a little more connected, and just a little bit calmer. Remember—there is no separation between you and what you want to create. Whatever you’re seeking is within you already.
If you’re ready to get clear on what matters most and take your first steps toward it, these online yoga and meditation classes can help: