If a yogi is the one who lives in a cottage at the bank of a river, then why cannot a turtle be a great yogi, who lives always at the bank of a river? If a yogi is the one who eats very little and only plants, then why cannot a deer be a great yogi? These are not the things that make one a yogi. In fact, even your busdriver can be like Buddha.
Yoga is related to renunciation. What is understood as renunciation is to leave one’s house, give away all posessions and continue life with just a few things you need. The aim of renunciation is to get rid of attachment. When you live with as little as possible, does this automatically take away attachment? On the contrary! Imagine you live on the street with just one blanket, a few dollars and a phone. This is all you have. Now a robber comes and steals your phone, money and rips your blanket. Now you would feel even more devastated because this was all you had!
Non-attachment is not in the more or less you have, it is all about your state of being. You can have a house, car and possessions while at the same time being totally non-attached. We don’t have to escape the external world, the world is full of beauty which has to be enjoyed. We live in a complex society in which effort is needed to sustain and take care of each other.
Real renunciation is when you can use and enjoy material, but accept the impermanence. You use the car, but you don’t treat the car as your child. Of course there still is a distinction between greediness for more and being content with what one has. But the point is that you don’t need to change what you are doing, only the state and awareness you have while you are doing it.
You do yoga so you awaken a lot of energy, so why not to use it! This is why karma yoga (selfless work) is highly practiced in an ashram. The more energy you have, the more you distribute for the upliftment of others. You learn to work from another state of mind.
You perceive the unmanifested in the manifested and are non-attached to your thought patterns which take you away from the moment right now. Fully immersed in the moment, you enjoy every activity with full joy. Losing the mind, there is room for the perception of the wonder in the small things. Losing the mind, you make room for consciousness to flow through you.
Escaping the world you will still fluctuate between joy and sorrow, because it is all within you. But finding the state of yoga, you participate in the world from your heart, and not from your mind.