Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Everywhere you look, someone's doing yoga. But why? Why are you doing it? It is not a secret that it's true meaning has been diluted in many Western practices of the Ancient art.
Say Yoga was a tree; the fit, toned, nimble body you might be stoked about would be one of the leaves. Just one. A flimsy bi-product. Your sense of connection with yourself and the healing you might feel each time you hold a pose long enough for a deep emotion to rise and release; the branches. The sense of stillness, and silence you might find by the end could be the trunk.
But the majority of people aren't even aware the roots exist, buried deep under the grounds of cultural translation. Dismissed.
Inner-exploration, self-realisation, higher consciousness and enlightenment aren't an honoured part of our culture. They are almost taboo words, but just because many scoff at them, doesn't invalidate the fact that the whole system of Yoga was carefully and concisely designed as a vessel for awakening to the truth of who and what we are.
Awakening from the sleep we entered at some stage of our development, when the programming of the mind and society gradually dulled the full and vibrant aliveness of our spontaneous hearts.
Of all the trends we could dabble in, Yoga is a powerful one that has the potential to lift the consciousness of our society as a whole. It already is whether we're aware or not. It's inevitable due to the very nature of each pose and sequence.
So lets shine a light on the commonly undervalued roots.
In Sanskrit, Yoga means Union. Union of the mind, body and essence, with the divine. It's a merging with the deepest aspect of ourselves, with god. A merging with the vast space at the core of our being, beneath the layers of our identity and thoughts.
The ultimate result of traditional yoga practised with the right intent is pure freedom. Bliss. Peace. Contentment. Dhayana;
A state in which you can transcend beyond the very body you practise with.
The expansive stillness and space you drop into during your final savasana is where the true self can be felt and found, hence the word 'self-realisation'. Each posture works to open both your physical and energy body, untying the knots that bind you and keep you small, and gradually unveiling the vastness beneath. It's a shedding of that that weigh you down, until all that remains is your pure essence.
So let go. Drop in. Allow the space to expand beyond your practise and into your daily tasks.
You can live in unwavering peace, contentment, light and buoyancy. It's what we are beneath the grasping's of the dysfunctional mind and programming.
It's also a process, seemingly infinite, and ever-evolving. It takes time to unwind all the beliefs we've coiled ourselves up in, but when the reward is freedom, what is time?
This information is nothing new. It's ancient, and there are many different books that depict it in far more depth than I have. One of My favourite's is 'Light on Yoga' - B.K.S. Excert;
"Dharana, Dhayana and Samdhi (The 6th, 7th, and 8th stages of yoga) take the yogi into the innermost recesses of his soul. The yogi does not look to heaven to find god. He knows HE is within, being known as the Inner self. He is in harmony with himself and his maker.
By profound meditation, the knower, the knowledge and the known become one. It's like a great musician becoming one with his instrument and the music that comes from it. Then, the yogi stands alone in his own true nature and realises his self (Atman), the part of the supreme soul within himself." - BKS Iyengar
If you're interested in transcending into higher levels of freedom, my teacher Rohan Heaton is a powerful comrade in helping people hunt and unlock the traps of the mind. My inner journey transformed rapidly when I started working with him, beyond what I imagined was possible.
I'd love to hear about your journey. What's your relationship with yoga? What are your reasons?
A very powerful self-realisation retreat with the Inner Peace foundation of W.A where I teach yoga. Video by www.frankbennett.me
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