Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The scene: a packed Studio hot and steamy with wall to wall yoga students, mats just a few inches apart, your intimate neighbor's sweat dripping into your designated area. Yes, this is the set up for Samadhi to merge with all that is, the singularity, the zero-point field-the final destination for the dedicated yoga practitioner. If we can say there is a destination, for all we are really "doing" is discovering that which was hidden and has been there all along. In essence the truth is the surrender not the doing.
Why Yoga? The yoking, the union of body, mind and spirit to find what we already are. The place of purity, serenity, knowingness, supreme bliss the state of becoming one with all that is. You laugh, and yes you should for this is the ideal and in essence many lifetimes away one could say. But the truth of the matter is in the process, and the quickest way to discovering ourselves is through the physical body. The benefits of a disciplined yoga practice on the physical level are vast and yet the benefit of yoga goes beyond physical healing and into the mind and spirit.
So how does yoga achieve such lofty heights? The answer from the ground up. Literally the start of clearing, cleaning the stagnant energies of ill health into light and clarity is from the feet up. The feet are the foundation to creating movement and energy, Chi, Life Force, Prana up into the bodies energy centers. Once the clearing and processing of energy is ignited the bodily literally becomes the bridge to self discovery on all levels physical and physiological. The ultimate tool; a disciplined yoga practice to generate energetically the supreme potentiality of this awareness.
The revelation from feet to hips, belly to solar plexus, heart to throat, third eye to crown, corresponds to the main centers within the physical body; Chakra. This entire system connected by Nadis or channels of light (corresponding to the meridian lines in chinese acupuncture) are revealed in ancient scripture to be numbered 72,000. These Nadis are the basis of energy and light within the body. The goal is to have more of this vital energy in the body than without and the yoga Asana creates the environment for this to occur. By simply connecting the movement to breath we are facilitating this. Using the breath in this way in yoga is called Vinyasa ; the breath connecting to movement is the catalyst for moving resistance out, clearing these body lines of cellular debris. Thus creating an elaborate network of awakened space were Prana can flow freely and naturally.
This space created allows for more and more light to enter the body increasing the vibrational frequency to resonate at higher and higher tones. Now why would we want to achieve this state? Because the more our bodies are clear of toxic cellular debris the more room we have for this clean higher energy and the more we have access to healing.
To simplify the yogic version of Prana since in the traditional teaching we have 5 types of prana energy. But here we will talk only about the opposite of Prana, Apana. Apana the name given to this stagnant energy that creates restriction within the body, clogs up our channels leaving no room for the vibrant life force energy to be present. It is when the body becomes stagnant and stuck that we see disease meaning dis-ease. The power of Prana to heal comes from the focused attention of the mind on the breath. We have the inhale associated with the vital life force Prana and the exhale associated with the Apana which carries away cellular rubbish on the exhale. Bring in a regular Vinyasa yoga practice and we begin to train the mind to be still, allowing the body to let go of the holding of Apana.
It is "chitta vritti nirodhah!" ....stopping the chatter of the mind that facilitates this incredible power to heal ourselves and to become conscious of who we really are. The trained mind has access to this incredible prana power by simply practicing any form of focused energetic movement be it yoga, Thai Chi, Chi Gon, Martial Arts or for that matter traditional sports. It is the breath awareness that creates the profound ability to clear the mind of all thought, creating the power to focus. Training the mind to stay single pointed and connected to the Zero Point Field.
When practicing yoga the most challenging part of class, the place toward the end when you have all but given up, is precisely the place were the most amount of learning comes into play. It is the place where the ego has all but disappeared and the only place to go is into surrender. This is the sacred space where Prana can go where it naturally goes-there is no effort, no doing required-and once there within your being, the supreme revelation of discovering your true self is found. The self that has been there all along just hidden waiting to be discovered. The place of oneness that unifies all that is.
Om the ancient sacred symbol defines the essence of all there is. It is the vibrational sound that permeates all of the universe know and unknown. In the words of Self Realization Fellowship founder Paramahansa Yogananda " Om is the bridge between human consciousness and Cosmic consciousness." He goes on to say that we are a three fold radio (body, mind and soul) and through yoga meditation we are able to actually hear with our dominate ear- usually the right- the actual sounds of the universe. As one practices yoga and meditation the body,mind and soul becomes attuned to this divine frequency. The continuous practice of listening for the "astral sounds of the cerebrospinal centers, or the om sound.....you will behold the cosmic ocean of God's consciousness and the wave of your consciousness existing together as one."
The symbolic sound of the universe can now be heard because the mind has been cleared of chatter. The chitta vritti nirodhahcovers up the essence of who we are and the single point gets misplaced for the duality. The duality that is the illusion of who we think we are.
The duality; male, female, yin, yang, positive, negative, dark, light..... and as it manifest within the body as excess or depletion we become asymmetrical, a body out of balance. Yoga then becomes a teacher in allowing and surrender to the release of these unwanted energies and the receiving of the wanted-Prana....Chi. As we let go of holding on to outdated patterns within the physical body-due to trauma, emotion, pain, stress, grief, past lives...who knows just because we are born- we gradually adjust to the new pathways where energy can flow freely.
When we talk about burning karma this is literally the clearing and cleansing of these channels in the body to allow the Kundalini to rise. Kundalini awakened life force energy is now present to assist and quicken the consciousness to expand. In this expansion we grow and we become our true selves, forgiving, compassionate, tolerant, loving, kind and in this state of being; our highest self, we assist all of humanity to expand into higher frequencies also. For each one of us is a reflection of the macrocosm. So heal ourselves we heal humanity and our planet.
utube;Ken Wilber on Seeking Enlightenment
"In this modern maelstrom, yoga's tendency to stasis and silence seems at first insane, then inspired. The notion of bodies at rest becoming souls at peace is reactionary, radical and liberating. If it cures nagging backache, swell. But isn't it bliss just to sit this one out, to freeze-frame the frenzy, to say no to all that and om to what may be beyond it, or within ourselves? " Time Magazine/The Power Of Yoga
Sunday, Apr. 15, 2001 By RICHARD CORLISS