We come into a world where power is predefined. The powerful people of our planet have a lot of money and a lot of control. We live under the illusion that the more you possess, the stronger you are. That is not true. The more you possess the more you have to lose. When we are afraid of losing things we build defenses around them. The thing is that as we build defenses to keep dangers out and away, we also imprison ourselves within our defenses.
For a beginner yogin, one of the most remarkable things in a yoga class is the breath. The yoga instructor tells you when to breathe in and out almost the entire session. The whole class inhales and exhales together. This is when the magic begins to happen. This is why also one of the reasons why I love studio classes more than private or online ones.
Eastern and western thought traditions have very different understandings of consciousness. The answer both traditions would give to the question ‘where is the consciousness?’ is also quite distinct. The difference between the answers portrays their particular ways of tackling questions about consciousness.
Samadhi is the final limb of the eight-limbed path of Yoga (Ashtanga). The other seven limbs include ethical guidelines, prana control, asana mastery, concentration, etc. Although most yoga literature lists the eight limbs of yoga in the same order, the yogin does not have to follow that order. You do not have to master one limb and then move to the next one. Everyone has a unique way of tackling them. But the last one, Samadhi, definitely requires mastery of the other seven limbs.
I hope, now, it is common knowledge that yoga’s goal is not doing a handstand or any other Asana. Asana is just the seat for meditation. Meditation is the ultimate yogic practice. Yoga is all about consciousness.
Yoga gives us tools to alter our mental state to break our limitations to the point that we are limitless.
Why is it so hard to answer this question without using the titles we have acquired through life? Who am I under my clothes, behind personas I put on, devoid of titles I gathered from external institutions?
The yoga tradition has invested thousands of years in carving out a path of self-realization. I will explain why this idea of self-realization can be so eluding and why it is essential. I will employ terminologies from Western Philosophies to make the topic more tangible.
Sometimes yoga teachers teach a class where you keep transitioning from one pose to the other with each breath. Other times you end up in classes where you hold poses for several breaths. In this article, I want to discuss why some people prefer a fast flow and why it is not the most beneficial option for them….