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October 14, 2011

[caption id="attachment_140" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Siddhasana/ Perfect Pose"][/caption] Unity.  The root word of Yoga is "Yuj" the fore runner of the modern word "Yoke".  A yoke is a collar put on an Ox, horse, or other Beast joining it to a cart or chariot.  The interpretation "Unity" comes from the result of this yoke.  It joins or unifies the beast to the chariot allowing the master or charioteer to command the Beast.  So if you study this root word "Yuj" or "yoke" you come to realize that "Unity" is not the deepest interpretation of Yoga but it is a result of yogic action or karma.  Yoga is the collar we put on the beast of the body to discipline it bringing it under rains of the true Self or master.  Until the body is brought to submission, through Yoga, the beast is thought to be the self and is allowed to run wild.  By yoking the body, through the 8 limbs of yoga prescribed by Patanjali, Discrimination or Viveka is witnessed.  Viveka, or the great discrimination, is when the yoga practitioner sees the difference between reality and illusion.  Illusion is the incessant turning of the MindBody, which the unpracticed mistake for reality.  Reality is only experienced when the MindBody is brought to stillness and the yogi's body becomes a vehicle for sensual awareness witnessing the true Self undivided, holy, unconfined by individual body, Unified with the great All, OM. It is not enough to understand this philosophy.  It may be enough for many people but the yogi seeks to experience this Unity first hand.  We come to Viveka through not understand its meaning but by practicing all 8 limbs of yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.  Often people become smug and satisfied with understanding the philosophy of yoga mistaking this for actual experience, which is outside of thought.  After all, the second yoga sutra is "Yoga is to still the turning of the Mind".  It is impossible to experience that which is free of the Mind with the Mind.  In practical methodology the philosophy actually becomes a stumbling block or distraction when yoking the body to a state of "Pure Awareness". You may think that it is wonderful to listen to the silver tongue of a yoga teacher while attempting to practice yoga because it distracts you from pain you may be experiencing in the moment.  Keep in mind that the intention of Pranayama and Asana practice is to still the mind, not to cater to the minds desire for knowledge.  It does not make sense to claim that reality is Unity and at the same time believe that the Mind and Body are separate entities.  Mind is the Body.  The Body is the Mind, Unified.  The Mind is the beast that is Yoked through yoga practice.  Yoga is to still the turning of the mind.  It is not enough to talk about Unity we must practice it with diligence and vigilance.  Seek out a teacher who keeps you focused on aligning the bone structure and synchronizing movement with deep breath awareness.  In other words unify, movement, breath, and thought.  It is not the teacher's job to give you what you want but to teach you what you need. Namaste.....

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