10 de January 2011

Reaching for Samadhi—The Yogic Approach

Samadhi is the highest state of meditation, at which complete unity is reached.  It can be attained through many different paths, however, when we talk about the yogic meaning of the word, we are describing the transcendental state of enlightenment. In India if you say “he or she has attained Samadhi”, you generally mean that the person has passed away into the next life. In a sense, Samadhi is like that. You are deceased and detached from the ego, yet at the same time you are profoundly alive, conscious and connected to your true nature.

When I was studying Yogic meditation in India, my teacher would say to me “We will see our true nature only when we detach from the ego, when the “I” ceases to be.” What he meant was that when the ego or “I” dies, you are free from the ego and only then can you be conscious and truly alive.

At that stage of consciousness you are able to become one with the Universe, and to live the highest truth—this is the essence of Samadhi.

This is the goal of all spiritual and many philosophical teachings no matter what you decide to label yourself as: Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Existentialist or of any number of names. Even if you don’t have faith or believe in organized religion, it is not important because these beliefs are not needed realize your true nature.

All you need to see is that you are not your mind, the “I”, the observed, the ego! But where does the “I” dwell? It lives in the ego. Where does the ego reside? It manifests in the mind. In fact the ego is the very source of mind.

All the manifestations of the ego such as, thinking, feeling, emotion, sensation, form and willing can be grouped into one term—“mind.”  By purifying the mind using practices such as Yoga, the mind no longer becomes an impediment to discovering your inner truth. It becomes a perfect reflector of the self to see its own true nature or Samadhi.

On my travels I have discovered many ways to finding this truth from Meditation in Zen Buddhism, Chi-gung in Taoism, dancing meditation in Sufism and Christian mystic practices, however, I have found what works best for me is Yoga. It promises a holistic approach to finding inner truth that incorporates the entire spectrum of practice: diet, exercise, meditation, breathing and physiological and psychological self healing techniques.

Practicing Yoga is one of many paths for shedding the ego and discovering this inner truth, try it and you might discover it is also your path to Samadhi.…

15 de October 2010

Creating a Space for Yoga at Home

Enjoying the solace and protection of practising Yoga in a studio, under the ennobled care of a teacher, can become a sanctuary which a lot of us discover can be difficult to leave behind. Going to the studio is often the equivalent of walking into a castle monastery and not having to worry that its gates will be breached. This safety net gives you the freedom to concentrate on your inner development and to explore that space within yourself where you experience the tranquillity and balance of yoga.
However, the greatest roadblock to home practise is creating a space and fashioning it into a motivational centre for your psycho-somatic connection. You imagine the studio you have come to enjoy and attempt to recreate an identical fantasy studio within your home. However, when the reality of your existing home space gives way to the illusionary home space you have created in your mind, you sometimes allow your shattered hopes and dreams, for the perfect yoga space, to reverse the many benefits that home practise should bring you. Overcoming this destructive perception compels you to focus on what yoga does for you; yoga offers a gift of sustenance for the body, mind and spirit.

The connection to this personal empowerment takes place on the mat between yourself and the surface upon which you practise. When your focal point is on the present and not the process, it serves you to search for the advantage of practising in seclusion.
Home practise delivers benefits that merit reflection and action. Yoga becomes a part of the day which you look forward to. The continual advancement you experience takes you on an inner journey away from your external responsibilities and helps you to disconnect and realign yourself with your internal presence. Practising at home doesn’t require transport or punctuality. You are able to adopt your own routine, maintain your favourite poses a bit longer, adapt the temperature to fit your own body and spend as little or as long practising as you want.

You are able to participate more often and at the time of day that fits your biology and other commitments. You can try ambitious postures and repeat sequences that provide YOU with an energy boost. You can experience your own deep internal focus and expand your consciousness in a more personal style without being influenced by those around you. You can react to those invariable shifts in your body, mind and spirit when they develop and as you’re able to accept them.
Shifts in the mental and spiritual sphere are an internal process whereas the body, although internally connected, can be further enhanced by using external aids. To get the best out of our practise there are tools that can help you flex, stretch, reach and raise the level of your practise further than you could do on your own–yoga props! However, the first thing that comes to mind is, what sort of equipment should you use to practise within your own space?

Yoga doesn’t require much gear, however, there are a few props that will serve you in your practise by providing support and promoting correct alignment. Here is a short list of the items that I use in my home practise.
•    A sticky yoga mat offers a non-slip surface which is rather useful in certain poses where your feet could slide away. It also affords you some cushioning.

•    Yoga cushions such as a meditation Zafu are extremely useful in recuperative poses. They can be used to support your back and open your chest.

•    Yoga blocks enable you to shift into certain poses much easier by lending you a bit of height, as a result bringing the floor closer to you.

•     Yoga Straps can aid you in deepening your pose, and are very useful for bound poses when your hands don’t reach each other or for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but can’t reach them.

•    Blankets are used to sit on, to render support and to allow for a little added height in seated postures. They are also great to keep you warm and comfy during relaxation.

A home practise, with the right equipment, can bring you a huge array of benefits, however, combining this with a great teacher to guide you along the way is always recommended. Creating that perfect space will help you to build a yoga practise that is distinctly you and from which you are able to easily answer the unique demands of your body and mind on a particular day.

Whether you’re feeling tension, the first signs of the flu, sore muscles or a need to experience the immaculate pleasure of yoga, practising at home is your personal yoga, not anyone else’s. Find your space, embrace your spirit and enjoy the private conscious presence your yoga practice will bring you.…

7 de July 2010

Welcome to our new YogaYe blog!

The online shop for yoga gear and accessories – from yogis for yogis and those who want to become yogis.
We are looking forward to reading comments, feedback and new ideas from you!
Namaste,
The YogaYe team.…