You are being let in on a big secret. This shouldn’t be a secret, but it is: ‘enlightened’ and ‘relaxed’ mean the same thing. They are synonymous. We are easing into liberation of the full expression of ‘Self’. If you had the capacity to fully let go, you would literally fall into the perfect expression of your being. Since enlightenment is so infrequent, the ability to completely relax appears to be very rare.
Me and my good friend and teacher, Fran Gallo, just below the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, where the river Mother Ganga, splits the city of Rishikesh — connected by two narrow suspension bridges. Here the Ganga is a rushing torrent of fresh clean mountain runoff.
This is considered the home of yoga and has the greatest concentration of sadhu, who have renounced worldly life to spend their time in contemplation, meditation, and the practice of yoga. More wealthy devotees, who have families, occupations, and haven’t divorced themselves from worldly concerns, donate money to support the temples that feed and shelter the renouncers. (males — sadaka, females — sadhika).
It can be a tempting thought, to renounce all worldly concerns, practice yoga and quietly sit in peaceful meditation — listening to the melodious eternal flow of this most spiritual river.
From the conclusion of the meditation with the Morning Ritual presented as a way to start each day to receive the benefits offered in the introductory chapters of Weight loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus:
After eight exhales, inhales and pauses, consciousness floats above the head and the attention is focused on a beautiful THOUSAND PETAL LOTUS (water lilly) that is so strikingly pure white, it radiates all the colors of the spectrum.
Do a final eight cycles of pranayama. Realize the lotus starts in the mud at the bottom of the pond, grows up through the muddy water to the surface and opens, a beautiful unblemished white, basking in the sun.
Breathe normally and swing the arms overhead in a wide arc.
Bring the palms together capturing the purity. [Photo 22] Capture the radiant white in your palms.
Then slowly pull your hands down to rest on the crown of the head. [Photo 23] The radiant white mixes with the ultra violet. The elbows extend wide.
To have instruction on completing the entire Morning Ritual, see Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus. Chapter 3, pages 37 through 42.
I AM A CHILD OF LIGHT
I LOVE LIGHT
I SERVE LIGHT
LIGHT IS IN ME
PROTECTING, ILLUMINATING, SUPPORTING, SUSTAINING
I AM LIGHT
The color of the third chakra is bright yellow and its element is fire. The third chakra is the meeting place of the apana of the lower core of the body and the prana of the upper body. The first and second chakra are negatively charged with apana, and the fourth and fifth chakra are positively charged with prana—a living battery. As the meditator focuses awareness on the third chakra and the apana moves up the Sushumna to the area of the diaphragm, the negative ions of apana mix with the positive ions of the prana. This causes a fusion reaction similar to what occurs in the sun. The third chakra can be envisioned as the sun. Just as the sun provides the energy for life on our physical world, energy from the third chakra radiates down, stirring and reinvigorating the apana below, which otherwise becomes stagnant. This new combined energy also shines upward illuminating our subtler inner spiritual world.
After thousands of years of individuals practicing yoga under the direction of a teacher or guru who would orally pass down the traditions that guru had learned from their own teacher, a basic path was put into writing. Around 200 AD the text, the YOGA SUTRA, appeared. It is attributed to Patanjali, although it might have risen through a group effort. Little is known of its origins. Some consider it a response to the growing popularity of Buddhism to remind spiritual seekers of the reach of yoga beyond what they perceived as the goals of Buddhist teachings.
The YOGA SUTRA describes a basic system for the practice of yoga, an eight-limbed path for fostering connection to the divine.
WEIGHT LOSS THROUGH YOGA, JEWEL IN THE LOTUS page 71.
The chakras are energy centers along the spinal column. When focusing on the chakras, the meditator need not be mentally concerned with exact location. A feel for location develops with practice. The best tool for exploring the chakras is relaxation. Just go to the general place, let go, and simply be. It depends less on ‘doing’ than ‘knowing’, less on ‘knowing’ than ‘feeling’, and less on ‘feeling’ than ‘being’. It can’t be overstated—relax.