UNDERSTANDING BEYOND OUR RANGE OF PERCEPTION

Fractal — Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

Fractal — Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

…yoga tradition believes the universe is mirrored in each of us. Nature has a working set of solutions that is used on ever greater or lesser scales for everything, as our recent appreciation of fractals demonstrates. To understand something on a scale within our perceptual range allows us to imagine solutions to questions above or below that range.

Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus        page 8

ASANAS III

Because asana quiets the mind, it is preparation for meditation. Indeed, it can be a form of meditation. It fosters awareness of the mind’s functioning, the body’s state of wellbeing, and the mechanics of breath. Asana helps us reconnect with the vast wisdom that controls and directs body function, the same wisdom that wants to bring our body into healthy balance.

weight loss through yoga

weight loss through yoga

ASANAS II

 

weight loss through yoga

weight loss through yoga

Asana helps to calm the mind and temper emotions. Challenging the physical body helps the practitioner connect with the other levels of self. Because of the rapid ability of the physical body to reflect change, it demonstrates the capacity to change on deeper unseen levels. The physical body is our home in this reality. Memories can be stored in our tissues. Asana is away of strengthening the will and exploring our psychological makeup, creating a balance between our material and spiritual existence.

ASANA

Moving into and holding various configurations of the physical body as part of the practice of yoga is called asana. When people in the West think of yoga, this narrow range of the total discipline commonly comes to mind. In Sanskrit, ‘asana’ translates as ‘seat’ or ‘seat next to the teacher’, expressing the need to be comfortable in the body before other learning can commence.

weight loss through yoga

weight loss through yoga

Asana practice improves health, strength, flexibility and balance. The lymphatic system of the body needs movement and the flexing of muscles to propel lymph fluids through the body. All the components of the body need to be exercised to maintain optimum function. Without stimulation they tend to atrophy.

MEDITATION

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 full perfect expression of your being. Since enlightenment is so infrequent, the ability to completely relax appears to be very rare.

Asana is helping us to be at ease in our bodies so the body is no longer a distraction. Pranayama is helping create the necessary energy and balance. Now we can start to relax. We can meditate.

MEDITATION —weight loss through yoga, page 101

MEDITATION —weight loss through yoga, page 101

BIKRAM YOGA

Bikram Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga imported to the United States by Bikram Choudhury in the middle 1970’s. It is the forerunner of the ‘hot yoga’ becoming broadly popular. High heat is used to limber the muscles. Bikram Yoga is practiced in studios heated in excess of 110 degrees F.

The exact same twenty-six postures are performed in the same order, for the same length of time, each ninety minute class session; starting and closing with a breathing exercise, and finishing with ‘deadman posture.’ Instructors are taught a dialogue that is repeated almost verbatim. Mirrors are surrounding the participant, so they can observe their performance.

I will discuss some of the benefits of the practice, having participated in four to five sessions a week, while still doing more conventional Hatha practice in addition, for over a dozen years. Entering the studio, at times, your first impression is you’ve entered a too hot sauna — the heat does limber the body at a very deep level. When practicing Bikram, you should be cautious performing the same postures without the heat. You can harm yourself because of reduced flexability. Doing the same postures, in the same order, for the same duration, while under exacting instruction, it is easy to observe and appraise your performance. The postures have unique subtle differences from conventional Hatha practice, and are very effective. They are sequenced in a very logical and complementary order. The high heat causes sweating, the skin being our largest organ, this can get rid of toxins, is purifying and good for the skin.

Bikram instructors have been known to tout the very one dimensional ‘physical’ nature of the practice. “This ain’t no incense, candles, and chanting–gazing at your navel yoga.” No mention or claims of spiritually are made. Because it is yoga, and because of the nature of yoga—a Bikram practice can be very spiritual. Its demanding nature forces the participant to explore their relationship with themselves, pushing through great exertion and exhaustion. The ‘sameness’ of the session frees the mind from thought. It’s a common to experience altered states through extreme exertion, what athletes call entering a ‘zone’. Think of the altered consciousness sought by swirling dervishes. During practice you are encouraged to focus on a spot between the brows on your image reflected in the mirror. It’s easy to lose subjective awareness and meld with the field. Exerting the will to accomplish a very difficult arduous task, one moment at a time, can be very educational and gratifying. It can be possible to have a glimpse of our more than human nature.

Some aspirants can’t take the heat and a person should know some yoga and be in pretty good shape, with a well hydrated body, before attempting a class. In all the thousands of classes I participated, only once did I see an ambulance have to cart someone away.  Bikram Yoga’s greatest detractor is Bikram Choudhury himself. Why his guru, who developed the sequence, chose Bikram to bring the teaching to America is interesting to speculate on. Bikram projects a public persona of arrested development at around twelve years of age. He flaunts his narcissism and materialism. His ego appears to have no consideration for the feelings of others. Maybe there is a lesson here too. We’re all human and with fault— learn to look beyond the messenger and evaluate the message on its own merits?

Feel the Heat – WALKING STICK

Feel the Heat – WALKING STICK

 

 

YOGA AND GRACE

SEVENTH (DIMENSION) CHAKRA

Ultraviolet floods consciousness — Seventh Chakra — weight loss through yoga

Ultraviolet floods consciousness — Seventh Chakra

Yoga thinks of this seventh dimension as an alter where spiritual energy, processed up through the chakras, is offered to the Divine and accepted with unqualified love.The intensity of that acceptance, or love, further stimulates the spiritual oscillations, further refining them, causing their ascent. Imagine love so great, our concept of love does’t begin to approach it: Completeness, understanding, beauty and joy so transcendent, it surpasses our cognition.

Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus        page 157

REINCARNATION AND YOGA’S HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS

Yoga teaches our proper home is in this higher consciousness, observer consciousness. When you reside here, your being is in its natural home and balanced. Consider the homonyms ‘I’ and ‘eye’ and you see that this understanding is coded into our language.

If observer consciousness is you and it always has been and will always be, what’s the logical implication?

BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN, YOGA AND REINCARNATION weight loss through yoga

BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN, YOGA AND REINCARNATION weight loss through yoga

INCARNATION

The newborn enters the world separate from the mother. It exhales, and then inhales a first breath. Breathing begins with an exhalation and the last breath at death is an inhalation. With that first breath cycle, the new being draws life force into the body as an individual for the first time. This is the moment of the beginning of life. The spirit enters the body. Before the now sentient being was a complex growth within the mother’s body. At the moment of life, with that first breath cycle, the circulation of blood in the infant’s body reverses direction. The heart pumps in the opposite direction and the blood that was being pushed through the veins out through the circulatory system is pushed through the arteries and returns to the heart through the veins. A soul has entered the little body, having picked the perfect set of parents, in the perfect set of circumstances, to give it an opportunity to experience what’s necessary for this cycle of spiritual growth. Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus — page 60.1558553_10151898630828807_122968824_n-1