Yoga is more than just asana the practice of physical poses. Its a means of accessing our infinite possibilities and power.
You can hear a voice in your head reading this sentence right now. Trippy, right? Maybe go back and read that again.
That voice you hear is your mind. Your minds job is to receive information through your senses and either send impulses to your body to respond to this information or store it for later use.
But who is the one listening to these words right now? That silent observer and listener of your mind, according to yoga philosophy, is your consciousness.
Consciousness, the mind, and the body are separate entities. The mind and body are limited by the confines of their physical nature, while consciousness is all-pervading.
Its said that consciousness is the light that emanates from within the body. Some people call this our soul or higher self. Meditation is a tool that we can use to better access our higher self our soul self (atman), also known as our pure conscious state.
Its important to understand that were able to perceive reality beyond the physical. This idea alone expands our awareness past the ego toward the infinite nature of our consciousness.
After we understand that atman is beyond mind and body, we can test this theory through pratyahara (i.e., cutting off our senses). For example, when we limit our senses by closing our eyes or blocking out hearing, were essentially starving the mind of information.
We notice that were still sentient and aware even when the mind is empty, which shows us that consciousness and the mind are indeed separate. This state is called samadhi, and yogis practice their whole lives to stay in this space at all times.
Even taking 10 minutes a day to enter a state of samadhi is deeply beneficial for mental well-being. We live in a world that tells us our worth is equal to our productivity. This state of constant doing can burn us out and leave us feeling disconnected from our true selves.
When we take time to sit in meditation, we return back to our center, are able to truly rest, and remember that we are not our work, our ego, or even our minds. Were simply beautiful, infinite observers of reality.
Samadhi can also positively affect our relationships. The practice of living through the state of samadhi during our daily lives is called mindful living. When were engaging with the world more mindfully, were in a neutral state of awareness.
This state is how we can make decisions that are based on love, logic, and patience, as opposed to making decisions from our mind, which operates from impatience, or emotions that are fleeting and usually skew our judgment.
If everyone practiced meditation to access consciousness, it could help unify humanity. According to yoga theory, theres one source for all of our consciousness the Divine. We can see this when we notice the collective consciousness.
Have you ever thought about someone and then they called a few minutes later? Did you know that several inventions, including that of the wheel, were created in separate parts of the world around the same time before humans could communicate with others who were so far away?
These examples show us that were all more connected than we believe or behave, and this is because were all connected by the common thread of divine consciousness.
Heres a five-step meditation you can do at home to access your consciousness:
This is a practice. Its OK if you arent able to accomplish all five steps the first time. Continue to be compassionate with yourself, and try again tomorrow. The more you come to this practice, the easier it will get.
Meditation is truly a balm to soothe our tired minds and bodies in this chaotic world, for the soul never tires, the soul is forever.
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