What is Yoga?

Yamuna Devi sitting in meditation with Chilli

Yoga: the journey of unfolding reality

If I had to explain what yoga is to me, I would have had to change my answer every few years as my journey unfolded. My own experience of yoga started with physical asana practise. For me this was a very healing time as the yoga postures began to open my joints and my sorrows and traumas were being released. I often wept through entire yoga classes and afterwards just sat there with tears rolling down my face. I have huge gratitude towards my teachers then, who gave me the space and allowed me to just be.

But as my body became stronger and flexible something else shifted too. My perception of reality around me began to change. At the time I did not really understand it but now I see that I had glimpses of the nature of our cosmos, the all pervading field of everything and nothing. To me yoga is a journey of dissolving the illusion and experiencing what is real. What does this mean? 

We live in a mind created illusory universe

Many of us have heard of the law of attraction. Anything we "set our minds to" will happen. Well, it's a little more complicated than that but yes in effect if we hold the energetic vibration of a certain something then we are a match to it, as we resonate with that potential of it happening. And it will manifest in your reality. So basically I am saying it is possible to create the life you want (please note you will have to delve into your subconscious and heal all of your wounds to stop any resistance to what you want) But my point is this: what if this whole process of "creation" and the world around you is not real? What if we are all completely missing the point of true existence? 

You might counter argue, but isn't it a great thing to do something special with your life, to become someone, to create something? Yes of course, within The Matrix it is fabulous. But the whole point is this: it's the choice of swallowing the red pill or the blue pill. If you follow Neo then you accept reality for what it is rather than what you would like it to be (don't be fooled that is the mind talking) and don't underestimate the power of this illusion - we are all attached to it. The illusory mind created world is so tempting and intricate that we find it very difficult to begin to see it under normal circumstances. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is a bad thing. All I am saying is to have the awareness of what is real and what is not will offer you a whole new way to live your life. It does not mean you have to turn your back on the 3D world we live in.

How do I step out of the illusion? 

I only know one way from my own experience but there are many. The path I walk is the yogic path. My teacher training experience in India has changed me forever. My 10+ years of yoga practise and meditation practise have prepared me for an ever growing connection with existence, with love itself. 

The first step is to realise that we are not our thoughts, not our body, and that there is something other. It is a dis-identification of what we believe we are. When that gap first appears, that split second of the notion that there is "other", then we can begin to be curious. Curious as to the nature of our being. If you read only one book in respect to this subject let it be "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. This book changed my life forever.

How do you realise "other"? My advice would be to start a spiritual practise. Conscious effort invites grace so every minute of conscious energy that flows into your practise will be felt. Do something that leads you away from thought and toward being. Connect with the Earth, your ancestors, animals, anything that makes you truly be right here and now with the possibility to be extended through them.

What is real?

That which is unchanged.

Take a moment to reflect on this. Are our emotions always the same? Do our bodies never change, do we live forever? Are our thoughts the same? Is every day the same? 

So what is unchanged? Inner peace itself. Unconditional love. Oneness. We might lose our connection to it but in itself it is always there, always as it is. 

I realise that this is a big leap from a busy life in this three dimensional world to something so serene and simple. And it might sound silly to you right now, it might not. It might seem unreachable or you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Please let me add this: it needs to be experienced. It is not something to "think" about. Real and illusion need to be felt in order to start distinguishing with our beings.