By Guru Ashta-deb
To achieve the full benefit of Yoga we must first understand what Yoga is.
While many know the literal translation as being “Union with God,” the Sanskrit word Yoga, like most Sanskrit words, is understood from a deeper internal level. Much like saying “a picture speaks a thousand words.”
“Union with God” means you are one with the sacred. There is no difference between one and the other, you are wisdom, you are love, and you are that which is everything. You are the god. When you attain union, healing becomes nonexistent. This Union is attained through the practice of Asana, Meditation and Pranayama.
Asana exercise is the physical aspect of development, Meditation is the mental aspect of development and Pranayama is the spiritual aspect of development. All three attain Yoga. The Human body hosts both the manifested and the unmanifested form of Man. Balance within these three aspects is essential to holistic wellbeing.
Yoga is a highly spiritual practice. You cannot practice union with God, but you can attain union with God. Healing yourself using the Ancient Practice of Yoga ispursuing the path to sacredness.
Asana practice is not Yoga, it is a physical exercise to attain Yoga.
Asana practice has a myriad of names; Booty yoga (booty union with God), Chocolate yoga (chocolate union with God), Hot Yoga (Hot union with God), Trauma Yoga (Trauma union with God). Names attached to yoga are mere descriptions for marketing purposes. If Yoga is truly understood, one would see that no labels nor descriptions are needed, the word ‘Yoga’ speaks volumes on its own.
Practicing asanas that are right for you is beneficial. The labeling implying different types of Yoga benefits only the marketer. Often this labeling re-focuses the individual from the reality of Yoga to illusion and imagination disease. In other words, since the ego seeks that which makes it comfortable, you will subconsciously choose a class based on what your ego thinks will make you feel good and not what is actually good for you.
For example: Hot air lowers your life energy or prana. Cold air raises your prana. Asana practice is to raise prana. Most yogis climb the Himalayas to meditate because of cold air raising prana. Why then would you practice Hot Yoga, or Hot union with God? One must use intuitive wisdom to ascertain that which is supportive to them.
Meditation, like Asana practice, has received many different marketing names based on varied techniques. However, they all aim for the same result: thoughtless awareness. When one achieves thoughtless awareness, mental healing occurs.
In thoughtless awareness, one can dive deep into the recesses of the mind, releasing the electrical charges causing suffering. Mental pain is like a painful scar.
Thoughtless awareness allows one to be aware of the origins of the scar, the pain of the scar and the healing of the scar.
Often people do not heal because when they feel mental pain they often repress or suppress it instead of moving through the energy and releasing it. Avoidance of mental pain is like a heavy rock blocking the flow of all possibilities.
When energy is released you may forget painful memories altogether or even if you recall them, they will no longer carry a charge.
Pranayama is described as breath control. Prana, however, is more than breath. It is the energy that carries consciousness. Prana can be understood as an energy field that transports supreme consciousness. Without consciousness, all life would be unable to experience itself. Prana is the active aspect of breath and consciousness is the inactive aspect of breath. Prana is our life force energy.
The practice of Pranayama techniques brings about changes from a subtle, atomic level resulting in change at the gross level. It is said that the practice of Pranayama alone can be done to the exclusion of all other practices. The consciousness within the Prana is supreme intelligence. This supreme intelligence cleanses and rearranges your atoms, creating new supportive energies which expresses itself as health, wisdom and vitality.
The Ancient Practice of Yoga is not about healing from a limited bodily prospective but instead uplifts and evolves you to an expansive immortal state of being.
The journey is filled with varied experiences, one being the realization that there is nothing to heal.
“Union with God” differs from “Union with good feelings.” ‘Feel good’ unions carry highs and devastating lows. They are spurred by attachment, imagination and expectation. All spiritual practice requires release of self-motive. Even if the motive is to be healed, it must be released. When self-motive is released then surrender and gratitude will naturally occur and clarity appears.
Asana, Meditation and Pranayama, when practiced together, are the perfect recipe for human evolution to higher consciousness and the ultimate healing of oneself– ‘Union with God.’
About the Author:
Ashta-deb is a registered hypnotherapist and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, Inc. She integrates Yoga Nidra (Eastern Wisdom) with Hypnosis (Western knowledge) to maximize supportive results.
She offers several online self-awareness and self-development guidance sessions via Skype. Her unique ability to apply the centuries old teachings of Vedanta to modern day life is truly amazing. Her psychic abilities allow her to see deeply into another’s soul which at times can prove unsettling. Ashta-deb engages daily in meditation and pranayama, reading books on Vedanta and experimenting with ancient yoga techniques as described in the scriptures. She enjoys her family time with her husband, Sam and four children in Ontario, Canada.