Yoga is an ancient nondual spiritual system of integration and transformation, that ultimately leads us to moksha - freedom through self knowledge - the recognition that we are already whole, already holy, already free.
What is the Purpose of YOga
- Deepening self knowledge
- Deepening self acceptance, self love
And to that degree , in turn;
- Deepening universal knowledge
- Deepening universal acceptance, universal love
An intimate practice of turing one's attention to the immediate and actual with deepest honor, least resistance, and discernment - beginning with physical body and breath, and ultimately to include all - the inner and the outer world, the one and the many. The intelligence of this ancient system heals and balances dis-ease in the body-mind. On a deeper level, the practice cultivates a process of transformation experienced as a shift in perception from separation to wholeness and a deepening in self awareness and self acceptance. With sincere and clear attention and ultimately grace, the recognition of our true nature is revealed experienced as freedom - the end of suffering.
There are many branches of yoga to support the integration process. In the vedic vision there are four main categories
Bhakti - Yoga of cultivating devotion and wisdom of the heart
Karma - Yoga of action, word thought for the highest good, without expectation of results
Upasana - Yoga of intimacy with divine through meditation
Jnana - Yoga of Self Knowledge
Hatha yoga is the Yoga of Force, or deliberate action. Traditionally, it is said it was developed to support the Upasana Yoga ( Classical Yoga, Astanga Yoga) . Hatha Yoga helps support the practitioner in developing stability and flexibility of body & mind which is conducive to mediation.
Literally translated 'Ha' means sun ( the masculine principle, or yang); and'tha' means moon (feminine principle, yin). Yoga means integration or union. In the relative sense we will find as we practice Hatha Yoga a sense of greater balance overall in all areas of our life, on and off the mat. We develop an ever more refined sensitivity to being out of balance, which will feel disharmonious, and we cultivate an ever more refined ability to respond and guide ourselves back into balance.
In the Absolute sense, we start to witness that if we have a lot of agendas for life to be different than it is showing up - it becomes increasingly obvious that these cravings and aversions this create suffering. Freedom lies in our ability to rest exactly as we are, independent of the fluctuations of in and out of balance. It doesn't mean we are passive, in fact, only from a place of non-reactivity are we truly empowered to make more refined responses in life - responses that will uplift you and uplift others spontaneously.
In modern yoga, Hatha yoga is generally appreciated for its multitude of positive benefits including fitness, and general sense of holistic well being. Hatha yoga vitalises and releases tension from the whole mind body system if practiced intelligently. In modern studios there have been a wide variety of styles and brands that have emerged each offering a particular emphasis in intention.
A spiritual system is any system which supports our exploration into the deepest human inquiry - What is really true? Who am I? How can I be happy? How can I stop suffering?
Integration is the process of an ongoing assimilation of the insights that arise in response to our spiritual inquiry. Our consciousness continues to expand to ever more inclusive and embracing states of awareness and we respond to life’s moments from a place of deeper truth. We move away from a sense of separation, towards a sense of ever deepening connection. As our human consciousness expands, our sense of self expands. Taken to its end, yoga happens; which can be defined as total integration, non-separateness. The recognition is finally made- self and universe are one. Universal love is the spontaneous expression of this knowledge.
Transformation is not changing who you are; transformation is a change in the perception of who you are. As we practice yoga, our perception of who we are continually expands and deepens. Ultimately in recognistion that our essential nature is One, full and complete independent of all transformations, that will eternally unfold. We can embrace without the chase- all transformations.
Moksha is the freedom that comes through self knowledge: the recognition of one’s essential nature as whole, divine, and free.
Nonduality simply means not two, that you and the entire universe are one, and always have been. Traditionally, yoga has always been practiced to support and guide us to the recognition of oneness; this recognition spontaneously creates a sense of liberation. In and through the expansions and contractions of human experience, one is free.