A Yoga Journey

  1. Stop Controlling Your Breath

  2. Divine Sight

  3. Reality

Controlling the breath was how I first discovered energy. 

When it comes to the practice of yoga, most of us have heard the word “pranayama.” Breathing is how we often describe pranayama. When we extract the word, it appears as ‘prana’ (energy) and ‘ayama’ (to lengthen or extend). The word “prana” is also made up of two words: ‘pra’ and ‘na’ meaning ‘first or most basic unit’ and ‘measured energy.’

The etymology of pranayama has little to do with breathing and urges us toward sensation. If we alter the most basic unit from breath to sensation, pranayama would be the practices to lengthen self awareness through sensation.

When we change simple elemental factors (e.g. diet, exercise, sleep and creating a regular schedule around these parts of living) our energy is in repair. Longevity exists in the body energy level throughout the day. We see positive mental and emotional changes in our perception and outlook. The nervous systems changes to accommodate these transitions into this less reactive state. We feel better!

Feeling is the sensation. That shift is unmeasurable, though we attribute it to positive qualities. People who practice yogasana (postures) report experiencing these shifts within a short period of time.

As a child, I would lay in my bed and follow my breath. I would watch spirit float out of my body.

The methods in which we use to create change can also be the same techniques that confine us. If the diet is too controlled, sleep, etc., we lose the sense of wonder and letting go.

My generation grew up on the cutting edge of many underground movements. The common theme in these collectives had little to do with what it looked like but what it felt like. The creative drive in full expression was observing each other letting it go!

There was a super vision in letting go… a DIVINE SIGHT!

Now matter how we slice it, yoga is about the mind. Even if we lead with the heart or heart-centered practices, the mind is what can cut that connection. My first guru, Dharma Mittra, used to give satsang on how we all have clean diets but still think negative thoughts. These thoughts contaminate the system, no matter how clean the diet.

I’ve once heard a yogi described as one who is even-minded. This idea does not push the fantasy of a visionary or force one to be super human or holy but to work with the mind (and heart) and create evenness.

If we turn to scriptures, the path of understanding is through the body (hatha) to get to the mind (raja). Regardless, when we allow practice to take a hold of us, the super power doesn’t come from the advancement of the yoga or meditative tool. Our progress is from the instrument into something new. WORK ON THIS With new eyes.. into the world and self-discovery!

From pranayama, extending our life force energy, through our senses and then where? We have take to ask where sensation, or feeling, start? Did it start now or when we were a happy single cell without a head, heart, hands? The history of us goes beyond our ability to perceive with the senses and the mind.

The practices we use, the practice we take, the yoga journey we have, takes us beyond the things in which we do.

From spirit, I could see myself laying. I could feel my body and the part of me floating above, in a shared awareness.

From pranayama, extending our life force energy, through our senses and then where? We have take to ask where sensation, or feeling, start? Did it start now or when we were a happy single cell without a head, heart, hands? The history of us goes beyond our ability to perceive with the senses and the mind.

REALITY?

Pantanjali’s most quoted sutra is: “yogaschittavrittinirodaha.” Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra to: “Yoga is the restraining the mind-stuff (chitta) from taking various form (vrttis).”

In yoga circles, training programs, and classrooms, this passage is thrown around. While, rarely a convresation occurs on what happens in this reality. By using a method of control it leads to an absorbed state.

Patanjali does explain this level of concentration. The application without modification, will allow the seer (the energy of the one who uses the technique) to peer into the self (nature or natural existence) without the two being crossed.

In short, through concentration we can inhabit both spirit and form! Yes, we go beyond sense reality into the internal witness. This fold is the stepping-stone toward meditation. It may be separated by a hair (in our casual conversation about the states of awareness) but is colossal in attainment.

Although we may not be in a state of deep meditation, deep concentration creates a reality. One where we can see infinite and finite, hand-in-hand, ushering us to explore.

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This article was updated from Routine Practice published in October 2018 by Will Duprey.

Relationships

to relate and have the ability to relate

what you relate about
the ability to relate to topic changes

life goals, pressing children
openness to love freely
necessity, religion, family, shame

all different ways to relate
how do we want to?

misguided and loneliness can be laying in bed
next to sweetie
and freedom and be empty
without someone to share

don’t build a prison out of love
don’t worry about setting it free

when we remove the suppose to

a divorce party
clutching at concepts without the work

falling in love with a stranger
living with a stranger

(for those of you trying to figure it out - your relationship with yourself)

Routine Practice

Controlling the breath was how I first discovered energy. 

I used to lay in my bed as a child, follow my breathe and watch my spirit float out of my body. I could see myself laying there and feel both bodies at once. I believe I did this in the afternoon. 

I don’t wake up in the afternoon to practice. I am quite fond of an afternoon practice, a 4 PM practice and evening practices. 

I’m not a fan of the beach — the sitting in the sun part. It’s hot and makes me aggravated and honestly, it’s boring. I like the shade, playing in the sun or the feel of the wind while in the mountains. 

As I write this the wind is pushing my screen door against me. I forgot to close it. It’s going to rain and I will have to stop writing. Distractions are free to roam even in your most comfortable places. 

Yes, I am in Vermont, in a new apartment, waiting for my first mentor to arrive while sitting on a river. The wind blew my interior door shut. I’m locked out. This is the 2nd time in two days! This time I crawl the ledge of the roof. It’s a third floor apartment so if I fall, it will hurt. 

I crawl on old tar and tin. Puncture a small hole in the screen. The top part of the window falls down. I lift if and crawl in, past Laxmi alter and through the bedroom. When I touch the handle, it feels unlocked. That’s how I got in trouble. It’s not raining and the clouds have blown out. 

During this cat burglar attempt, I had fear of falling off the roof and getting up there. I didn’t want to replace the screen and I didn’t want to knock over the alter or pull the curtains out of the window. There are all these things that I did not want to do. 

A morning routine can be like that only inverse. What am I supposed to do? And lineages come into play which brings in styles and teachers and more suppose to….

And there are certain times? Yes, there are. Justifiably, we can almost always find one text of scripture that argues with another. We see in yoga that one deity is like this and another like that. That one practice is very much this and the other not so much. 

This leads us to what is real and what is not real. Truthfully, it’s one of the only topics that seems to match up. The real being spirit, soul, atman and the unreal (impermanent) that which is subject to death and decay. 

In short, most of what we read, in a yoga training,  listen to people talk about, follows ideals that the body mind are not real. They are subject to death (time). The soul is forever. What this does a bit to us all is question our emotions (first) and experiences (second). It’s okay if it comes in another order. 

We care about this as when we move along a path of yoga... or a practice with heavy self discipline and accountability.  We want to know that we are doing it proper… That we are and can succeed in the practice! 

Only, we do not have (necessarily) physical changes to show for.  

Change or transformation frequents our emotional viewpoint. How the voice inside presents quietude and listens intently on everything equally. The internal dialog becomes more pressing as we identify with the subtle. 

Our concern often becomes how to and what routine to do rather than what the routine does for you. The practices are to bend for the practitioner and not the other way. Discipline is a necessary component for any ritual. It requires showing up and accountability to following the path you set before you. 

Additionally, the most lovely path can experience the weather of the mind. The weather is where we really hone in on our distractions.  They give us an opportunity to see if attention and mindfulness is returned to us in this morning routine.

Free of Distractions

I was thinking of you this morning. Not the ‘you’ in a particular someone but the collective ‘you.’ Those of you that I have spent time with in my life. 

I was sitting, meditating, and I saw you, the one wants to hear your own song in the universe. 

I know you as a healer... a practitioner of self awareness... one who is healing... helping... living life honestly... stepping more into 'you.' 

As thought continued, distractions came to mind. Distractions of the world. Distractions within our own culture, interests, time spent with others. We even become distracted from that which we love, adore, cherish, honor. 

I was in a state where I was seeing all the lovely distractions that come our way on this path and in this life practice. The uniformity in the mechanics of a practice, how we are suppose to do, feel, think, put on and talk about. The many number of products and programs that not enhance but tempt us with an idea of lack… Something is missing inside, is out of balance, incomplete, and on and on...

I say this openheartedly. I teach and offer programs. My intention is to offer a book within the year… One that I have been working on for several years.  Instead, the thoughts was was about reducing the distraction/s so you can peer into the self. 

It distraction, it is honest to ask questions: 

Am I aligned with my sense of purpose? Does what I do uplift me? Do my practices allow me deeper understanding or self-awareness? Which distractions reduce my self power? 

The framework of the questions can extend into all areas of life. How should it all look to you? How does if feel? What does it look like? Who are your mentors? Guides? 

Much of my writing is open-ended. I would not insult you by drawing conclusions for you. What I can tell you is that I am thinking of ‘you’ and I am here to assist in this journey.