Yoga

Yoga (Sanskrit योग, lit. union) is a Vedic Connection Practice designed to faciltiate Connection, a.k.a. Union.

List of Connection Practices

Connection Practice > Affirmation of Compassion, Affirmation of Self, Bornless Ritual, Cocooning, Detachment, Fasting, Flow Purification, Holotropic Breathwork, Hypnotism, Hypoventilation, Intent, Magic, Meditation, Mysticism of the Historical Event, Power Quest, Receptive Seeking, Relaxation, Spirit Canoe, The Method of the Lamp, Vajra Breath, Vision Quest, Visualization, Wicca, Writing, Yoga, Zazen

Notes

The goal of yoga is to move beyond Maya and " wake up into a higher mode of knowing in which the unity of life is apprehended directly."[1]

In this state we realize that we are not a physical creature but the Atman, the Self, and thus not separate from God. We see the world not as pieces but whole, and we see that whole as a manifestation of God. Once identified with the Self, we know that although the body will die, we will not die; our awareness of this identity is not ruptured by the death of the physical body. Thus we have realized the essential immortality which is the birthright of every human being. To such a person, the Gita says, death is no more traumatic than taking off an old coat (2:22)[2]

Hatha Yoga conceives of the Physical Unit as composed of five koshas (Sanskrit कोश, lit. pocket), these being

annamaya (Sanskrit अन्नमय, lit. filled with food) kosha (pocket) -> pocket filled with food -> physical body
manomaya kosha (Sanskrit, मनोमय, lit. filled with ideas) kosha -> pocket filled with mind -> mind body
pranamaya kosha (Sanskrit, प्राणमय, lit. filled with prana) kosha -> pocket filled with prana -> energy body
vijnanamaya kosha (Sanskrit, विज्ञानमय, lit. filled with Ideas) kosha -> pocket filled with [Consciousness]]
anandamaya kosha - (Sanskrit, आनन्दमय, lit. filled with Bliss) kosha -> pocket filled with Realization -> Bliss arising out of Realization (Saraswati, 2017)

Yoga involves the healing, protection, and perfection of each of the "five pockets" so that Consciousness may fully "seat" in the vessel (i.e. so the Physical Unit can contain higher levels of Consciousness (higher CQ), and achieve full Realization. An individual can work on any individual kosha at any given time, though for best results (i.e. results not characterized by intermittent, transitory, and/or shaky connection experiences), you must realize that full Realization depends, like a modern skyscraper depends on its concrete foundation, on perfection of the koshas below. For example, as any starving person will tell you, your mind won't work properly if the body is not healthy and filled with food. Neither will you achieve a healthy energy body without first establishing, in your mind, the right ideas (i.e. Right Thought). Similarly, your body cannot contain the highest levels of Consciousness unless the energy body is healthy and energized.

Kosha is often translated into English as "body." Thus, in the west, yoga refers to the perfection of the five bodies. In my opinion, this is an inappropriate and misleading translation. Much better to translate kosha as pocket, and leave it at that.

As commercialized in the West, yoga is focused mostly on the physical and, to a lesser extent, mental pockets. This is not necessarily a bad thing since perfection of the physical pocket and mental pocket are precursors to perfection of the higher pockets.

There are many "schools" of yoga. Each of these schools is focused on the same end goal (i.e. Connection), but each have different emphasis. Schools include:

Hatha Yoga : From annamaya to pranamaya to manomaya
Raja Yoga : From manomaya to vijnanamaya
Kriya Yoga : From vijnanamaya to anandamaya.


Footnotes

  1. Easwaran, Eknath, trans. The Upanishads: Introduced and Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Berkeley, California: Nilgiri Press, 1987. p. 30.
  2. Easwaran, Eknath, trans. The Upanishads: Introduced and Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Berkeley, California: Nilgiri Press, 1987. p. 30.