YOGA, INTUITION AND STILLNESS

For a yoga practitioner, spirit awakens through yogic practices. The wholeness of body, mind and soul is literally re-membered by the devotion to practice.

According to our yogic heritage, at the core of the active wholeness rests an eternal stillness. Intuition is consider as the flow of highest knowledge, sourced from stillness. It takes practice to feel our deep inner stillness, and it takes courage to follow our deepest intuition as it emerges from that stillness. Why courage? To follow intuition is to put at risk everything we have been taught to follow, because the emergence of truth can be in direct opposition to our most cherished thoughts, beliefs and old ways of being.

In addition the feelings of others such as family, teachers. traditions, guides and authorities can feel challenged and threatened as we set their authority aside and begin to follow the truth that emerges from our inner stillness.

To continue the journey of truth in the face of such opposition requires steady courage, deep faith, skill and inspiration. This path pointed to by yoga is sometimes described as Oneness. A oneness that allows our surroundings - friends, family, nature, other culture, all of creation - to be recognized as the wholeness of who we are. To reorient ourselves to the interconnectedness of all life, and once again participate in that wholeness is one of the core actions of yoga.

Through practice, the old idea of “myself” can expand beyond the familiar boundary of this physical, skin-wrapped body and the habitual array of beliefs and concepts.

When the usual reference points of time, place, identity, and security are peeled off, we are confronted by a reality much vaster and more impersonal than what we once imagined. Our personal life can appear as a tiny ripple in a vast ocean of consciousness - within which I am breathing in ......... and breathing out. My outer life of work, relationships, and practical responsibilities is expresses an inner life of thinking, feeling, and being.

This interpenetrating oneness is often difficult to maintain in the sometimes stressful push and pull of daily life. Even with the regular practice of asana, pranayama and meditation - doubt, fear, anxiety, laziness and other hindrances can arise in the mind, nervous system and life. This is due to the fact that the very methods that awaken this awareness are themselves purifying.

The yogic practices enable us to look into the hidden layers of our consciousness and witness with compassion the changing activities of our mental, emotional and physical bodies. They also root out hidden parts of ourselves and release old toxins from the forgotten past.

This process of purification generates changes that sometimes occur as physical sensations, other times as mental cleansing, emotional release, or waves of energy streaming through the body. Although not always comforting, these transformational experiences are deliberate expressions of a core intelligence, moving through us on behalf of the evolutionary urge that is the source of the souls awakening.

It is often difficult to maintain inner balance in the presence of these polarizing conflicts. Yet with patience and perseverance, grace and prayer, the calming of mind and clarification of consciousness does happen. Steadiness and comfort do eventually return to our inner world. The practices do nurture the birth of a new consciousness, one that is anchored in deep self-trust.