Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Three Yogas


Yoga, a form of mystical practice common in India and elsewhere, comes in several varieties. Here, we will take a microglance at three of them:

Standard hatha (pronounced "hot'-hah") yoga is the yoga of the asanas,physical postures. Most do not know this, but it was not designed for healing. It was designed, by mystic masters, so that the body could be "parked" in a stable condition, and then, forgotten, left behind, for the cultivation of mindstates.

Raja yoga is the "royal" or highest form of yoga. It is pure meditation, an entry into stillness or crystalmind. It is all done in the mind. Its ultimate goal is the supremely altered state in which "your personal" mind loses its artificial boundaries and sinks into the great Mind of Love and Light.

Bhakti yoga is the Way of devotion.
A mantra, or repeated phrase consisting of a sacred divine name, is what separates bhukti (pronounced "buck'-tea") yoga from other forms. For example, a tight laserlike focus on the adoration of Jesus, Mary, Kwan Yin, Parvati, the Buddha, etc., would be a form of bhakti.

The word yoga means "yoke." A yoke was a harness that fit over the necks of two animals pulling a cart or plow, sharing the load. But Yoga is the "yoke" that joins you with Lovemind, the One, the Lord, or Brahman. God does most of the pulling; She does the major work of your llife, and lets you relax. But you are not just "along for the ride." You must also participate, and pull your fair share. For you are here to learn.

But yoga emphasizes "grace." God provides all the energy and circumstances that bring yu into enlightenment. Goddess or nature initiates the brain-body changes necessary to activate the chakral and other energy-systems necessary to enlighten the brain-mind system. So, nature (Goddess) and higher Mind (God) do all the real work.

Yoga is a very body-integrated system. It shows how you can use the body as your instrument for enlightenment. But the body, only a "package" of energies, contains the brain, the "transmitter" for the nonphysical Mind.

Yoga does not work unless you do. So, if you take up yoga, you must discipline yourself to do it regularly and consistently. If you do not structure your yoga in this healthy way, it will probably do little or nothing for you.

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