So I completed my first yoga workshop! #goaltick
I’ve done a yoga retreat before, where I delved pretty deep into my physical practice – but this was the first time I really got to expand my mind with traditional yoga ideas and philosophies – notepad and all.
The workshop was an Introduction to Tantric Yoga – and I’ll be honest, the word ‘tantric’ was a little off putting. It immediately brought to mind something sexual, something a bit ‘R’ rated. But, as I learned, it seems this word has lost it’s true meaning.
Based on ancient Indian and Tibetan traditions, Tantra Yoga is an energy based system that teaches us methods for consciously connecting with the Universe in order to feel, harness and amplify beneficial Universal energies within our own being; aspects such as vitality, creativity and imagination, self-confidence, love and compassion, intuition, mental concentration and spiritual lucidity.
Tantic yoga actually has two branches 1) Hatha and 2) Kundalini. I never knew these styles were both delineated from Tantric Yoga.
Yoga, in its authentic form, is a system that allows us to balance and harmonise not only our physical bodies but more importantly, our thoughts and emotions, bringing a state of inner calm and stability that will lead to health and healing, personal empowerment and better relationships.
I learnt all about traditional yoga; the chakras, correspondence and resonance, asanas, sublimation. But what really stood out to me was the personal transformation aspect of yoga.
In yoga, this personal transformation is called self realisation. It’s the thing that fascinates me, and drives a lot of my work – the question “Who am I really?“. Its an inquiry into ourselves, into something deeper than our personalities or physical existence. It’s that sense of “I”, that is disconnected from our body or our circumstance. It’s the true ‘us’ separate from our state of mind, or identification with our thoughts or emotions. It’s our sense of self that remains constant.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Yoga gives us the tools to start to investigate these questions.
There is a universal intelligence within us, and yoga allows us to tap into this. It can help us decipher the meaning of our lives.
How rad, that simple breath and body work can connect us to universal energy, and ultimately our life’s purpose.
HAPPINESS = ENQUIRY INTO THE SELF
Happiness is not outside us, which unfortunately in our culture we are lead to believe. It’s the ‘when I have’ mentality – “When I get that promotion life will be great.” “When I have the body I want I will be happy.” “When I have my overseas holiday . . .” “When I get that new car. . .” “When I find the perfect partner . . .” “When I save enough money . . .” Can you see how prevalent this way of thinking is? I know I can be guilty of it too.
It’s a perpetual cycle none different to a mouse on a wheel. The problem with this mentality though is that it puts the power outside of us, we are made to be dependant on others, or on things to bring us happiness. Instead of finding happiness within ourselves.
Self enquiry brings us freedom within ourselves. We are free beyond our minds or emotions. In yoga our minds are likened to a crazy monkey. In fact – a crazy monkey that’s been stung by a scorpion! Our minds are constantly throwing bones for us to fetch. For most, it is our minds that rule us, instead of us controlling our minds. So cultivating this enquiry into the self allows us to live mindfully, to be conscious of ourselves in the world, as opposed to constantly chasing the bones our mind throws us.
It ultimately creates a freedom from fear and inadequacy. And it’s when we step away from fear, that we allow our true selves to shine. We become more connected to our driving force, our personal mission in life.
Self realisation is the deeper aspect to our own existence.
Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to cary that out into your life.
– Swami Sivananda
I’ve always gained a certain sense of peace, power, and connection through my yoga practice – but this was the first time it was really explained as to WHY! Talk about the penny dropping. Wow.
Know who you are and why you are here.
Know yourself and you will know the Universe.
– Ancient Greeks
PS – For more information on meditative Tantric Yoga – check out Agama Yoga.
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