Being Yoga Philosophy is the Practice of Practical Ways that Gnana, Bhakti, Raja, Karma and Hatha Yoga Practice are beneficial for your Body Mind and Spirit. Being Yoga is existential understanding; it is not something that can be conceptualized or that you can make intellectual conclusions about.
What is Yoga?
Yoga means union.
What is united?
Yoga is the union of the material and spiritual realms of being. It is not that these are ever separate – yoga is a means of realizing the union that always is.
How is yoga union realized?
The union of the material and the spiritual is realized via breathing. Breathing is the link between the material and the spiritual – it is the means of Being Truth here~now.
Can you expand more on how union is realized via breathing?
Yoga practice starts where you are and in the vast majority of cases that means the material realm of the bodymind and all other material objects. This first phase of understanding is seeing with the mind and intellectually following the directions of the particular yoga approach you are engaged in. This phase is associated with inspiration, and, seeing with the mind can be described as making it happen. Once the intellectual information of seeing with the mind has been applied such that the appropriate posture [or activity of the approach you are engaged in] has been established, there is a switchover from seeing with the mind and making it happen to seeing through the mind and letting it happen. The switchover is associated with the transition pause between inspiration and expiration, and the latter phase of seeing through the mind and letting it happen is associated with expiration. The period of holding a pose, or meditating, is associated with the pause at the completion of expiration [what expires is the veil of material identity, which is the ignorance of deriving your identity via the content and activity of the mind].
Identification via the material realm veils the true nature of being such that your true nature is not seen even though it is always available. Seeing through the mind is the means to allow the material activity of reasoning and conceptualizing to fall away [the veil falls away, or is lowered, due to lack of attention/awareness, which is its substance, its fuel] such that the thinking mind is rendered silent. In the absence of material identity there is the realization of the true nature of being, which is that there is no separate self, there is no ‘you’ – there is knowing that knows itself.
Material identity negates yogic union by it veiling. Spiritual understanding includes and transcends material understanding without the limitation and veiling of the material – Yoga.
note: Emptiness is not a thing yet it is not nothing.
Seeing with the mind is localized and limited; seeing through the mind is global and unbounded.
The distinction between seeing with the mind and seeing through the mind is illustrated in the classic story of “The Rope and The Snake”.
The distinction that Blake points to in the following two famous quotes is highly significant, because it is the distinction between seeing with instead of seeing through the mind – and the latter is experiential understanding.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see [with] not Thro the Eye”
Auguries of Innocence ~ William Blake
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
~ William Blake
Hatha Yoga exercise practice and the Philosophy of Yoga have stood the test of time as they have been explored for some 5000 or more years. Hatha Yoga exercise stimulates health and overall well-being by stretching your physical ability and mental ability to maintain a tranquil mind. The practice challenges you to stretch and yet avoid straining whereby you see clearly and thus discover the asana, or pose, that is currently just right for you. Yogic stretching always includes breath awareness as breathing is the link between the material realm of the bodymind and the spiritual realm of Truth.
Lotus Pose – Yoga Philosophy with James Traverse
One very familiar yoga position associated with Yoga Philosophy is the Lotus Pose as it symbolizes the flowering of understanding that is like the lotus, which begins in muddy waters. If it can be said that there is an aim to yoga it is the same as any other spiritually based practice, which is to realize the union, or inter-connectedness, of all things.
In a certain way hatha yoga is best described as a way of clear seeing that is the case when the mind is silent yet alert. This is described by the founders of yoga as the distinction between seeing with the mind, which means that seeing is filtered through past knowledge and experience, and seeing through the mind, which is the quality of seeing that is when you are astonished, or when the mind is innocent as in infancy.
The physical, psychological, emotional and all the other widespread benefits of hatha yoga practice are a byproduct of the understanding that flowers via seeing clearly. In turn these benefits deepen with practice as your ability to concentrate and focus is enhanced. And concentration and focused attention enhance your ability to understand the meditative mind and thereby realize sustained inner peace.
The many yoga approaches of the philosophy of yoga are all interrelated as each involves an understanding of the true nature of being beyond the material bodymind. In a very practical way this is why hatha yoga promotes the health of the body as the underlying intention is to optimize physical health such that deeper practices can be explored. That deeper practice begins as the art of relaxing the focus of the sense doors on the objects of perception and attending to perceiving itself.
It is at the point of attending to perceiving itself that there is a switchover from yoga as mere physical exercise to the deeper practices of concentration and meditation. These latter practices are beneficial in themselves as already stated, and, they reveal that breathing is the direct connection of your spirit, mind and body such that you experientially understand how the root meaning of the word spirit, which is to breathe, is true. In this light it is clear that breathing is simultaneously the most basic and most advanced yoga practice.
If you suffer from any ailment or physical discomfort, hatha yoga practice and the philosophy behind it is highly recommended because it provides the benefits of physical health and well-being as a solid foundation, like the roots of a tree, which then allows you to explore the other approaches of yoga. Some of the other approaches are Kundalini Yoga, Asthanga Yoga, Chakra Yoga, Nisarga Yoga, Yoga Nidra Yoga and various others that often take the name of an influential teacher like Iyengar Yoga or Kripalu Yoga – each of these yoga approaches presents yoga philosophy in its particular light.
One way that the philosophy of yoga is revealed by your stance
– on the material level this is explored via standing on your own two feet…
Nonduality Spirituality Awareness…
“The understanding of your true nature is simply a change of perspective; the change is from the limited localized perspective to the global via insight.” ~ James Traverse
Waves at the surface of the ocean appear to be separate from each other when the focus is on them. Yet when seeing is allowed to be global it is clear that all waves are simply the expression of a deeper common source, the ocean.
In a similar way human beings have the habit of superficially seeing themselves as separate, localized and limited as each has been conditioned to focus on their limited body and mind. Yet when they relax that focus and innocently allow themselves to stand as global awareness, then knowing as being, which is without separation or limitation, flowers.
Advaita, Non Duality, may be likened to the ocean to emphasize its global nature. Non – Duality may also be likened to a wave as a pointer to its limited localized expression. Ultimately Nonduality can only truly be understood via the experience of being it.