Yoga & Meditation
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga has become very popular. Especially in Berlin, there are many yoga styles in various centers. But because of this variety, in my opinion, the essence of YOGA gets lost or is very often not transmitted. Nowadays YOGA has been reduced only to the practice of Asana’s (body positons), but the real meaning of YOGA is so much more...
What is YOGA?
The word YOGA means union, and that refers to being conscious of your own existence. To be aware of your true Self (Self Awareness). It is the union of our human, visible aspect with our transcendental aspect - the being. That is why we refer to ourselves as HUMAN BEINGS, and it is through YOGA these two dimensions can be in tune and working together. YOGA is the experience of your true "I", despite your many personalities, conditioning, emotions and thoughts. It is the answer to the question "Who am I?", and doesn’t refer to what is written on your business card, neither to your name, age, nationality, profession, or material status. It is about experiencing your inner essence and to realize that this essence is part of the whole - the universe, existence or "god". And that has nothing to do with religion, esotericism or with faith. YOGA is the deep connection with your Self.
What makes yoga be
There are different kinds of yoga and in each yoga there are different branches for its practice - like asanas (body positions), pranayama (breathing techniques), mudras (hand postures), bandhas (body locks), Meditation practices or Tantra. But there is one and the most important aspect, that you cannot see from the outside, but that makes all these practices be YOGA, and that is self-consciousness, to be conscious of your Self, to experience who you are deep inside. Only if you do Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras etc. in self-remembering, do all these activities become YOGA. If you are, on the other hand, not conscious of your Self, then you do these activities unconsciously and mechanically. Then it does not matter how many Asanas or breathing techniques you do, they will not awaken your full potential. Even if these practices have benefits for health, or bring relaxation and wellbeing, the connection with your Self is missing, and then you cannot call them YOGA.
How do you get in touch with your Self? - through MEDITATION!
Meditation is part of YOGA, which opens the door to your true Self, through consciousness. It is not possible to understand this mentally or intellectually, because meditation has nothing to do with the mind, you need to experience meditation in order to truly understand. That is the path of wisdom - to have a deep understanding of reality through realizations, actions and experience (Gyana).
What is meditation?
Meditation means to be, not to do anything - no action, no thoughts, no emotions. You simply are and that is a sheer delight.
If you don´t do anything for a moment, if you are simply relaxed and centered, that is meditation. This center exists already within you, it does not need to be created, just to be realized again. Meditation is the key, which leads to your Self, you true "I". Instead of knowing our Individuality, society teaches us to develop personalities. The word "personality" comes from the term "persona" (mask). Society gives us a false image of ourselves, different from what we truly are and we cling to these identities. In meditation we reconnect with our individuality, our uniqueness. To search for this is a great adventure! Meditation cannot be learned neither taught, because meditation has nothing to do with mind. In the western world people believe that concentration, singing of mantras, control of the mind, visualisation of lights, images, chakras etc. are meditation. But all these methods are only meditation techniques that prepare you and help you go into meditation. Meditation happens when you drop all techniques. Meditation is a ‘being’ not a ‘doing’. Meditation is a state of consciousness. When our attention goes inside then that is consciousness, when it aims towards the center of our existence, to our own Self. That may sound complex, but it is only sitting with your eyes closed and feeling within. It is so simple and yet so hard to be STILL. I know this from my own experience. As soon as you close your eyes, thoughts are there and your body, hands, feet and eyes want to move. That is the reason why there are methods like asanas (hatha yoga), pranayama (breathing) and active or guided meditations that help the body and mind to slow down into stillness and relaxation, so you can experience silence, where you have the chance to feel your inner presence - YOGA. It only takes a little practice and you will meet your Self for the first time.
What is the difference between Meditation and YOGA?
Meditation is the ability to be aware of your Self and the deep melting and identification with this inner center is YOGA.
How can I bring YOGA
into my life?
If you have experienced your center through meditation, if you know how to find your inner balance, then you can remain in this state, then you can turn your life into YOGA. The first step is to just be in meditation and the second step is to remain in this state during actions - for example to cook, shower, wipe the floor, eat, dance, make love, while being connected to your center. Asanas, pranayama, meditation, but also daily activities become YOGA through self remembering, through the deep feeling of your inner presence. Meditation is not about hiding in a cave in the himalayas, but to participate in life knowing who you are within. If you live out of that center, the quality of your life will change - you will experience more joy, clarity, focus, creativity and a serenity and inner peace in relation with others and the circumstances of your life, though you will remain in the position of the witness, who is aware of what is going on in your life and around yourself. Then you are not the doer, but the one who is watching. That is the secret of meditation - that you become the watcher, the silent witness. We are so identified with the outer world, with our attention on so many things, that when we bring this attention inside and simply relax within, we return home. Meditate and with time you will feel an immense love arising in you, that you have never experienced before. A love that grows from within and does not depend on other people or outer circumstances, because this love is already within you, this love is you!
The essence of yoga? All that you are looking for ouside, you can find within. Meditation is the key to your self and yoga is a deep melting with that inner essence / be yoga!
How important is the
YOGA does not need any activities. You can just sit and go directly into silence. But it is helpful to have a look at your lifestyle and your outside world as well and to get a deeper understanding of your programming, conditioning, emotions, blockages, thought patterns, behaviour, and habits and to have a look into topics like healthy diet, energy, mind, ego, discipline, relationships and sexual life. Why? Because all these things have an impact on our inner world (feelings, emotions, our sensitivity). If the inner world is disturbed the connection will not be permanent. The practitioner may know the keys, but the connection will only be a few moments. The goal of YOGA is to make it permanent. So you can be in a state of meditation the whole day. This lifestyle has two dimensions, one is the practice of meditation techniques and the other is the art of living. In order to succeed we should embrace both. In regards to this, I offer practical and simple techniques in my classes and in my blog on how to bring order into your life, so you can have the "mind free" to meditate, to be present - here and now! There is an inner path - the path of meditation and an outer path - the art of living. These two pathways support and relate with each other and can lead to a middle path (Samyak) - to a healthy and happy life in perfect balance.