12 Insights Within Yoga.
The gift of grace comes from having a daily discipline to attain higher consciousness, health, abundance and love. Yoga naturally yields all attributes of yogam (luck).
These are precious moments for humanity, as higher consciousness is now a reality. Yoga, in the Western sense, spearheads this awakening, even if it is considered a simple exercise for health benefits and fashion, instead of a spiritual discipline; the taste of a drop of honey will eventually lead to the honey pot of higher consciousness.
The Siddhar wisdom is potent when applied to the practice of Yoga, as the body is an effective tool to lead the mind towards the inner core of realization. By Yoga, we refer to Hatha Yoga as practiced in the West: the sequence of physical postures and the inner journey created through this practice. I recommend utilizing the traditional Sun Salutation sequence to experience the teachings below.
Ideally, the Sun Salutation by itself is sufficient to attain core consciousness, which is the objective of our yogic practice.
Below are some insights of the Yoga of the sages:
1. Yoga is a journey through breath and consciousness:
Ha and Tha of Hatha Yoga means the intertwining of Sun and Moon energies of the breath. Hatha Yoga is in reality the journey of consciousness through breath. The right breath is the Sun and the left breath is the Moon. The sages call these two breath streams the inner rivers through which we ride through awareness.
By being aware of our breath in its Sun and Moon energy, we are able to utilize the natural currents within breath via Yoga. Swimming along with the predominant breath and stimulating the Sun breath and the Moon breath equally enable us to flow with the inner currents of the mind and consciousness. To know breath and the Source of breath is to know life, death and the immortal Spirit.
Harnessing breath, we awaken to the wisdom of being Spirit.
2. Awakening energies of gratitude:
Our consciousness begins from each cell; each cell owes its existence to our parents — to Father and Mother. The initial step of awakening body consciousness is to acknowledge our Father and Mother in gratitude.
Through the first round of Sun Salutation, we utilize the asana sequence of the left to visualize and express gratitude to our Mother — the Moon breath. Likewise, we utilize the sequence of the right to visualize and express gratitude to our Father — the Sun breath.
By acknowledging our Father and Mother (in thought, dedication and gratitude) who are the seeds that created our body, and who are part of the thinking process we possess, we shift our body consciousness field of energy. When we are thankful and grateful to our parents’ unconditional love from the moment of our birth, we are able to vitalize every cell of our body to a state of well-being.
Our first initiation towards higher consciousness begins with gratitude. Gratitude and coming to terms with body consciousness pave the way to Now — this is where the Yoga practice begins.
3. Activate the root chakra and invoke Lord Ganesh’s blessings:
Lord Ganesh, the essence of the root chakra, is invoked in the beginning of all endeavors to enable success. The success of the inner journey, Kundalini awakening and higher consciousness, relates to the strength and power of the root chakra.
The root chakra, once activated through Yoga, holds the key to the well-being of the body in physical reality, as well as in the spiritual essence, and this creates a strong foundation of harmony for awakening Mother Kundalini. The root chakra (the muladhara) needs to be activated through the bandha (the inner lock, called the Mula Bandha), visualization and mantra. The muladhara is where the inner lamp is.
When we light this inner lamp through our daily Yoga practice, not only do we awaken the Kundalini energy, but we are also taken through our inner journey safely, because we have been blessed by Ganesh. In practice, the Mula Bandha that awakens the root chakra is easily activated through the Sun Salutation process.
4. Invoke our gurus through Yoga:
When we understand breath as a tool for consciousness, we realize the space beyond breath as infinite wisdom, the guru. In Yoga, as we journey through consciousness and states beyond the mind, the awareness beyond the mind is the guru who continues to guide us. Each thought carries energy and thoughts of our guru in the physical or spiritual form which carries expanded energies of wisdom.
When we invoke Christ or Babaji or our personal gurus to guide us through our yogic journey, we are guided through a higher wisdom connection that is fulfilling and nourishing; this is the next level of consciousness.
Guru consciousness is activated from the chakra above the navel, which the yogis call the Guru Chakra (not described in any text books or intellectual teachings of Yoga). Tapping into this energy field just above the navel, we access vast unlimited energy even as we awaken to the primal wisdom of higher consciousness.
Yogis activate the Guru Chakra to climb above consciousness, to gain the freedom to exist beyond hunger, heat/cold and sleep/tiredness. When we realize that the guru is Kundalini and the Kundalini is a state of consciousness, we are the guru.
5. Yoga with mantra is effective:
The mind and thoughts are vibrations. Mantras are a vibration-inducing resonance that shift and transform the frequency of the mind in order to generate thoughts that are more aligned to the energy within the mantra — this is done through breath. When we recite mantras through our yogic sequences, our breath entwines with the mantra to unravel the higher energies of consciousness within the mantra.
Each chakra or energy center is activated through the mantras, through breath and through our awareness, allowing us to kindle and ride Mother Kundalini. Awakening our inner fire, the Kundalini, we utilize our daily Yoga to transform ourselves. Riding on Kundalini as a state of consciousness while going through the sequences of Yoga, we evolve from human to angelic.
When we do Yoga simply as a physical exercise without awareness of the sacredness of breath, we are more likely to injure our body and not receive the amazing and beautiful benefits of real Yoga.
6. The special universal cave — third eye:
All rituals and disciplines finally lead to the supreme state of being still — the attainment of vibrant stillness of meditation. This vibrant stillness within happens when we find our center. By practicing Yoga, we awaken the inner fires of Kundalini that are experienced as surging joy and bliss which lead to vibrant stillness.
This surge of bliss initially is like a nuclear explosion rushing above the crown chakra. A yogi directs the explosive energies of the crown chakra towards the third eye to harmonize this inner fire with focus. This third eye focus takes us to the seat of the Universe, the magical space that is the meeting point of Source and human.
Awakening the vast energies within ourselves through breath, asana and the grace of mantra, we rise to the seat of consciousness, to the third eye. The third eye is the experience of conscious samadhi — a state of awareness that exists while being absorbed in meditative oneness.
In bringing all the focus through the third eye, we deploy the Kundalini energies of bliss, manifested as the wisdom and super-normal strength in our physical realities. The objective of Yoga is the attainment of being Spirit having a human experience, or in practical terms, to be able to bring Source energy into physical realities.
Much of the Hatha Yoga styles we have in the West are beautiful hybridizations of the traditional Yoga practiced in India, but with a focus on the needs of proactive individuals and directed more towards the body.
Ever-expanding consciousness is pure wisdom that is reflected in the present moment. As there is truth in the dynamic nature of ever-expanding consciousness of the present moment, there is truth in the hybridization of Yoga, as long as the Yoga practice is in tune with uniting the Source to our human experience via yogic principles.
The spiritual end of experience that aligns with the stillness of the mind and the vastness of being Spirit is beyond scriptures and belief systems in its truth.
From the perception of the Siddhar sages who live the life of Yoga in its entirety, the Yoga journey is about being liberated as Spirit, and then taking care of the body, understanding that the body is a shrine that holds the divinity of Self.
As we are liberated from the mind and body to know ourselves as Spirit, and then knowing the body as a shrine in which we experience the mind as a tool of consciousness, the inner journey through yogic wisdom unfolds each day as life-enhancing experiences.
7. Five elements and Yoga:
Key to understanding Hatha Yoga is the realization of the vastness of our Spirit and its natural impulse toward awakening, and the knowledge that the human body is a shrine. The yogi understands that the human body contains all of the Universe and Mother Earth. This all-ness is contained in the five elements: earth, water/fluidity, fire, air and void/space/infinity.
The yogi understands the divinity within each of the five elements. Each element represents the totality of the universe. Once this is understood, mastery of consciousness is attained. So in our daily Yoga, awareness of our inner journey through the elements paves the way toward the mastery of wholeness.
The five elements as described by yogic philosophy are known as the Pancha Bhoota.
The body is represented as the earth element. Water/fluidity represents the life force and our intellect. The fire element represents all the various fires within our body, from digestion to the thinking process. The air element represents our breath, the air we breathe and the energy within the breath, our prana. The infinite void element is our experience of the meditative state of the mind beyond mind state. The experience of the element of infinity is bliss and joy. The element of infinity is our direct experience of the Spirit that we are.
8. Do Yoga in the nude (only if/when possible):
While the idea of practicing Yoga in the nude may sound alarming, for a yogi, wearing minimal clothing means wearing the entire infinite sky as clothes. Digambara, the sky-clad one, is another name for Lord Shiva, the supreme yogi. Practicing Yoga in the nude enables us to integrate the five elements as one body, one being.
From the yogic experience, and through grace and learning, comes the ability of the mind/body to break free of all limits and rise above extreme cold or heat, hunger and sleep. The concept of tumo, the inner fire that produces warmth for the body is a vital aspect of our yogic journey. By practicing Yoga in the nude, we integrate the five elements.
How to practice Nude Yoga:
- If you are indoors, open your window or door to keep the outside air flowing inside, so you remain connected with the air element.
- Be conscious of the temperature (hot or cold) and allow your yogic practice to generate the inner fires that work like a thermostat to equalize the indoors with the outdoors.
- Allow your awareness to go beyond the mind to connect with the infinite nature of the sky. Realizing that we are infinite beings doing yoga is the rich experience of the Spirit having a human experience.
9. The power within each posture — Sthira:
Sthira is the attainment of calm, tranquil, harmony of the breathless breath in-breath. The Himalayan Master, Mahavatar Babaji, taught that sthira can be attained through Yoga and meditation, and that within each posture is the trigger of vital energies kindled through breath. From Mahavatar Babaji comes the mystical Kriya Yoga which embodies the essence of sthira as a very vital part of the practice.
Through each posture, dive into this tranquil space by utilizing the breath of sthira and expand the self. This self is our awareness of our vast being-ness that is also experienced through the recitation of Aum. Sthira is the attainment of bliss and joy through breath from the breathless being.
A Yoga session without reciting Aum is glorified gymnastics and presents much danger since we are not including the greatness of our partnership with Source. In the breath of sthira is the realization of the eternal Aum that makes us aware of our infinite being, one with Source.
10. The yogic journey includes skipping/dancing/running:
The Yoga practice we do comes originally from the sages who lived in the wilderness of caves and mountains in India. Every day they walked, climbing up hillocks and hills. Most temples and shrines in India are located up in the hills to facilitate such pilgrimages. Their daily Hatha Yoga practice complemented their walking, and their food intake was minimal or optimal.
In our society, we consume far more calories than we need. We are exposed to huge blasts of stress energies. We live without the need to walk on a daily basis. We can transcend this environment by including skipping and/or dancing and/or running and/or cycling alongside our daily Yoga practice.
I recommend including any additional activity that gives more of joyfulness, as joy paves the way to daily discipline.
11. Do your own daily Yoga:
Utilize a Yoga studio as you would use a walking stick. Yoga studios are for us to learn sequences of asanas, but this is not a substitute for your daily Yoga practice. Your daily Yoga practice with or without a Yoga studio is important for your daily inner journey in its practice, learning, wisdom and experiences.
There is a deeper wisdom that stems from the yogic perception of time. When we commit to our own daily practice that does not rely on anyone else or other circumstances (such as a Yoga studio), we begin to step into a realignment of our 24-hour cycle through the gift of Yoga — that of timelessness. Practicing Yoga is a powerful form of worship and a journey into timelessness.
Each day consists of 24 hours of day/night time that limits us. When we step into timelessness just once a day through Yoga, we reflect life as though we are the Sun; the Sun does not experience night or day, and so the mind ceases to be limited by the perception of diurnal change.
Another key benefit of having our own daily Yoga practice is in awakening ourselves to be the greatest master and the most deserving student. When we learn from a Yoga teacher, we are then like a sponge, able to incorporate all the gold nuggets of wisdom into our daily practice.
12. Yoga is tantra:
Tantra comes from the pre-Vedic teachings of South India, from the Dravidians. The worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and its associated yogic teachings was called Tantiram, the roots of tantra. Tantiram is to unite Source with our human reality through the wisdom of joyfulness.
Tantiram wisdom teaches that the root chakra, the muladhara, holds all the power in our journey towards realization and the journey through consciousness after waking up. The root chakra holds the key to the inner journey, hence the importance of worshiping Lord Ganesh.
When we tread the yogic path, we realize the vastness of ourselves; we are like an onion, layered in realities, from the roots all the way to the crown — realities to unite with Source. Tantiram, the core of tantra, is the experience of orgasmic bliss within each and all layers of reality that we can enhance through our daily Yoga.
When we awaken to the wholeness of Yoga, we transform our primal energies of sex, sensuality and survival instinct into evolved angelic potent thoughts of manifestation. Our daily Yoga is a tool for transforming and evolving through the embrace of wholeness, the tantiram. Most Hatha Yoga teachings involve invoking the root chakra to awaken and work with Mother Kundalini.
When we journey inward, we know Mother Kundalini as another state of consciousness; through this awareness we ride through the inner fire, awakening each chakra. Each chakra holds the secrets of all layered realities, manifesting in harmony, abundance and Divine grace.
This wholeness is the union with Source that holds the nature of bliss and the understanding of the I am experience, as in the bold statement, “I am God.” Lord Shiva experienced is Satchidananda — the experience of the Now as bliss.
Nandhiji is a Siddha yogi, humanitarian and visionary awakening humanity through mystic wisdom, community and service. He is an artist, ecstatic chant musician, author and teacher, representing the path of the Liberated. He shares the life-enhancing wisdom and teachings of the Siddhar sages, the liberated mystics of South India. Nandhiji was gifted with a childhood experience of the Divine when he was four years old. Later as a young adult, while leading an active family life, he was initiated through a death experience by his first Guru, and his journey into the mystical realm of the Siddhas as a yogi began. After years of seeking ‘wholeness’ through connection with the inner world, Nandhiji woke up to understand his highest purpose: to uplift humanity in consciousness. One of the fruits of his journey are offered in Mastery of Consciousness. Nandhiji says, “When we awaken the inner lamp, we liberate ourselves to the grace of our own wisdom, our Inner Guru, Consciousness!” Nandhiji envisions a humanity awake through yogic wisdom, enterprise and community.