View Full Version : Yoga postures and awareness of true self

20 April 2007, 09:16 AM
Namaste everyone:

Obviously, through meditation we get insight into true self, but I was wondering if anyone would like to discuss their personal experiences related to this.

20 April 2007, 09:46 AM
Feeling of I am not the body occurs sometimes without requiring much effort. It happens when mind wanders to distant or vast surroundings (I don't do Asanas or so called yoga). For me it happens most when I am traveling ~ looking out of the window of a moving vehicle or to the sky or just simply sitting quietly somewhere.

It is said that the mind is much larger in size than the physical body ~ it is our belief and ego which crumbles mind to a much lower stature than it's natural state. I feel this "I am not the body" experience is just a glimpse into the original state of the mind.

Some people experience more radical stuff like completely getting out of the body and seeing one's own body from outside. I have read many documentations of these experiences in many place. My guru tought that this type of out-of-body experience can happen anytime anywhere depending on the state of the mind. This experience is said to be close to actual death experience except that the connection doesn't snap with the body.

I would just like to say in the end that Yoga has the capacity to provide wonderful and powerful experiences to the practitioner which are no magic, but just realities which have stayed behind the veil of our wrong beliefs. However no yogic experience can grant knowledge of the self or liberation. The can only help to stabilize the mind and remove our attachment to the physical, mental, emotional and egoistic bondages ~ necessary chitta suddhi for experiencing the truth.

21 April 2007, 01:11 PM
Namaste MG.

As Singhi Kaya says, "I am not the body" experience happens rather easily, within or without meditation. One reason could be that we have heard so much info about it and we 'know' intellectually that we are not physical.

Rama Maharshi says that the knowledge that this body is not the 'I' is inherent in the soul. When a child wins a running race, he/she would say, "I came first in the race", though he/she pretty well knows that it was the legs that did the job. What is the "I" that the child is referring to? When a child says, "I did it", he/she touches his/her heart (usually the right portion of the chest with the left hand) to pinpoint the 'I'. Thus, Ramana explains, the child instintinctively knows that the 'I' is the heart. He explains further that this is not the biological heart but the Atma hrudaya (soul's heart) located on the right side of the chest cavity. In meditation, we are urged to visualize our favourite image of God, imagine that the seat of our soul's heart is not empty but pure and boundless space or expanse of waters, imagine that a solitary lotus blooms out of the waters, place the image of the God on the lotus seat and have darshan of Him/Her as Brahman in the form of Atman in cave of our heart.

What is more difficult is to get the experience that 'I am not the mind'. Actually the mind is the maya projected over Atman. The projection is not like the still waters of a lake (so you can see Atman shining at the bottom) but more like the waves of the ocean in whose turbulence the sight of Atman is lost.

Ramana suggests intense meditation on the question 'who am I?' or breath control to still the mind. Getting around to do such meditation requires the synergy of will, mind and body, which is really difficult in practice beyond short periods of time.

I think Yogananda speaks of a saint in his 'Autobiography' who meditated lying straight and face up on bed. Trying it only quickens the advent of sleep! Anyone has any experience of persistent meditation in the 'corpse aasana' posture?

Some western teachers suggest a rocking chair to slip the awareness out of the body into higher states. Some westerners, I believe, meditate sitting on a chair since they are not accustomed to the cross-legged posture.

15 November 2008, 04:07 PM
Namate Saidevo
On your point about chair meditation - I have been a yoga practitioner for years and been struggling with meditation for just as long.
I have tried many positions - kneeling, sitting in half lotus, sitting in other yoga postures but non are comfortable for long - although I always get more prolonged comfort when meditating immediately after asana.
Sitting upright in a chair is okay but somehow seems un natural too.
Recently I have found that a "hypnotists chair" or LaFuma is ideal. This is the one where you adjust a body length chair so that the feet and legs are elevated putting the weight mostly on the lower back and posterior. This position brings prolonged comfort and because you are not actually lying down there is less chance of slumbering. I know it's not the ideal to carry one around with you but having one at home is a great advantage.