Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 137 - Getting Both Feet into Paradise
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, “Why This Discussion?”
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:54pm
Q: I am ready to start meditation again so I can feel what I did in the past. It started when I was in school. I always strived for something but till now I didn’t know what. I started meditation back then. I always tried to meditate in shava asana because it is mentioned that the asana is a position in which you can sit or lay without straining your body for hours…
It is around 5 years back when one day I felt the light. I can’t explain what it is… but next day my whole family told me that in night I was up in the air and that is at least 3 feet above my bed and my body is glowing. From that day I have been searching about what happened to me. I continued doing meditation and after this it happened various times that I feel like I am weightless and I feel a strange sensation in my third eye area. After that because of studies, job and marriage, I left meditation and it is now around 3 years later but still sometimes I have a smell of flowers and sometimes I can’t guess the smell but it is very pleasant. Sometimes I hear ringing bells inside and sometimes I here a sound of hreem which is like hreeeeeeeeeeeemmm. Please help me out or at least tell me how to proceed as I am not meditating now and want to start it again.
A: Thank you for writing and sharing. You can go to the beginning of the messages on the web and the lessons go step-by-step through instructions on meditation, pranayama and then into combining with physical practices (bandhas, mudras, asanas, kumbhaka). There is also discussion on the “Why?” that comes up in us, and using that to increase bhakti – desire for the divine. There is not much on philosophy or theory in the lessons. The focus is on practices and on dealing with the different kinds of experiences that come as a result.
Your experiences of inner light, weightlessness, sweet fragrances, inner sounds, etc., are all symptoms of some good purification in your nervous system. Of course the greatest “symptom” to have is unending divine joy.
You will have good success once you begin practices again. Keep in mind that symptoms of purification are not the practices themselves, and that further progress is a function of practices, not focusing excessively on any particular experience, even the miraculous. This comes right from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and is good practical advice for anyone on the path of yoga having any sort of experiences.
Shava asana (corpse pose) is a wonderful posture which is usually done at the end of an asana routine, and it can also be done at the end of sitting practices of meditation, pranayama, etc. It is not traditionally done during meditation, and there are a variety of reasons for this. Recommendations on easy ways to sit during meditation are given in the lessons. You will see how the seat evolves as practices advance.
If your desire to meditate is strong, you will find the time to make a daily routine of practice. It only takes 20-30 minutes twice a day starting out. Managing the time is covered in the lessons also.
If you decide to go back to your previous practices, or have a teacher or guru who will be assisting you, then just regard the lessons as “food for thought.”
It seems you have had one foot nearly in paradise already. Maybe now is the time to get both feet in. I wish you all success as you travel your chosen path.
The guru is in you.
Note: For a detailed overview on building a daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.