7 Stages of Yoga – Stage 2 – Self-Understanding
In last weeks practice we started the journey through the 7 stages of Yoga with Self Awareness. This is where our light of intelligence (Prajna) and our intuitive Wisdom (Buddhi) gathered insight into what is arising in practice in the form of thought, emotions and sensations. In our practice we were consciously shaping the breath to guide the mind to recognise the true self. With direct recognition now attained, the next stage is to understand what is seen, felt and experienced. We are seekers, suggesting that there is a yearning to learn more, to recall past experiences, access the intellect to figure things out and draw on that knowledge to make wise decisions that are aligned to our known purpose.
Yoga is a state of mind, not something to do, it’s a work in, not a work out. So when we practice creating a pose, refining the mind to rest on the breath, sensation and light. We notice stuff arise in the form of thought, emotion and sensation. We do have the opportunity to understand WHY this is percolating up. HOW does it express itself. WHERE are you experiencing it. HOW old is it? WHAT is it trying to tell you? WHAT colour, shape, image, sensation is it? See, listen and be open to receive what needs to be expressed, seen and heard.
I will offer you a map that has been useful in Asana practice. The map is based on the Granthis – the Physical, Psycho-Emotional Knots we hold in all of us. With the Granthis as a focus we will need to address the Chakras and open specific ones in deep meditation. What you experience in wakeful states is the Granthis releasing, opening and reshaping. These “knots” inhibit a healthy pranic flow of intelligence and function in these Chakra centres.
Brahma Granthi – Covers the lower three chakras – “I NEED” –
- Fear, issues of trust and security
- Erratic emotions, poor boundaries, lack of creative forces, Guilt
- Issues of self-esteem, imbalance in willpower, distortion of purpose, Shame.
Vishnu Granthi – Covers the upper two chakras “I SHOULD”
- Lack of acceptance, empathy, heart-ache, resentments, grief, hurt.
- Ineffective in communicating clearly or incapacity to express oneself honestly
Rudra Granthi – Covers the mind “I, ME”
- This is the veil of ignorance in the inability to see what is or connect to source, misapprehension, misunderstanding. The image of a knot is a clear expression of our attachments to our stories we hold. Raga is the mental, emotional affliction that binds us to what we are clinging to, grasping, holding onto.
- How is your attachment to what you are thinking, the choice of words that arise, the emotions that express those thoughts, your behaviour as a reaction, your movement of the body and the eyes in class reinforcing the current circumstances you find yourself in.
- How are they colouring how you perceive the present moment – Why & What is motivating you? Where do you feel that? Can you delay gratification on habitually abandoning yourself, fighting with yourself, blaming or victimising yourself or others? Can you listen, feel and understand what is arising without adding to the stories, allow it to educate your consciousness and let it pass through you.
- Absorb what you need to learn and cultivate 1.Non-judgemental awareness 2. Friendliness 3. Joy and 4. Compassion to whatever unravels and strengthen your power to retain this learned experience for future encounters – Gather, ideally to heal, to be inspired, to transform and to flourish in life