The Seven Stages of Yoga – 1. Self-Awareness

The first stage of Yoga is Self Awareness. This begins the invitation to change, to be present and to be conscious. If you think about it, most of our day is spent unconscious, lost in thought and entertaining the Doer-ship of our existence. This first step engages our light of intellect (Prajna) and our innate wisdom (Buddhi) to dissolve the veil of ignorance (Avidya) and expand our perspective to what is really going on in any given moment.

We use our practice as the opportunity to have an honest self-reflection on the distorted negative illusions we recycle, then open to more positive truths. Self-honesty is an honest look at ourselves preparing us to be humble, compassionate and regain our serenity, this develops trust in ourselves to make wiser decision from a place of knowing what is truly important to us.

The goal of working through these stages is to arrive to Citta Vritti Nirodha – Stilling the roaming tendencies of our heart mind. First we need to become aware of those tendencies, issues, disturbances and habits that cause the Citta to roam. As we practice listening to Buddhi, making informed decisions using Prajna we recognise the pain and suffering that is present. We become aware of our bias, judgements, insanity, habitual patterns and our “stuff”. Sutra 2.27 states that Self-Awareness is the first step to liberation as we heighten our awareness of the human condition of what is going on to cause the Citta to wander. To read more and to practice online with Zephyr Wildman, click here.

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Published on June 7, 2023