A subject that very often comes to our minds is meditation, we want to learn and practice it to achieve serenity and peace of mind …..
According to the Iyengar tradition, meditation can not be learned can not be taught, meditation can only be experienced, during classes, by learning asana, pranayama and concentration we prepare “the ground” for meditation to happen, the feeling, the state of meditation is something that each one of us will/or not experience by ourselves.
Yes there are a lot of meditation techniques, meditation courses, meditation books and we all should try and experiment with what comes our way, here I am writing about Iyengar tradition, a systematical and methodical approach in which I believe.
Yoga can be compared with a tree that has 8 limbs that describe what yoga is, those limbs are:
- Yama – the roots – is the control of organs of action to avoid harming (us and others)
- Nyama – the trunk – control of organs of perception
- Asana – the branches – are the various postures that bring the physical and physiological of the body in harmony, there are many many postures to explore
- Pranayama – the leaves – is the science of the breath, through it the respiratory and circulatory systems are brought into harmony
- Pratyahara – the bark that protects the tree from outside – it is the inward journey of the senses
- Dharana – the tree fluid, sap – concentration, it is the juice that carries the energy in this inward journey
- Dhyana – the flower – when the fluid connects the top of the leaves to the bottom of the roots and there is unity, this is meditation
- Samadhi – the fruit – the essence of the tree – in yoga is where mind, body and soul are one
The first 5 limbs can be practiced and learned, the last 3 limbs can only be experienced, Patanjali says they can happen as a result of yoga practice and (in rare cases) spontaneously
BKS Iyengar beautiful book “The tree of Yoga” talks about the interaction of yoga and life from birth to death