Yoga is more than movement. Yoga is meditation. It’s withdrawal of the senses and extreme focus to achieve profound meditative experiences, and it’s connection with self and everything, and it’s breath and groundedness and journeying . . .
So, yeah. Yoga is music. The sixth limb of yoga is Dharana, or extreme concentration and single-minded focus. Positive psychology calls this state of being “flow.” It’s that timeless creative process in which we are out of body and absorbed wholly in that upon which we are focused. When a songwriter or musician is composing a piece, or an artist is contemplating a canvas, they are experiencing Dharana.
The seventh limb is Dhyana, or meditation. Yoga Journal explains, “Where dharana practices one-pointed attention, dhyana is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus.” So, when we come together to listen to music, or view art, or become absorbed in some existential way in what has been created from a state of Dharana, we are practicing dhyana – this vital limb of yoga.
If we are open, and perhaps a bit lucky, our co-creative experience of these limbs may just bring us to the final, most blissful limb of all: Samadhi. Samadhi may be called Nirvana, ecstasy, self-actualization, peace, or connection with everything. It is THE purpose and the experience of yoga.
Many times, I have borne witness to creative expression in the form of music that brings me outside of myself, to a place of otherworldly Knowing and Enlightenment. I have experienced true bliss, and have carried that with me into my life on and off the mat.
In the west, we’ve adopted this definition of yoga: beautiful, bendy people on a mat twisting and stretching. The ancient and profound truth of the practice, however, is that there are eight limbs of yoga. Only one limb is movement – the rest is up for interpretation.
This is what we aim to bring to you, here at Magical Yoga, through our events and series. Let your guard down; stop moving (or dance your blissful bellies off), and come to Know what is at the end of the ancient “Eight-fold path” that we call yoga.