Natural Yoga is Living Yoga: By James Traverse
OneDual Intelligence – Intuition and Intellect
Natural Yoga is when identification with the movement of the mind is absent.
It is the unity of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga that honours the original intention
of the ancient sages. Yoga is supremely beneficial physically, and, it is a means
to uplift one’s consciousness and attune spiritually.
Natural Yoga is composed of classical yoga poses, guided relaxation,
meditation, and the exploration of living answers to living questions.
Practitioners of all levels benefit from the group setting, the diversity of
the postures, and Nisarga’s particular emphasis on the Art of Listening.
It is Living Yoga that is felt.
Natural Yoga is a way of seeing that reveals the UniVerse as an interconnected,
organic whole. The Truth that nothing exists separately from anything else is
seen through the exploration of the hologram of the bodymind.
This seeing shows that the bodymind and the UniVerse are governed by the same
set of natural and unalterable laws which manifest as a flow of
continuous change against the background Stillness.
This natural order and flow is the dual manifestation of Intelligence. By recognizing
and aligning oneself with these laws, one realizes a way of being which is
the unity of Freedom and Structure – this is the union of Yoga.
Natural Yoga facilitates entry into this timeless dimension through principles that
are first understood intellectually, Raja Yoga, and its practice flowers intuitively in
the exploration of traditional yoga poses, Hatha Yoga. It is a dialogue, comm-union
between the body and the mind where the mind asks a question of the body and then
it Listens as the answer, which is beyond both body and mind, is lived.
The holographic understanding and application of these values is the ultimate
benediction. It is living wholly, harmoniously, and consciously in daily life,
being at-one with life’s current and Innocent Stillness.
It is the Ease of Being.
Space Silence Stillness
Body: Intuitive Intelligence flowers in Space.
Mind: Intellectual Intelligence flowers in Silence.
Whole: Intelligence Itself flowers as Stillness
(the whole is greater than the sum of the parts).
Natural Yoga follows three themes:
The Space of the body, the Silence of the mind, and the Stillness of Yoga.
The union of Space and Silence flowers as Stillness and the
first connection with Stillness is localized. It is the centre.
The centre is the tranquil space between understretching and overstretching.
This is the pose. Then there is a kind of switch-over when the pose has
completely unfolded in silent awareness and the bodymind releases into
Global Stillness. This is the here-now where the communion of
the body and mind is realized. It is living Intelligence Itself.
Listening: The Energy Body
Natural Yoga’s approach is based on the traditional Art of Listening.
Our knowledge based societies are wondrous and yet they cause a loss of
freedom because they have entrained us to live in our heads, in a world of
concepts and ideas. This causes our energies to be locked into mechanical
patterns of neuro-muscular tensions and we do not perceive the body. We
experience an image of the body which is an intellectual response to what
our sense doors perceive as the physical body. In this way our bodies have
become an idea, rather than something living, something felt.
At the core of all matter lies energy, and our body is no different. The authentic,
energy body, is a template for the physical body. It is the vital life-force, chi or
prana, that surrounds, permeates and animates the physical body. The breath is the
bodymind’s principal source of this life-force and all of its abilities depend on it.
So the body in its wholeness has a much greater extension than we generally realize.
The authentic body is awakened through innocent attention in the timeless present,
Listening. In this listening we allow the body sensations to unfold without
anticipation and our I-image has no role to play, it is no longer involved in reactions.
First this energy is felt in particular parts of the body, localized, and later we
come to the whole body as one mass of innocent sensation – the global sensation.
It is the energy feeling that is the real healing factor in the body. Instead of the
old pattern of heaviness, resistance and density we discover a body that feels light,
transparent and expanded in space. We feel ourselves without centre, without border,
one with space.
This feeling of openness, of expansion frees us from our ego-centred world and
leaves us open to the timeless. Otherwise the body is largely a defense mechanism to
maintain our ego. If we approach the postures without first awakening the energy
body we merely reinforce the old encrusted patterns and our practice
is repetitive, tedious.
When we do a yoga asana, pose, we live from moment to moment in the sensation,
we are one with the feeling, there is no intention or goal which could only come
from the mind, the I-image. The posture is allowed to unfold organically, it does not
involve imposing the posture on the body.
The muscles, the whole structure works in an entirely different way. There is a
total integration. There is no repetition. Each time we do the posture, it is fresh,
it is new – now.
At times we will do the posture only on the energy level, without moving the
physical body. Thus we free ourselves further from the patterns and restrictions.
Each posture stimulates particular parts of the body and the greatest benefit, the
re-orchestration of energy, occurs during and continues after the practice.
The same restrictions that afflict the body and mind can also been seen in breathing.
Through fear, tension, and deriving our identity through the content and activity
of the mind our breath is largely reaction. We tend to grasp the inhalation and
push the exhalation, a continuous psychic manipulation.
In our practice we learn to listen to the breath, feel it in different parts of the body
and in the global sensation. We give the breath the opportunity to become
spontaneous, natural, as in our infancy.
We use the breath, the prana, in certain yogic techniques to calm the mind, to stimulate
and harmonize the body’s energy. Spiritual attunement is facilitated by emphasizing
the Stillness between the breaths, which is the background of breathing,
and this flowers as a forefeeling of our real nature.
Freeing the Senses
A significant aspect of the practice is the deep relaxation of the sense doors: skin,
mouth, nostrils, ears, eyes and brain. Unconsciously the senses have also become
entrained in grasping, which means they are localized, contracted and tense.
Through the use of mental clarity and listening, allowing the sensation to unfold, comes
an openness and relaxation. Objects are allowed to come to the senses, and we live
with pure perception, without the accomplice of the I-image. This is innocent attention
where the senses are free and the whole body participates in seeing, hearing, etc….
The living understanding of yoga is Meditation.
This understanding is the union which acknowledges the structure of the poses
and honours the the freedom of the body, breath, senses, and mind.
Here we no longer emphasize the object, the body, but our awareness, presence.
This is the of switch-over mentioned above where the asana has completely
unfolded in awareness and there is a release into Global Stillness. In this Stillness,
there is no one who meditates and nothing to meditate on. It is not concentration.
It is innocent awareness, the seeing Itself.
Transposing the Teaching
the Ease of Being
It is important that the understanding gained through the practice be transposed to all
aspects of life. When we are no longer identified with an image, an object, we
are not bound psychologically to a situation, we live in our wholeness, and
solutions to the challenges of life unfold from this global understanding.
Only then are we really functional.
In the Art of Listening, the I-image is absent, we are Space and Silence, and the old
mechanical patterns of fear and tension have nowhere to take hold.
“Only in our absence are we truly present”.
This is the abiding Stillness of Yoga.