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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best Hatha Yoga Tip Ever

By Anmol Mehta

The best hatha yoga tip I ever received, was from a yoga master who understood the inner workings of life, karma and reincarnation. Employing this tip is essential if you are going to extract the full benefits of a yoga practice. Without this piece of wisdom, hatha yoga becomes just a series of physical movements and exercises. The tip is that all yoga should be practiced with the Witnessing Consciousness active.

This is really more than just the best yoga tip, this is an essential yoga guideline. Yoga means, to join or yolk, and the joining that is being referred to, is the merging of your consciousness with the Universal Consciousness. This is the true purpose of yoga. To bring you to the doorstep of Infinity, so that you can realize the true Oneness of Reality.

Yoga includes many dimensions, and of these hatha yoga is just one. This dimension is considered the physical aspect of yoga practice, but if done while employing the Witnessing Consciousness, this physical practice becomes spiritual and much more. So what exactly is meant by this tip? Let's discuss the details of that below.

The Witnessing Consciousness is the act of simply standing apart and watching that which is taking place. In other words, to have a third person perspective of what is happening in your life, within and without, and using this observation as a source for self study. This observation is pure simple awareness. It should be without judgment or criticism, and it should be maintained as best you can from moment to moment. Another way of describing this state is that it is the act of being in the world, but not being of the world.

So, as you practice your hatha yoga poses and routines, keep this awareness active. Do your yoga and watch yourself doing it like you are watching a movie. Stay alert to the three dimensions of your being. The physical, emotional and mental. This detached, passive awareness will allow the content of consciousness to come out, reveal itself and be purged. That cleansing will then allow you to have space and silence within, which are the necessary ingredients for Truth to blossom.

This important tip though extends far beyond your hatha yoga practice as well. Not only during your physical practice should you practice this watching, but you should continue at all other times as well. No one is really able to successfully be conscious throughout all twenty-four hours of the day, but the amount of time you can stay aware is perhaps the best way to measure your spiritual progress.

The person who can maintain their awareness ninety percent of the time is going to be much more spiritually advanced than one who is only aware only five percent of the time. In fact, this metric is probably the best measure of the spiritual level of a person. Putting this tip to use, will certainly change your life. You will have to make adjustments in order to practice such vigilance and the more you practice it, the more positive changes you will notice start happening.

A great time to practice this tip is, of course, while doing hatha yoga poses. This is because hatha yoga can be done without excessive mental activity. This then leaves awareness available for the task of self observation. Of course, there are hatha yoga exercises that suggest bringing the mind and attention to various regions in the body, as you do the pose, but if you can, try to maintain some free energy and awareness for self observation. In fact, I would say that maintaining the Witnessing Consciousness is more important, than the mental requirements of a particular pose.

Finally, this tip is not limited to just hatha yoga either. Regardless of which yoga style you are doing, Kripalu, Hot, Power, Kundalini, Vinyasa or other yoga style, the most important aspect of your practice is to do it with full awareness. This is the key to finding the Truth, for as you will discover, the Witnessing Consciousness is really your True Self after all.