When we are in the Flow we feel great.
The masculine-mind-thinking and feminine-body-feeling are seen as extreme poles of the same thing. Purusha and Prakriti are understood as the original spiritual couple, and, the unfolding of their relationship is the dance of our Uni-Verse (the Dancer IS the Dance; the Dance IS the Dancer).
The term Yoga was created within Samkhya to represent the union, or yoking (controlling), of the dual qualities of intellect and intuition that together compose Intelligence. (Samkhya, which means buddhi or manifested intelligence, is one of the six great philosophies of ancient India. Samkhya is ascribed to the sage Kapila).
Yoga has evolved to be a philosophy of living that states that just as water is the source, sustainer, and substance of both waves and the ocean, Living (flowing) Intelligence is the source, sustainer, and substance of: spirit and nature, masculine and feminine, intellect and intuition, inhalation and exhalation, respiration-circulation, etc. And, that which comes from Intelligence is nothing other than Intelligence.
Enlightenment is a way of seeing or having an understanding that simultaneously dispels the darkness of the ignorance in ones mind that things are separate, and what is seen is what was always there - the extreme poles of Intelligence abiding and relating as Itself. Thus yoga reveals that despite the fact that things appear to be separate as the One branches into infinite twos, the fundamental, irrevocable Truth is that all is One.
Patanjali's greatest work, the Yoga Sutras, which he wrote circa 500 BCE. Patanjali's Sutras are Darsana, Patanjali's Sutras not only describe Yoga; they are It. Patanjali's first four sutras reflect this:
2) Yoga is the cessation of the identification with the whirl (the world) of the local mind,
3) Then Intelligence abides in its own nature,
4) At other times Intelligence assumes the waveforms of the mental fluctuations.
In other words, Seeing, which is natural, sees the Truth of the way things are now. What is seen is that to be is to see, and that all that is seen (branches) is related to Seeing (source). Then things rest in their own nature. Otherwise we are caught up in the whirling, endless conflict of extremes. Yoga is the way of seeing that reveals and lives the harmony of this Truth.
Patanjali defined Asthanga Yoga, the eight limbs of Yoga, as follows:
1. Yama - harmonizing universal virtues
a) ahimsa - without violating order, b) satya - truth, c) asteya - without stealing, d) bramacharya - chaste, e) aparagraha - without greed
2. Niyama - harmonizing individual virtues
a) saucha - cleanliness, b) santosa – thankfulness, c) tapas - transforming fire, d) svadhyaya - vigilance, life study, e) isvara pranidhana - dedication to essence
3. Asana – Control your body - meditative postures practice or Hatha Yoga, which is the marriage of Solar and Lunar energies
4. Pranayama – Control your Breath - harmonizing with the current of life force, prana
5. Pratyahara – Control your senses - innocent attention, emphasis on perceiving rather than the objects of perception; turn the senses inward
6. Dharana – Control your surface mind - focused attention, concentration
7. Dhyana - Control/realize your deeper mind - relaxed natural attention, meditation
8. Samadhi – Love – Living Union of Definite and Infinite, enstasis-ecstasis, Relationship of Standing-In and Standing-Out, same Intelligence, living singularity, octave (7 limbs plus the trunk) (the relationship of the fourfold wave of respiration and the fourfold wave of circulation - infinity symbol) (asthanga - unfolding whole - living recursive scalar linked 7's, music, white light, chakras, week, continents) Yoga is the journey and the destination of your Self-Nature. It is the reconciling of extremes. Yoga is the means for this and it is the end. Today the many approaches of Yoga can be broadly classified into four paths that reflect the four dominant tendencies (the fourfold elemental nature) of human beings:
- the emotionally dominant follow the Path of Love : Bhakti Yoga Bhakti is the path of devotion, the process of understanding universal Oneness through Love. Most religions emphasize this spiritual path because it is the most natural. As with other yogas, the goal of the bhakta, the devotee of Unity, is to attain the living understanding of Oneness. The bhakta attains this through the power of Love and by observing the definition of Love - do unto others as you would have them do unto you Love thy neighbour (branches) as thyself (source-oneness). The dominant element of Bhakti is Air.
- the intellectually dominant follow the path of Knowledge : Jnana Yoga Jnana is the path of knowledge. Jnani practice involves the powers of the mind to discriminate between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the transitory. A Jnani's knowledge includes and transcends the intellect without self-contradiction. It is the living understanding of the singular relationship composed of what is called Brahman (source) and Atman (branches). The dominant element of Jnana is Water.
- the physically dominant follow the path of Work : Karma Yoga Karma is the path of action or work. Karma practice is the path of dedicated work. The practitioner renounces the results of his/her actions as a spiritual offering rather than hoarding the results for him/herself. Karma followers understand that the one who sees action in inaction, and inaction in action is truly wise. And, by emphasizing being (source) rather than doing (branches), this person accomplishes everything. The dominant element of Karma is Earth.
- the meditatively dominant follow the path of Meditation : Raja Yoga Raja is the royal path of Meditation. As a king maintains control over his kingdom, so Raja followers maintain vigilant watchfulness over the kingdom of the local mind (branches). In Raja practice the mind's abilities are used to realize Oneness through the process of causing the mind to see its limitations, and, allowing the mind to relax which reveals what was always there naturally (source). The dominant element of Raja is Fire.
Each Yogic path has a dualistic quality (branches) and yet all paths state that the definitive benediction of Yoga is to realize the Living Oneness (source) of things. This is the Unity in Diversity that is the marriage of Masculine and Feminine, Shiva and Shakti, Mind and Body, self and other. The Wheel and The Wave
- Breathing: Circulation (circle/wheel) and Respiration (Re-Spiriting)
Yoga is timeless, it is as pertinent today as it was in ancient times, and, at all times the most direct connection with Yoga is the flow of your Breath. The simple process of releasing and welcoming a quiet breath is the simplest and most profound secret of Life. This current of Life is Yoga, it is two in One as the flow of inhalation-exhalation, flow through veins-flow through arteries, respiration-circulation, complimented by transition pauses. It is living relationship.
Breathing is the interwoven relationship of the waves of your respiration and the wheel of your circulation. It is highly significant to see the fundamental truth that: there is no such thing as Breath; there is only Breathing. There is no such thing as Life; there is only Living. It is an Integrated FLOW (all Breathing is the FLOW MOTION of the infinite and definite).
For example: the Flow of Being flows as four penultimate elements whereby your mind-body absorbs the life sustaining energies and expels the wastes. Each is a form of Breathing: Breathe Air - the flow of Air (without this you will die in a matter of minutes)
a) on the physical plane this is Breathing Air; this is life giving energy that you inhale and exhale the waste products of its FLOW; inspiration-expiration;
b) on the spiritual plane this is Breathing Itself (Spirit means to Breathe)
Breathe Water - the flow of Water (without this you will die in a week or so)
a) on the physical plane this is Drinking Water; this is life giving energy that you drink in and urinate the waste products of its FLOW;
b) on the spiritual plane this is the Fluid Substance of Life (the Way of Water)
Breathe Earth - the flow of Earth (without this you will die in a month or so)
a) on the physical plane this is Eating Food; this is life giving energy that you eat; your bowels expel the waste products of its FLOW;
b) on the spiritual plane this is Grounding/Solidification as Materialized Energy (FLOW in Form)
Breathe Fire - the flow of Fire (without this flow there can be existence, yet you cannot truly Live without Passion; all life would end/cannot be without Fire as Heat or Light)
a) on the physical plane this is the fire of your metabolism as your body trans-forms the energies of air, water, and earth into your bodymind vehicle; the waste products of this FLOW include the ones above and heat;
b) on the spiritual plane this is the fire of your Passion (the trans-forming FLOW of Love; it is inspiration as an intellectual idea or intuitive insight that inspires you to act)
- energy is the ability to do work (direct FLOW)
The quintessential element that is the foundation of all other elements is FLOW or Prana.
FLOW is the Source, Sustainer, and Substance of BEING. (Love is not Love until it is given away)
Align with the FLOW that is already happening.
The Ground of all Doing is Being. Being is already happening; it has and is order, intelligence. You can directly connect with this intelligence.
Yoga is the conscious living process of aligning the FLOW of your energies with the intelligence of the quintessential FLOW that is natural to your body-mind. Your direct connection with the ORDERLY INTELLIGENT FLOW that is already happening is your Breathing. And Breathing is the only systemic process of your body that you can directly control. Thus BREATHING is both the means and the end of how you establish Harmonious Living Union with the Source, Sustainer, and Substance of Being.
Yoga is as simple as breathing and it is as complicated as Life. It is the way of being that realizes and respects that Life is the Inter-Relationship of its extremes.
Yoga is the reconciling of extremes that unfolds as the sacred intercourse of Purusha (spirit) and Prakriti (nature). Being Yoga is the ultimate singularity. It is Love.