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Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons
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Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.

Lesson 10 (The first in this series) - Why This Discussion?     

From: Yogani
Date: Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:45am

Everyone knows they are special, that there is something more than this birth, life, and death. It resonates somewhere deep inside all of us. We spend our lifetime trying to reach beyond what we are to be more in one way or another. Sometimes we make a mess of it. Sometimes we make progress. But too often we drift along hoping someone will open a door for us. If only they would, we'd run right through. Or would we?

This is the first crucial step, wanting to run through to that something more in us. Being willing to do it. Craving it. Being desperate for it. I am here because I have been one of those for many years, and I know there must be others. I want to throw out some methods, some methods that work. Tools, you know. They are for your consideration. The rest is up to you.

We will talk about philosophy, but not too much. Mostly we will talk about yoga practices, how they work, what they do, and how to do them. And how they can blend together and leverage each other like magic. That is why you will be hearing the phrase "integrated practice" a lot here. It is not a new idea. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali lay out an eight-limbed path of practice. Most traditions lean toward one limb or another. It is natural enough. How many balls can anyone keep in the air? But if you want to really make progress in this life, you must multi-channel your efforts in the direction you want to go. It is like that in all things. Spiritual practice is no different.

We will be talking about many inward ways here -- the ways into the divine you. How to really open things up. Are you ready for that? Do you long for it? Not everyone does. But everyone will sooner or later. In fact, a little practice fans the fire of divine longing. Just a little bit of practice opens the door enough so that the divine desire wells up. Then we are on fire and want more practice and more powerful ways in. It is a kind of addiction -- a divine addiction. I confess to being an addict to this spiritual practice game. It is an ecstatic spiral that pulls us out of our limited earth perception. Everything will look different, first just a little, and later on, a lot different. So if you are not wanting to become divinely inspired, divinely addicted, better stay away. Because the best means are here. If you set your heart and mind to it, you can do it. Honest. And then nothing will ever be the same. You will laugh and laugh when you see how it really is.

This discussion is for wise souls, those who are ready to do what it takes for as long as it takes. Were the sages of old less committed than this? Of course not. We marvel at their remarkable stories in the scriptures. It is just the same now. You will get out of your practices what you put in. It has always been like that.

Why bother with all this? To be honest, it is the greatest high we can have. The pleasure is beyond anything on earth. Really. The essence of divine experience is unending devastating bliss and an unshakable silent peace. It seems contradictory, doesn't it? That's how it is. But don't take my word for it. Try some of these methods and see for yourself. It's all waiting in you. Take a few baby steps, and soon you can be opening by leaps and bounds. That is assuming you are ready, and choose each day to go for more. Remember, it is the one thing we can take with us when we move on from this life.

Some of the practices we will be discussing include:

- Cultivating permanent inner silence through Meditation.

- Opening the subtle nerves through Pranayama (breath control).

- Stimulating divine energy through advanced physical postures and  maneuvers.

- Cultivating divine desire and conduct.

- Cultivating sexual energy to a new purpose.

- Cultivating silent inner awareness outward in powerful ways.

Some of these practices will seem familiar. Others will seem radical. Combined together in particular ways, they comprise a powerful system of yoga. These means are too useful to be reserved for the few. They belong to the many. So indulge yourself. If you long for the knowledge of human transformation, you are worthy, and you have come to the right place.

The guru is in you.

Note: For a detailed overviews on building a daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book.

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