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

Lesson 148 - Q&A – Why practices twice a day?

From: Yogani
Date: Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:49pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: What is the importance of doing practices two times daily?

A: When we do practices, we coax our nervous system into a different style of functioning -- sustaining deep silence (pure bliss consciousness). And in later stages when kundalini is active, ecstatic bliss. To stabilize all this we go out and are active in the world every day. There is fading of the higher functioning during activity as we work it into daily living. The fading happens over 5-10 hours. Then we can do practices again and re-establish the higher style of functioning again, to be faded in activity again. This cycle can be done twice a day by doing practices morning and early evening. It provides for the most purification and growth possible during waking hours for people with active lives.

Doing practices once a day is much slower - it is only one daily cycle of cultivating and fading, instead of two. And it is too much fading before reinforcement of the higher style of functioning happens again the next day. Twice daily practice is a matter of effectiveness and efficiency.

With twice daily practice over time, the fading of ecstatic bliss in activity becomes less and less, and the higher style of functioning of the nervous system becomes steady and unshakable 24 hours a day. This is the fruit of the process -- enlightenment in daily activity, and all night too. It is the ongoing cycle of practices and activity that produces this result.

During retreats, where responsibilities are suspended, more than two routines of practices per day can be undertaken, alternating with meals, light activity, and satsangs (spiritual gatherings). Three or four cycles of practice can be done in this kind of environment. Maybe more for diehard yogis and yoginis. It is a matter of self-pacing for comfort and effectiveness. Then one can go very deep over a period of days, weeks, or months in retreat. This introduces another cycle between retreats that lasts a much longer period of time (weeks or months), superimposed over the twice daily cycle of practices we continue with in our regular life when we are back in the world. Retreats accelerate progress in this way. But retreats are not a substitute for long term twice daily practices at home. What we do every day over the long term is what will make the most difference in the end.

All of this is designed for maximum progress, making the best use of our nervous system's natural abilities for enlightenment and the time we have available to do the job.

You are in charge of your journey. These are tried and true principles of unfoldment you can use as you see fit to travel home to enlightenment.

The guru is in you.

Note: For detailed instructions on building a practice routine with self-pacing, and on increasing practices during retreats, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book and the AYP Retreats Book.

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