Advanced Yoga Practices
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Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 94 - Some House Cleaning Tips  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
94.1 - Short Q&As with a One Year Practitioner
94.2 - Are Cold Showers an Aid to Enlightenment?  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:19pm

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

The goal in AdvancedYogaPractices is to provide the most important yoga methods in an easy to manage way so you can begin and continue a daily routine of spiritual practices without having to turn you life upside down. We have taken a "building block" approach, where you decide when to add on each new piece according to your time line and capacity. Each building block is a pretty easy practice by itself. When you have two, three, four, or ten pieces, it will still be easy if you have not gone too fast in adding on components of practice. Easy in practices and easy in daily activity is our objective, with pure bliss consciousness and divine ecstasy coming up ever so steadily to become a 24/7 experience. 

What we are doing in all our practices is giving our nervous system the opportunity to clear out the old accumulated obstructions that block the ongoing experience of our inner truth, which is bliss, bliss, bliss!

It is a house cleaning that is going on in our nervous system. The experiences that come up during the house cleaning cover a wide range from the spectacular to the dull and dreary. No matter what the experiences are, the house cleaning goes on, as long as we are doing our daily practices.

It is important to be clear about the difference between practices and experiences. This is especially true since we have been stimulating kundalini, and maybe having some pretty ecstatic feelings and even some impressive visions coming up. So here are a few tips on what to do if some of these things happen in practices.

If you are doing spinal breathing and, as you come up to the third eye on inhalation, your ishta (your chosen ideal - Jesus, Krishna, Moses, Mohammed, Mother Divine, etc.) comes galloping up to you in a golden chariot, beckoning you to climb in and go for a ride, what do you do? You easily exhale and go back down the spinal nerve. In other words, you favor the practice you are doing. If the chariot with your ishta in it goes down the spinal nerve with you, great. If it doesn't, that is okay too. We don't push visions out. Neither do we hang on to them. We just favor the practice we are doing. If these visions are real, they will be with us for a long time both inside and outside practices. Your ishta will understand that you are doing practices, and will be happy to take you for a ride afterwards. It is the practices that have created the opportunity for such experiences in your expanding spiritual nervous system. Always keep that in mind. Don't let your experiences distract you from the practices that have facilitated them. If you remain steadfast in practices, your experiences will become greater and greater, eventually never leaving you. You will find yourself trooping around during the day with your ishta, and an entourage of angels too! Experiences do not beget greater experiences. Practices do.

If you are doing yoni mudra kumbhaka and you are filling up with divine light rushing in through your third eye, with more and more light coming, and you are wanting to do more and more yoni mudra kumbhaka because it is so good, what do you do? You stick with the number of repetitions of yoni mudra kumbhaka you are doing. Well, maybe add one, if it is that terrific. But keep in mind that it is easy to overdo when such wonderful experiences are occurring. Then, the next thing you know, you are frying inside for a few days because you did too much. The nervous system can only handle so much at any given level of purification. If too much is put through the nerves before they are ready, the frying effect can happen. It is like being in a fire. It isn't hell, though it might feel like it. It is just too much energy too soon. That's all. Take the gradual approach to purification, and you will have a much more pleasant journey, and will not jeopardize your ability to do advanced yoga practices over the long haul. It is doing well-measured practices over the long haul that leads to enlightenment. Then all the light and bliss will be there without the fire. The fire comes from fast house cleaning - sometimes we stir up too much dust and it is too fast with so much coming out. There are no overnight wonders in this house cleaning business. 

While meditation is usually a more gentle and blissful process, settling the nervous system down to deep silence and letting obstructions go in a global way, still, powerful experiences can come up in there. When we have thoughts, sensations, lights, ecstasy, restlessness, visions, negative emotions, whatever, we just easily come back to the mantra. We do not meditate for any particular experience other than the experience of favoring the mantra when we realize we are off it. It does not matter what we are off into. If the heavenly hosts come and fill our inner vision during our meditation, and we realize we are off the mantra, what do we do? You guessed it. We easily go back to the mantra. If we are true to the simple procedures of our practices, we can revel with the heavenly hosts whenever we want -- while we are having a sandwich, in the shower, taking a walk, or anywhere... except in our practices. If we are seeing them in practices and realize we are off the mantra, off the spinal breathing, or off the count in yoni mudra kumbhaka, then we do best to ease back to the particular practice we are doing.

A word that sometimes comes up when discussing practices is "expectations." We all have expectations. They are desires. Our desires are always wanting more, reaching for this or that thing. We can slip into the habit of expecting certain kinds of experiences. If we apply the technique of bhakti, we can transform the energy of our expectations, channeling them into motivation to do our daily practices. If we find expectations for visions, or whatever, coming up in practices, we treat them like any other thoughts or feelings that come up, and easily go back to the practice we are doing.

This is the way to get the house cleaning done most effectively. We aren't giving anything up by taking this approach. We are gaining everything.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed discussion on the benefits of "favoring the practice over the scenery," see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book, and AYP Plus.

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