The Essence of Yoga

Yogaḥ Samādhiḥ / Yoga is Samādhi

– Sage Vyāsa

Saṁyama is a process of meditative analysis. It aides in the development of the faculty of discrimination or Viveka-Khyāti. And the faculty of discrimination is the means to liberation from bondage and suffering.

Saṁyama is a way of directing attention on an object or a specific feature of an object in order to understand it correctly. Correctly here means to see an object for what it is, uninfluenced by one’s biases and conditioning. Correct understanding helps in renunciation of those objects that ensnare us in a cycle of attachment and suffering.

In other words, Saṁyama is the essence of Yoga.

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Heart in Yoga

It is fashionable to bash intellect in modern spiritual circles. One often hears: “Heart, not brain”. Or some variation of it. Interestingly, although “gut feel” is used in popular discourse, it does not seem to be popular in the spiritual circles. I wonder why!

Is using one’s brain actually detrimental to spiritual growth? What do the classical texts on Yoga say on this? Continue reading

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