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A Guide to Yoga – Styles, Paths, Stages, Signposts and Steps Along the Way2019-08-03T17:51:26+00:00

A Guide to Yoga Questions and Answers

Quick answers to Learning How To Climb the Mountain of YOUR Inner Potential

In this website I take you on a journey to a mountain top. This is the mountain of potential that is seeded within you from your connection to Source.

As a guide to yoga I invite you to explore the ascent of this mountain. The journey is divided into the following: –

  • Arrival at Basecamp. – Yoga Nidra
  • The Ways of Travelling – The Styles of Yoga.
  • The Paths up the Mountain. – The Paths of Yoga
  • The Plateaus on the Mountain – The Realizations of Yoga
  • The Pitfalls on the Journey – Challenges of the Yoga Lifestyle.
  • The Signposts on the Journey – Pointers that Guide you On.
  • The Steps on the Journey. – Practices other than Asanas.
  • The Mountain Top. – The Awakening to Yoga.
  • The Return to Base – The Sharing of the Gift.

Read more here about Yoga Journey for Life

Most people who start out on the journey of yoga start with a particular style. In the West this is very much associated with physical postures referred to as asanas.

In the Eastern tradition of Yoga the practice of asanas is referred to as Hatha Yoga. All the styles of yoga that have been developed and are being developed in the West have as their foundation the poses and postures of Hatha Yoga.

On the Journey of Yoga I liken the style of yoga to the way in which you dress for the journey. The main styles of yoga that are being practiced today in most Western countries include: –

  • Hatha Yoga.
  • Iyengar Yoga.
  • Kundalini Yoga.
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Bikram Yoga.
  • Vinyasa Yoga.
  • Restorative Yoga.

It is best to choose a style that suits your temperament and personality. Some are feminine styles and some are masculine styles. You can explore these different styles on various YouTube videos to give you some sense of what best suits.

In this Yoga Journey for Life the Paths of Yoga are where you begin the ascent of the mountain of inner potential. This is where you begin to make Yoga a way of Being in the world rather than just a regular exercise routine.

In the tradition of Yoga there are four major paths that suit different types of personality. These paths are the way up the mountain. If you choose the wrong path that does not personally suit you then the ascent is likely to be harder.

The four Paths of Yoga are:-

  • The Path of Karma – The Way of Action.
  • The Path of Bhakti – The Way of Devotion.
  • The Path of Juana – The Path of Wisdom
  • The Path of Raja – The Royal Path.

All these Paths of Yoga will lead you to the same placeless Place that you have never left.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot

When I refer to Stages in Yoga Journey for Life I include the following: –

  • Life Stages – 1st Half – Midlife – 2nd Half
  • Chakra Levels – Personal – Transitional – Universal.
  • Stages of Awakening.

This is a more expansive overview of the everyday understanding of the practice of Yoga. It invites you to understand the real meaning and purpose of Yoga which is the union of the personal with the Divine

I love to write about the journey of union of the human with the Divine. I do this in a way that I absolutely love. This may well be what sets this website apart from other Yoga websites. The language that I write from include; –

  • Mystical Poetry.
  • Mythological Storytelling.
  • Modern Rock Anthems.
  • Folk Songs.

The above invite a feeling connection to the heart. What I invite is not more information but an experience of transformation through the language of the heart.

The Journey of Yoga is not all bliss. It is a fabulous journey of possibility but you will find challenges along the way. In this Yoga Journey for Life I will be introducing you to those pitfalls which many people fall into. These include: –

  • Over indentation (Teacher and Group).
  • Spiritual Bypassing (The Icarus Syndrome).
  • Disembodiment (Feet not on the Ground).

The pitfalls along the way are wonderfully illustrated in the mythological Greek story of The Fall of Icarus. This is where the Hero (you) flies to close to the Sun (enlightenment) and falls to earth (becomes disembodied).

There are signs along the Journey of Yoga that indicate you are becoming more aligned with your purpose and the purpose of the Universe.

These signs include: –

  • More experience of Synchronicity.
  • Deeping reliance on Intuition.
  • A deepening trust in the Power of Silence.
  • A feeling that the Universe has your back.

The important thing is to notice these new experiences rather than go in pursuit of them. If you are really travelling what the poet Robert Frost terms The Road Less travelled By you will be drawn to be of greater service in the world.

In Journey of Yoga I use the metaphor of climbing a mountain to represent the way to realize your full potential. Many, and even most people do not practice Yoga even as it is understood in a limited way in the West.

I use the term Base Camp for the practice of Yoga Nidra. This is a foundational step on the Path of Realization in the sense that it invites the practice of spiritual embodiment. You make the conscious choice of becoming embodied rather than simply a voice in the head.

As the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle writing in The Power of NOW – A Guide to Enlightenment says:-

Enlightenment is not away from the body but through the body

In order to climb this particular mountain it is essential that you have your feet on the ground. This is the practice of learning to be present in the body rather than have your life driven from the overthinking voice in the head.

The steps along the journey relate to practices that are more than simply practicing asanas.

These practices include the essential steps that you need to take in order to be able to move higher up the mountain.

Such steps include: –

  • Meditation/Contemplation
  • Prayer and Devotion
  • Gratitude and Thanksgiving.
  • Service and Receiving.
  • Shadow and Yearning.

This is not an exhaustive live and there are many more. You are not required to practice all of these.

There will be practices that you will be drawn too dependent on your personality, the style and the path of yoga that you take.

There have been rare individuals in history who arrive at the top of the mountain in a single moment of enlightenment.

As for the rest of us the journey of Self Realization is a full-time commitment.

There is no guarantee that you will stand on the Holy Ground at the summit. The reason why is because the experience of standing on the mountain top is always given by way of Grace.

This is not to say that you have to earn it. It is always available but its receiving is always a mystery. There is a paradox to be experienced on this journey. You have to make the effort but you will not attain through making efforts.

One thing is certain. If, and when you are graced to stand on the Holy Ground of the mountain top You will KNOW that what you have been given is beyond measure. You will know that it could never be earned.

You will return from the mountain top and declare in the words of the poet Hafiz of Shiraz: –

I wish that when you are lonely and in darkness that I could show you the astonishing light of your own being.

Most of us would like to say on the mountain top but the Grace of realization isn’t given for your benefit alone. It is given to bless all of Creation. The Return is a lifetime of learning to integrate the Grace of KNOWING who and why you are.

Read more about signs of being on top of the mountain in 10 Signs of Spiritual Awakening

The Return will be different for each of us. You may simply become one who moves as a radiant Presence in the world and no one will ever know that you have been graced the Holy Longing.

You may become what the writer Andrew Harvey calls a sacred activist. You will be different. What you have been given will perfume your life.

It isn’t always a blessing. In my own life I have felt very lonely at times because there was no one who really understood what I longed to share. I could no longer be a believer because I had been graced to KNOW what it is to be Beloved of the Universe.

Now with the Internet I get to have my true heart’s desire. I can write about the Journey to the Mountaintop to my heart’s content.

What will change on The Return is that your joy will be focused on finding ways to serve the highest good from that Grace experience of the Highest Good. Much of the rest of your life will be learning how to integrate what has been given you.

When the higher flows into the lower the lower is transformed by the higher – Meister Eckhart

The Journey of Yoga is not the only mountain. There are others which you might like to explore. Always remember, however that the are always two levels of the journey in whatever way you choose to travel.

These are called: –

  • The Esoteric Way – The Way of the Many and
  • The Exoteric Way. – The Way of the Few.

The Way of the Many can be seen in the way in which most people become believers in religious traditions. This is where one clings to the signposts of dogma and refuses to take the journey.

All major religious traditions have both the Esoteric and the Exoteric Way. They are as follows: –

  • Buddhist – Zen Buddhism.
  • Islam – Sufism.
  • Judaism – Kabballah
  • Christianity – Gnosticism

In mythology the journey of realising your full potential is a 12-stage journey called The Hero’s Journey as represented in movies and books such as:

  • Star Wars.
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Harry Potter
  • The Chronicles of Narnia

As the mystic poet Rumi declared: –

It’s your road, and yours alone.
others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.”

― Rumi

Yoga Is A Way Of Life

Find out how you can embrace the lifestyle

When you have explored different styles of Yoga you may well be drawn into Yoga as a lifestyle. This is where you begin to choose a Path of Yoga. You leave the basecamp of the mountain of potential and start your journey to the heights of possibility you are created to KNOW and express for your own highest good and the highest good of all.

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