Advanced Yoga Practices: Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living ( ebook pdf)
The Original Internet Lessons with Additions by the Author
This is dedicated to you who seek the truth within…
The theory of yoga is simple. It states that there is an outer reality and an inner one, and that the human nervous system is the doorway between them. To engage in the practices of yoga is to promote the opening of that doorway. The fascinating thing about this is that when we do yoga practices such as meditation, breathing techniques (pranayama) and bodily maneuvers (asanas, mudras and bandhas) in a coordinated way on a regular basis, something happens. We can observe changes inside us. As these inner changes occur, our experience of everyday living is changed in positive ways. So yoga is about much more than theory. It is about practice. It is about cause and effect. Over time, the quality of our life can be dramatically transformed by doing yoga practices. We become filled with lasting inner peace and happiness.
We come to know that the possibility of achieving “enlightenment” is real – the ultimate destination of every human being. That is what happens as the doorway of our nervous system gradually opens and there is less and less division between our outer and inner realities. In the end, they merge to become one glorious reality of unending joy, and then we know that we are home. This is the journey recorded by saints and sages in every culture throughout history. It is the journey we can all take by choosing to engage in daily yoga practices.
What is the essence of effective yoga practice? Are there ways to optimize our practices to maximize our progress? This is the perennial question. It is a question that calls for a scientific investigative approach. As we survey the landscape, we find that the field of yoga often appears complex, confusing and mysterious. In every direction we turn, something seems to be missing. The purpose of this book is to try and clear some of that up, fill in the gaps, simplify things, and help make the application of yoga practices a more practical and self-directed endeavor than it has been in the past. As part of this, we will be exploring beyond the limits of what has been publicly available about yoga practices. We will look at the so-called “esoteric” practices, along with those that are well known, and combine them into an optimized routine that anyone can follow every day.
We will be integrating together the best methods from the ancient traditions of mantra yoga, kriya yoga, hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, tantra yoga, bhakti yoga and others. If these terms are not familiar to you, don’t be concerned. It is the nuts and bolts of practice that really matter, and that is what you will find in this book – in plain English. We will not be dwelling on the many yoga traditions and philosophies – only touching on them enough to clarify what is going on during and after our daily practices. The yoga methods in this book act directly through heart, mind, body, breath and sexuality. So you can be sure we will be dealing with your personal experiences in yoga, rather than abstract philosophical concepts.
These lessons can be used as a stand-alone teaching, or to supplement any other path. This is a non-sectarian resource that is open to everyone, and makes a claim on no one. If you are looking for a hands-on instruction manual covering all levels of yoga practice, from the beginning to the most advanced, you have come to the right place. Because so many powerful methods of practice are discussed in these lessons, everyone is strongly encouraged to go at their own safe pace.
Much attention in the lessons is devoted to developing skills in “self-pacing,” with the aim of assisting every practitioner to become self-sufficient in applying yoga practices for achieving maximum progress while maintaining good safety. Each is responsible for their own progress, and for the means applied. Most of what is in these lessons was first written on the Internet.
The author, an American, is a long time spiritual scientist who, over a lifetime, has developed an integrated system of yoga practices which has proven to be highly effective and easily incorporated into the modem lifestyle. It is a flexible, scientific approach, rather than a rigid, arbitrary one. Wanting to leave something useful behind, he started posting lessons in an open online forum in 2003. Before long,thousands of yoga enthusiasts from all over the world joined the forum, with hundreds submitting comments and questions via email. Numerous correspondences resulted between the author and readers, and many of the questions and answers (Q&As) were posted in the forum, becoming an integral part of the lessons. Because the questions in the Q&As come from yoga practitioners in many countries around the globe, you will see variations in writing style.
The original writing is edited only minimally to preserve the energy and spirit of the interactions. Because the lessons originated in an online forum/group, they contain terms such as “members,” “group,” and so on. You will also notice that the numbering of the lessons is a little unusual. That is explained on a separate page.
This book is a preservation of the original online lessons of Advanced Yoga Practices, with significant additions by the author. The additions can be found at the end of many of the lessons, and are indicated by asterisks (*) in the table of contents and lesson titles. A summary of the additions is provided after the table of contents.
The online Internet lessons include an extensive “links section” with over 100 yoga-related web sites. Because this is a dynamic list, subject to ongoing revision, it has not been included in this book. Instead, the links section can easily be accessed by going to the Advanced Yoga Practices web site provided at beginning of the book. The “AYP links section” is referred to in several lessons to provide supplementary information, as necessary.
We owe our everlasting gratitude to all of the great spiritual masters and teachers who have researched, exemplified and generously shared the knowledge of spiritual practices with humanity for thousands of years.
It is on their shoulders that we stand today as we reach for the heights of ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love – our destiny as human beings. We also owe our heartfelt thanks to the many yoga practitioners around the world who have stepped forward and contributed to the development of these lessons through their sincere sharing of experiences and questions. Because of them, these lessons are far more comprehensive than would have been possible otherwise.
Finally, without the wonder of instant worldwide communications through the Internet, this in-depth exploration of the methods of human spiritual transformation could not have happened. A much deserved thank you goes to all those who provide the technology that has enabled this book to become a reality.
It is hoped you will find the Advanced Yoga Practices lessons to be a useful resource as you travel along your chosen spiritual path. Practice wisely, and enjoy!
The guru is in you.
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