The process of human evolution is not merely the result of biological forces, but of our own personal choices as well. Yoga is one of many methods of self-directed evolution. By utilizing these ancient, finely-tuned moving, breathing, and meditation techniques as a method of self-mastery, you cultivate a steadiness of mind conducive to exploring the nature and terrain of your own consciousness with intense focus and genuine inquiry. Along the way, you begin to discover the subconscious symbols that color your dreams, the cultural conditioning and socially-enforced belief systems that inform your perceptions of reality, the inherited archetypes that influence your character, and the entrenched neural pathways that affect your day-to-day behavioral patterns. By deep contemplation upon these psychological patterns and imprints, known as samskaras to the yogis, you begin to discover their sources as well as their effects. This deep, direct self-knowledge empowers you to redirect or neutralize these neurological impulses that often manifest as unconscious behavioral and emotional patterns in your daily life. This process, which was articulated thousands of years ago in India as the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga (Ashta = 8; Anga = Limb), is analogous to what modern science calls Neuroplasticity, what Joseph Campbell described as The Hero’s Journey, and what Carl Jung referred to as the Process of Individuation. It all begins by stepping onto your mat and learning how to synchronize your body and your breath with harmonious intention.
According to the yogic scriptures, it is only when the mind comes to rest in stillness, completely absorbed within itself, that are we finally able to see beyond the mind and witness our true nature, beneath all the accumulated layers of externally-imposed perceptions, identities, and hangups. In other words, only when the mind is truly still, the soul shines forth... or so the ancient ones, the old school yogis say. Mad love to all my gurus (who are all of you), past present, and future.
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