The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality”. Literally, it means “union.” Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation. Right now, a coconut tree and a mango tree have popped up from the same earth. From the same earth, the human body and so many creatures have popped up. It is all the same earth.
Yoga means to move towards an experiential reality where one knows the ultimate nature of the existence, the way it is made.
Yoga refers to union not as an idea, a philosophy or as a concept that you imbibe. As an intellectual idea, if you vouch by the commonness of the universe, it may make you popular in a tea party, it may give you a certain social status, but it does not serve any other purpose. You will see, when things come down to even money – it does not even have to boil down to life and death – even for money, “This is me, that is you.” The boundary is clear; there is no question of you and me being one.
If you practice yoga, you can experience a profound sense of harmony both within yourself and the world around you. Before you get into it, though, it’s important to set the right kind of atmosphere both inside and outside. Here are 5 pointers to keep in mind to optimize your yoga practice:
1. Make sure your stomach and bowels are empty.
2. Take a shower or bath.
3. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes.
4. Consume neem and turmeric before the yoga practice.
5. Start with an invocation.
An invocation is a way of bringing out the best in you before you practice yoga. In the yogic culture, invocations are usually in Sanskrit, an ancient language that directly connects sounds with forms. Using sounds to activate the human system is the basis of Nada Yoga, or the yoga of sound. An invocation is a very simple form of Nada Yoga. A simple invocation that you could start with is:
Lead me from untruth to truth
Lead me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowing)
Lead me from death to deathlessness
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