An Introduction to Yoga Philosophy

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How the breath and meditation can lead us to our heart’s true desires

The ancient yogic scriptures reveal to us the deeper dimensions of our yoga practice through eloquent and inspiring poetry. The Shiva Samhita states: ‘The body is a microcosm of the macrocosm’. Which is why the yoga, the path of self-realisation, is characterised by techniques of self enquiry and self investigation. Through exploring our patterns and the freedom within our own bodies and own breaths, the larger picture of our life and our place in community, society and the wider world, is revealed to us.

Yogis consider the human heart as the residence of our unique souls. Its an energetic space located in our chest and is a place of divine worship and reverence as it is said to contain the essence of the universal force of that which unites us all. This essence reveals to us our individual unique ‘dharma’ which is described as our heart’s true desire and our true life’s purpose and it is written within ancient scripture, that we should seek to fulfil our heart’s true desires.

Chandogya Upanisad 191 states: 

“In the city of Brahman is a secret dwelling, the lotus of the heart. Within this dwelling is a space and within that space is the fulfilment of our desires. What is within that space should be longed for and realised.

As great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart. Both heaven and earth are contained in that inner space, both fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars. Whether we know it in this world or know it not, everything is contained in that inner space”

And how can we connect to the heart space and explore our heart’s true desire? This is the age-old quest! Through mindfulness meditation, we can fine tune our receptivity towards our inner calling:

Tao-sin said:

‘The body and the mind, in their slightest movements,
Are forever found at the place of awakening.
Our behaviour itself is the awakening:
There is no other Buddha that the heart.
All phenomena are nothing but the heart.
Dwell in this state of consciousness,
And all the knots of passion will unite themselves naturally.
In a grain of dust
All the worlds can be found, And all the universes are contained in the tip of one of your hairs.
There is no obstruction.
Do not evoke the Buddha,
Do not grasp at the mind,
No mental strategies,
Nor reflections,
Nor meditative practice,
Even less distraction.
Abandon yourself to the flow of things,
Without retraining the thoughts!
Everything is pure!
The natural and immaculate clarity of the mind emerges!’

Written by Tammy Mittell.

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Tammy Jones

Tammy has been a yoga teacher on over 20 AdventureYogi retreats over the years. Tammy has an exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge of yoga having practised it for 19 years and taught for 9 years. She has trained with some of the most renowned yoga teachers globally and also studied an MA in Yoga Philosophy and Meditation. She is also a trained as a Pilates teacher and is a qualified Thai Yoga Massage Therapist so has a brilliant knowledge of the body.

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