`I feel a different person`. How often do we hear that from students
of yoga who suddenly realise that they do feel different. The amazing power of yoga
to change an individual from being an anxious, angry, mentally and physically stressed individual into
something at least approaching a healthy, happy, positive human being is so common. That is good as far as it goes.
At least someone who has managed to change from a totally self pitying victim of life can begin to realise that there
is more `out there` to experience.
The present frequent emphasis
on asana is relatively modern. In our efforts to perform the perfect asana we see in photographs
and video it is tempting to stop at that level. Creating the perfect pose may look good. Developing
a fit and glowing, healthy body feels good, but in their own way they can be seen as just very minor examples of `siddhis`.
Siddhis are the magical Tantric skills which the yogi may encounter, such as `laghiman`, levitation. The
temptation is we become so besotted with our little achievements we go no further.
If we move on to the wider aspects of yoga there develops a growing flowering of our minds and of our place
in the world. At this stage the yogi may begin to radiate some of that life and love which is being released
within. Involvement in other peoples` lives, in charity and environmental issues may develop.
The other direction of the journey is inwards via the meditative mind towards the Soul
or Self. In this process we may come close to an experience of `Samadhi` or bliss. It
is sometimes described as a journey of enlightenment, as the force of Shakti (or Kundalini) travels through the chakras on
her journey to Ajna chakra where she meets and unites with Shiva who has been waiting in Sahasrara and now comes to meet her
for the union of bliss, transcendental spontaneity or `sahaja`.
individual to achieve Samadhi is difficult (or naturally spontaneous). The tradition of yoga provides a
solution. `When the time is right, the guru appears`. Our Satguru is the one who can
shortcut all the striving on our part. By a glance, a word or the laying of a hand over the crown chakra
the guru can effect the release of kundalini to bring about that transformation of Self-Realisation - Shaktipat.