What is purification in Yoga?
Great question. Purification in Yoga is about mentally and physically removing old debris that is clouding your life!
Before we speak on this, we have to address what Yoga is – because yoga is not asana (postures)! And asana (alone) is not Yoga.
What is Yoga?
Let’s remind ourselves because it’s easily forgotten.
Yoga is the culmination of all practices that take us towards meaningful meditation and the opportunity to remember ourselves as spirit, divinity (union). To understand ourselves as complete and whole. Part of something greater than our individual ego.
The tradition of Yoga teaches we are always connected to our ‘source’ energy and innate nature – but we’ve become disconnected from it – acquiring conditioned behaviours, beliefs and ways of thinking and doing that cloud our perception, judgement, and sense of freedom.
Which is where, (enter stage left), we arrive at the concept of purification.
The tradition (and our practice) reminds us we have got some work to do to unlock and reveal our true potential – our true sense of self. To purify and fortify and create the landscape for truth to unfold.
The how, is through all the amazing practices, breath, energy locks, mudra, mantra and asana that have been studied and systematised, tried and tested over thousands of years and passed down from sage to sage, teacher to teacher.
Yoga Is More Than You Think
Yoga is a science that is strategic in how it unfolds. Unfortunately, this system has been fractured and fragmented into something the fitness industry can sell to the masses more easily –in other words exercise, fitness, strength – with maybe some ‘mindfulness’ thrown in’.
That sells the Yoga tradition short… MASSIVELY short. So, let’s not do that. It’s certainly not what we do here.
Unlike some areas of this industry we do not attempt to innovate on practices that have been scientifically tested and validated by those who have walked the path before us. We prefer to teach what works and delivers on the promise of Yoga – union, true power and freedom.
What few people seem to know or are being taught (here in the west at least) is that traditional Yoga is so much more than fitness and postures. WAY more!
There is a seven stage progressive and scientific path in traditional Yoga – which is known as the seven stages of Hatha Yoga.
The 7 Stages:
- Stages 1&2 – Preparation for your practice
- Stages 3&4 – Moon practice, working to calm and stabilise
- Stages 5&6 – Sun practice, working to awaken and expand
- Stage 7 – Fire practice, illumination of potential
Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutra, tells us that even before begin working on the two stages of the Moon (Calming and Stability) there is a two-part preparation stage before it.
Stage 1 and 2 are the purification and strengthening stages, essential stages that we work on before embarking on the journey of Moon, Sun Fire – and its where Ayurveda becomes integral to all the practices that follow.
Purification in Yoga is our goal no matter what stage we are at… Moon, Sun & Fire all aim to purify. So, that is where we begin and continuously focus our work. It’s ongoing no matter which stage we are working in.
Stage 1 – Purification.
Here the focus is on health and efficiency of our systems – we need a healthy system and healthy habits to best achieve the results of practice.
We work to purify and detox the body through lifestyle changes, diet, purification techniques and asana. Ayurveda, the sister science that umbrellas Yoga would have traditionally been taught to students before the posture-based practices. So that’s where we start too.
Stage 2 – Strengthening.
Focus is on empowerment of both the mind and the body. We need the will, discipline, and strength to follow through on our deepest soul driven desires.
Physically the practice uses Asana (postures) to strengthen the body and the core and ultimately support the spine – the energetic central highway which houses our innate potential for growth as spiritual beings. But asana opens the conversation – it doesn’t complete it it anyway.
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So with this wisdom as our foundation, we move into Moon, Sun, Fire (or as we know it Anchor, Rise, Energise) practice.
Let’s get on the path.
If you have a question you want answering on this podcast, please ask us in the comments.
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