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Yoga is a practice that originated in ancient India and has been widely adopted by people around the world who seek physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It also involves various postures, breathing techniques, meditation and ethical principles that aim to harmonize the body, mind and Soul. One of the goals of yoga is to achieve Self-transcendence, which is the state of going beyond one’s Ego and limitations and experiencing a Connection with Something greater than oneself. Self-transcendence can bring about a sense of peace, joy, Compassion and Wisdom that can enrich one’s life and benefit others. In this article, we will explore the concept of Self-transcendence in yoga and how it can be cultivated through different practices and attitudes.
How does yoga help with transcendence?
Yoga is a practice that involves physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that aim to harmonize the body, mind and Soul. One of the goals of yoga is to achieve transcendence, which is the state of being beyond the ordinary limitations of human experience. Transcendence can be understood as a form of liberation from the attachments, desires and sufferings that cause suffering in the world. Yoga can help with transcendence in several ways:
- It can help to calm the mind and reduce Stress, which can interfere with the clarity and Awareness of one’s true natural self. By practising meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness, yoga can help to cultivate a state of inner peace and detachment from the fluctuations of thoughts and emotions.
- It can also help to purify the body and enhance its vitality and health, which can support the spiritual journey. By practising physical postures, yoga can help to strengthen the muscles, improve the flexibility and balance, and stimulate the energy flow in the body. Yoga can also help to cleanse the body of toxins and impurities that can affect the physical and mental well-being.
- Furthermore, it can help to awaken the higher consciousness and connect with the divine source, which can inspire and guide the seeker of transcendence. By practising devotion, Mantra chanting and ethical principles, yoga can help to cultivate a sense of love, Gratitude and Compassion for oneself and others. Yoga can also help to open the chakras, which are the energy centres in the body that correspond to different aspects of consciousness. By activating the chakras, yoga can help to access higher levels of intuition, Wisdom and Bliss.
Yoga is a powerful tool that can help with transcendence, but it requires dedication, discipline and sincerity from the practitioner. It is not a quick fix or a magic solution, but a lifelong journey of self-discovery and transformation. By practising it regularly and sincerely, one can gradually experience the benefits of transcendence and enjoy a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Best yoga types for Self-transcendence
There are many different styles and practices of yoga, and each one may have different effects on the mind and body. However, some yoga traditions may be more conducive to Self-transcendence than others, depending on the individual’s preferences and goals. Here are some examples of yoga practices or styles that may help with Self-transcendence:
- Kundalini yoga: This focuses on awakening the kundalini energy, which is said to reside at the base of the spine. By using specific breathing techniques, mantras, mudras, and postures, kundalini yoga aims to raise this energy up through the chakras, or energy centres, until it reaches the crown chakra at the top of the head. This can result in a Profound sense of Bliss, Awareness, and Oneness with the universe.
- Bhakti yoga: This emphasizes devotion and love for a personal deity or a universal principle. By chanting, singing, praying, and offering service to their chosen object of worship, bhakti yogis cultivate a deep emotional bond and surrender their Ego to a higher power. This can lead to a state of ecstasy, joy, and Compassion for all beings.
– Jnana yoga: This focuses on acquiring knowledge and Wisdom through rational inquiry and meditation. By studying sacred texts, engaging in philosophical discussions, and contemplating the nature of reality, jnana yogis seek to attain self-realization and liberation from ignorance and illusion. This can result in a state of clarity, Insight, and detachment from worldly attachments.
- Raja yoga: This encompasses all aspects of yoga practice, such as ethics, posture, breath control, sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and absorption. By following the eight limbs of yoga as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, raja yogis aim to achieve samadhi, which is the highest state of consciousness where one merges with the object of meditation and experiences pure Awareness and Bliss.
These are just some examples of yoga practices or styles that may help with Self-transcendence. However, it is important to note that any form of yoga can potentially lead to Self-transcendence if practised with sincerity, dedication, and openness.
Here is a detailed list of weblinks discussing yoga and Self-transcendence.
Yoga for Wholeness: This article explains how yoga is a spiritual tradition that aims at both Self-transcendence and self-transformation. It also offers some practical tips on how to practice yoga for wholeness. URL: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/yoga-for-wholeness/
How Yoga-Based Practices Build Altruistic Behaviour? Examining the Role of Subjective Vitality, Self-transcendence, and Psychological Capital: This article reports two studies that show how yoga-based practices can enhance altruistic behaviour among management students by increasing their subjective vitality, Self-transcendence, and Psychological Capital. URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-020-04654-7
Processing of proprioceptive and vestibular body signals and Self-transcendence in Ashtanga yoga practitioners: This article investigates how Ashtanga yoga practitioners process proprioceptive and vestibular body signals differently from non-practitioners, and how this relates to their level of Self-transcendence. URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25278866/
Self Transcendence – What does it mean?: This article defines Self-transcendence as the ability to go beyond one’s Ego and personal limitations, and to feel a Connection with Something greater than oneself. It also discusses how Self-transcendence can be cultivated through various spiritual practices, including yoga. URL: https://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/articles/Self-transcendence.html