An introduction to the dynamic method called The Yoga Beyond.
This yoga is like some other ancient yogas, and unlike many yogas, especially what most people consider and know to be yoga. This yoga integrates information discovered over time with ancient techniques to go beyond the “pop” yoga of our times, and to break the box that people have tried to create around the infinite nature of yoga.
This is an eternal “work-in-progress”… The content and teachings will change and transform with time and our own development.
So, for now…
What is The Yoga Beyond?
A dynamic yoga — beyond repetition & rigidity
The yoga itself is flexible to accommodate the different types and styles of people, rather than demanding people to fit into a box of fixed rules and poses that must be followed in order to get the desired result.
It is not just about “showing up on the mat” everyday — because this results in people only having form on the mat, and in most cases, nothing beyond. This yoga is about being present and connected in each moment, about developing an awareness of the self and not-self. It is not limited to waking life nor sleep, it is not limited.
Beyond the mind-body obsession
Many yoga practices today help people find wellness in the body and mind. This is an important aspect of yoga — though in most cases people promote and believe this to be the central object or essence of yoga. This self-focused obsession is part of the reason why yoga as it is taught, is not really yoga at all. These are steps that eventually lead to a yogic state, and the object of yoga is far beyond what is considered yoga in the modern day.
Anciently, yoga has been about going beyond the self to connect with something deeper, something larger than ourselves. Going beyond yourself does not imply the version of philanthropy promoted by the media where rich people go about shedding their guilt by pretending to help others. Nor is it about sacrificing yourself for the greater good. It is about developing a genuine connection with reality by going beyond your imagined self, and bringing that connection to the life you live.
A yoga beyond excuses
Why are You not in yoga, now? What is your excuse?
“Ah, I don’t have my mat.”
“I only do yoga in the mornings.”
“I already did yoga today!”
“I have too much work!”
Why are you not in meditation?
“My neighbor is making too much noise.”
“I need my meditation space with my crystals and candles to meditate.”
“I am too busy.”
“I am too hungry”.
“I am too sleepy…”
There are countless valid and just excuses for not doing yoga. In most cases, people can only really focus on doing one thing at a time while giving it the proper attention. And this is the issue of “doing” yoga. Most people think of yoga as a doing.
People have placed conditions on yoga and defined yoga in a way that restricts them and confines their practice and experience. The yoga beyond aims to stretch people beyond these limited boundaries created by pop culture.
Yoga is not an act of doing.
Yoga is a state of being.
A Yoga of Being, not Doing
A yoga for every moment of every day — this is not just a “practice for the mat” or “sitting in meditation for X hours”. If your practice is restricted and conditional, it results in an incoherent and disintegrated experience of life. You can only have the focus and discipline under the conditions and restrictions where you have practiced.
Who says you cannot be in yoga while you are at work? You may not be able to do yoga at work, but you certainly can be in yoga at work.
The yoga beyond takes the practice to every moment of life — so once you have entered this yoga and developed yourself enough, you are always there… or here.. never to be caught off-guard, with no need for excuses and justifications.
This is a lifestyle, a way of being. It is not about “doing yoga”, it is a fundamental transformation of the being itself to be in yoga constantly.
To be in yoga means to be integrated. Of course we cannot be integrated at every level instantly. It is a process – though we can at least begin and change our mindset rather quickly.
Once we acknowledge that every moment is an opportunity to be in yoga, then everything becomes a part of the yoga.
Enlightenment is just the first step
Whether it is spiritual enlightenment or becoming a titan of industry, most people orient their lives towards achieving these “goals”. People are driven by the idea of arriving at an end, of achieving something untenable. But these illusions of arrival only leave us staring into the abyss of nothingness when we finally get there. Scrambling to find out the next step.
While enlightenment is considered THE ideal, the destination of all destinations, by many schools and systems, over here enlightenment is a tiny step. After all, how could anything be considered big in relation to an endless journey.
In this yoga, there is no end, there is no destination, you will never arrive at a point where you feel you have accomplished the final task and there is nothing more to do. But the idea to keep going is not out of a compulsive need to escape the feeling of emptiness that haunts the souls that keep chasing after achievements with the hope of feeling finally fulfilled.
The desire to keep going is simply based on fundamental truths about the nature of reality. A sense of deep ever-lasting fulfilment is also just a tiny step that comes at some point in the process, after which the journey continues with a deep peace and bliss that can never be experienced while the bottomless hole in the soul keeps being stuffed with egoic ideas and material things.
Balance is where the game begins
Until we find balance within ourselves, until we find the real center of our being, we cannot do any real work on ourselves.
Real development can only take place once we have found our center, once we have found balance.
Once we have balance, we can do the work of developing our being. We can start curating the seed of potential that is our essence, and begin to form our essential soul.
Everything we do before finding balance is just an act of finding balance. It is a preparation for the work that is to come. What does it even mean to have balance?
Most people live their lives in polarities. They swing from one extreme to another. And before you say “That’s not me!”, let me assure you that this is exactly you. You just haven’t realized it yet. And if you have, then congratulations — that itself is a gigantic step and puts you right at the door to start preparing.
Realizing we are a robotic machine endlessly repeating chaotic patterns is an essential step — until we do this we cannot even dream of balance.
Gurdjieff says one of our chief obstacles is that we believe we already have things that we don’t actually have. Many people believe they have balance, they have consciousness, they are enlightened, they are healers, shamans, and wizards — and of course, the most popular: people are already yogis, or they have already attained the state of yoga.
These are the people who can never really have or be those things, because they already have the illusion of those things. To begin to find balance, we must realize how unbalanced we really are.
Acknowledging our real level is perhaps the most difficult and yet the most important step in our development. And yes, only after finding real balance can we begin real work on the development of our consciousness. Everything prior to that is just preparation.
Combining Transformation and Change
Change is a reprogramming of an existing behavior by letting go an old habit and create a new healthier habit. This process usually takes time and is susceptible to lack of discipline and will power.
Transformation is a much deeper process that may be more intense for a much shorter period of time, although it yields a much more profound result. Transformation takes place at the Being level. Being transformation is the process of going to our core and instantly releasing habits, beliefs, values, obstacles and blockages that are holding us back, and doing so allows us to become a different being in a nearly instantaneous way.
Unlike habit changing, after transformation, there is no going back to who we were unless we have another Being transformation. Transformation is usually much more challenging as it requires facing things that we spend lifetimes escaping, avoiding, and numbing. Under the guidance of a trained professional who we trust and feel safe with, it is possible to undergo the transformation process as they will ensure you go till completion.
Of course the key ingredient is your own cooperation. It is quite common for people to interrupt and disrupt the process, and often even attack the process facilitator. Due to the nature of transformation and the forces and energies involved, it must be done with great care and in an environment and structure where disruptions can be minimized and controlled by the facilitator.
A transformation facilitator must also be strong internally to ensure they don’t get sucked into the stories and energies of the person undergoing the transformation. The unconscious manipulation that takes place in such scenarios is highly delicate and is often miscarried by people who lack the proper training and self-development, often resulting in a dangerous situation for the people involved.
After training for this process for several years, and taking many people through it, learning through many mistakes made during the process, at this stage we have gained significant experience to guide people through such in-depth transformations and provide the proper feedback when unconscious behavior gets amplified.
Prior to this process, participants are evaluated to ensure they are suitable for undergoing the process. Depending on your present level, you will go through a preparatory training to go through transformation.
In time, there will be several transformational processes, in which participants will progress through different levels. Going slowly and preparing as needed ensures everyone involved is safe and able to handle, process, and integrate the transformation.
Transformation takes a moment..
It may take days, years, lifetimes, or seconds, to arrive at that moment…
Even so, we must not rush or approach this with haste, as it will only delay the process. Often when we force ourselves to do something for which we are not ready or prepared, we end up paying a much bigger cost in time and effort, pushing us further from our objective. The focus must not be solely on the objective, the process is equally important, with the objective only guiding the direction of our efforts.
Beyond the “business of yoga”
The business of yoga in the world today is about mechanically pumping out teachers and students. People are busy creating “new and different” yogas, where you can now become a “certified yoga teacher” by doing a (most commonly 200 hour) course where you pay $X and get a certificate telling you and the world you are ready to teach yoga.
Why did the ancient yogis spend decades and lifetimes to be in yoga when they could have just got a certificate proving how good they are teaching yoga?
Lost in the trenches of deep emotional wounds of feeling insufficient and unworthy, the world keeps creating systems that pretend to reinforce how great we are.
The yoga beyond calls us to go deeper than these superficial validations, to address the real. To become real. No one is going to be given a certificate that they have “arrived”, that they are ready. If you need that validation from someone else, you will have to look elsewhere.
This is an endless yoga, there are no arrivals, there is no final destination.