Advanced Yoga Practices
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Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 124 - Keeping it Simple  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
124.1 - Fear of Spiritual Awakening
124.2 - Fear of "Ego Death"  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:23pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: I have a guru who sends me healing energy. I'm confused by what I am to do with it. I've studied with various techniques that I get confused as to breathing in or breathing out or looking up or looking down. I'm a beginner to pranayama and I do not know how to use this energy that I'm being blessed with.

It feels like my spine is energized and I would like to use this energy to benefit my spiritual progression, my life. I am pretty sure that I am already benefiting from it since this began. Now, I struggle to find out what to do. I have, at different moments gotten up and tried to meditate with it. It subsides. Then I just lay there sometimes but I feel like I'm useless through this whole process. I'm grateful for your teachings such that I have not yet found an outlet for these types of questions and answers. I'm sure you have already answered this somehow but please guide me to a technique or lesson I could use. I don't know if I'm working against this healing energy. 

There comes a point in meditation that I feel I cannot move through like a barrier keeping me from the possible limitless. I also felt fear of losing my control, my self. Fear arose in me of letting go of something but I didn't know what I was supposed to do. Do I just go with it? Will it subside with further meditative practice and what could help? What in your library refers to kriya techniques that would work with this?

A: You certainly have a lot going on. My suggestion is to simplify your approach to making your spiritual journey, and take things one step at a time. If you want to use these lessons as a primary source of guidance, then go back to the beginning and review the lessons and Q&As on meditation, and find a stable routine in meditation first. Don't bother with pranayama or anything else until you have settled into meditation for at least a few months. The key to increasing practices is to operate from a stable platform of practice. That has to come first. In the advancedyogapractices lessons, that means meditation first, and nothing else until you have that going reasonably smooth.

If you are having emotions or mental concerns during meditation, treat them as any other thoughts coming up, and easily go back to the mantra as instructed in the lessons and Q&As. There is nothing to fear in letting go into yourself. What you will find inside is your own "Self" -- all peace, love and bliss... and freedom from fear. There will be some ups and downs in practice. That is normal. Just follow the procedures of meditation and everything will be fine. You will feel your inner silence coming up. It is a homecoming. 

As for the inner energies, whether they come from an outside source, or an inside process in your nervous system, they can be treated just the same. Just let them go during meditation, favoring the procedure of meditation. When purification/healing is going on inside, we don't have to supervise it. It will happen automatically. Just let it happen without undue concern or need to "do something" with it. 

Later on, in a few months, when you are feeling stable in your meditation routine, try some light spinal breathing before meditation, as the lessons guide. When that time comes, see about expanding your stability in meditation to include some spinal breathing. Always keep a stable platform of daily practices. Very important. 

The lessons are a specific step-by-step build-up of advanced yoga practices. If you follow them closely, you will be on a logical course. If you try and do too many things at once, you will be on a confusing course. If you follow multiple teachings, it can also be confusing. So, chose a course and stay with it. If you decide to follow a guru or teaching organization, that is fine. Then consider these lessons to be only food for thought. One teaching should be first -- all the rest are food for thought only.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed discussion on building a stable practice routine with self-pacing, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book, and AYP Plus.

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