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Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 364 - Each Practice in Its Own Time (Audio)
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?"
A: Such inquiries should not be favored during AYP deep meditation or other sitting practices. Before or after, but not during. This would be diluting the cultivation of abiding inner silence (witness) and ecstatic conductivity, the very foundation of effective (relational) self-inquiry during our daily activity.
The hour or so we spend in structured sitting practices each day sets the stage for an ongoing clear experience and understanding of our non-dual nature (radiantly free Self) in everything else we do. An effective integration of practices means doing each one in its own time, not at the same time.
So when we are engaged in a particular practice, and we find elements of another practice coming up, we just regard that as any other thought or feeling that might occur, and gently ease back to the practice we are doing for the time we are doing it. It is very simple. This does not take anything away from other practices we may engage in at other times during the day. In fact, it greatly strengthens them.
The effective integration of practices brings great power to our spiritual unfoldment. The common belief is that we must follow this sound method "or" that sound method. Rarely do we hear that we should pursue this sound method "and" that sound method in an effective integrated approach. Human nature is highly competitive, and we often hear that one approach to spiritual practice is better than another one, so we should do this practice exclusively and not that one. This doesn't have much to do with finding what really works. Rather, it is a limiting factor in all spiritual endeavors.
If there is anything innovative in AYP, it is a clear understanding that spiritual practices are complementary, with the whole of a progressive integrative approach being far greater than the sum of its parts. This means giving each practice its due, without overlapping them in ways that dilute the effectiveness of the various component parts.
The suggestion is to do asanas when it is time to do asanas, do pranayama when it is time to do pranayama, do deep meditation when it is time to do deep meditation, do samyama when it is time to do samyama, do self-inquiry when it is time to do self-inquiry, and so on...
In doing so, the integration of all the limbs of yoga will be occurring naturally within us, and the result will be orders of magnitude beyond anything we could achieve with any singular practice or approach.
It is much like driving a car. We cannot expect significant progress if we are stepping on the accelerator and the brake at the same time, turning left at the same time we are turning right, or attempting to drive in all the gears at once. Much better to attend to each function in its own time, so as to move the car forward in a manner that fulfills its function. It is the same with spiritual practices. Our experiences with these things in the present are of much greater importance than the considerable advice we have coming to us from the past, helpful as it may be.
So practice wisely, and enjoy!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga book, and AYP Plus.
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