The true goal yoga is to help us build a vehicle that is travel-worthy for the journey in search of our true self. Both mat and zafu share the same goal – to transcend, transform, and transmute both body and mind to support us through the many challenges that await us.
In our own experience with yoga, as in Raja Yoga aka Patanjali’s Ashtanga (sanskrit: eight limbs) Yoga, we find that the Divine is the potter while we are both the potter’s wheel as well as the clay. The yoga sadhana is the power that turns the wheel and we, the lump of clay, are constantly being spun and shaped. Every time we get on the mat or zafu (meditation cushion), we are allowing the Divine creative energy (which is like the water the potter dips into) to render the vessel capable of withholding the energies of awakening.
That is the true goal of yoga. To be made travel-worthy for the awakening journey is to yoke (sanskrit: yuj) to the Divine so that we can find the answers to: Who am I? What am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of this life? That said, not everyone needs to follow the Raja Yoga path with its emphasis on meditation and samadhi. There are the other 3 yogic paths – Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yoga. In reality, you will find elements of all the yogas in your sadhana in order for it to be holistic.
Meditation remains super important. Like our spiritual teacher at Prashanti Kutiram, India, would say: There is no awakening without meditation. You may read about it, intellectualise about it but at the end, you need to experience it for yourself. Only meditation can give you this. But can you sit properly if your body isn’t up to it? That’s why we need both the mat and zafu. One cannot be without the other. What you do on the mat goes beyond just building a sturdy body because frankly, yoga will do you, turn you inside out as well. And then when you climb atop the zafu, that’s going to take you even deeper.
Click on the photos below to discover more about Raja Yoga from the masters themselves.
~ ॐ ~