The true goal yoga is to help us build a vehicle that will support us on our journey in search of self. Both mat and zafu share the same goal to transcend, transform and transmute both the body and mind to help build a vessel worthy of the journey.
Transcend, transform, transmute
In our own experience with yoga, as in Raja Yoga (or, as some call it, Patanjali’s Eight-limb Yoga), we find that we are truly 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 to animate the potter’s hands so that the creative energy which is like the water the potter dips into to shape the vessel, can help us to transcend, transform and transmute. Thus rendering this vessel, our body and mind, capable of withholding the energies of awakening.
This is the true goal of yoga. To be made travel-worthy, so that one can transcend, transform, and transmute the body and mind from a shapeless lump of clay into a vessel fit for the divine work that ensues the moment we ask ourselves: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of this life? Where am I going next? Not everyone needs to follow the Raja Yoga path with its emphasis on meditation and samadhi. There are the other 3 – Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yoga. In our own practice, we have elements of all the yogas plus 1 more (Tantra) while meditation undergirds everything.
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 every step of the way. Only then will you know the fruits of your sadhana or spiritual practice. 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. And then when you climb atop the zafu, that’s going to take you even deeper.
And if you’d like to know more about Raja Yoga, please click on the photos below to hear from the masters themselves. Cultivating a body that can transform, transmute and transcend the energies that will come is really important. So remember always to listen to your body and what it’s telling you. Your body is very wise and the voice of your inner teacher will become stronger as you grow into your sadhana. Your inner teacher is very real. No doubt about that.
~ ॐ ~