What determines your reality? The world, or the perceiver?
And if your perception IS cloudy, how do you make it clear?
The yogic texts explain that the way we perceive our reality is shaped by our mind, which has been conditioned by our experiences. That sounds logical. It states that Samskaras, or acquired tendencies, cloud our perception and sway our reality based on these subconscious habits.
So how do we fix it?
Tantric Hatha Yoga suggests the following:
- Kapalabhati – this pranayama is also a kriya, and has so much to offer! Also called “shining skull’, the emphasis on the exhalation enhances your ability to remove metabolic wastes, dispel stagnation, sluggishness and congestion, while activating the seat of apana (energy that controls ‘down’ and ‘out’ movement) in the low belly. Think about blowing out a birthday candle – the exhale is forceful, but ithe exhale is out the nose. Learn this practice from a master teacher, - it has caution to Vata, as this will increase qualities of lightness.
- Jala Neti – Now popular because of the “Neti Pot” introduced in the early 1970s by the Himalayan Institute (and much later featured on Oprah!) this nasal cleansing process is over 5,000 years old. Masters like Yogi Gorakhnath taught students how to prepare their nasal passages for pranayama and meditation by washing purified and prepared water through the sinus passages. This will cleanse the channel of circulation (srota) that supporst the third eye area, and removes toxins that cause allergies and ‘stuckness’ in this subtle area of energy concentration.
- Angi Sara / Nauli - These master practices include deep abdominal and pelvic floor contractions, to stimulate abdominal organs, and our centers of consciousness (chakras) responsible for our deepest physical instincts. The practices detox organs, increase vitality, enhance emotional life, and increase personal stability. Agni translates as fire; that which ignites. It’s the quality responsible for digestion. Sara means essence. Tis practice is the essence of fire, and the transformation that comes with its creative destruction. Nauli is a similar process, but contractions move side to side in the abdomen. This is the original ‘core workout’, but work with a master teacher, because this can exacerbate your already hot, sharp and firey qualities if not done properly!
- Trataka – This meditative practice increases your ability to concentrate, and actually improves the health of your eyes and vision. This is a practice of open-eyed gazing, with no blinking. Sounds easy, right? Let’s begin…do a few stretches just to get your hips and back comfy, take your seat about an arms length away from your object of concentration, and begin about 3 minutes of pure breathing to settle the mind and prepare for this 15 minute practice. You can use a still candle flame, a dark spot on the wall, or if you’re brave, gaze into the eyes of a friend or stranger. Sit, be open to anything that may happen, your eyes will water but you can overcome it. Don’t blink. The tears wash out allergens and toxins. The practice teaches you to see…not look. Develop the skills to stop interpreting and become a seer. Notice how life looks brighter now that your vision is clear.
You’ve been sent here for Self Realization
Dig beyond your old scars, habits and experiences – abide in a higher awareness. The more time you spend here, the more rapidly your personality will evolve proactively. Doing so leads to spiritual maturity, and an experience that lies beyond Mind and Senses.
The Gheranda Samhita & Shiva Sutras