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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

The Meditative Dimension of Yoga

Sep 05, 2015 02:58AM ● By Amrit Desia

An authentic practice of yoga creates a paradigm shift from our conflict-creating, stress-producing interaction between the body, mind, heart and soul which brings them into the unity of integration and oneness. This is the meaning and purpose of the practice of yoga. Healthcare, business professionals, educators, parents, students and the public are waking up to a deep spiritual hunger, a time to explore the deeper meditative and spiritual dimensions of yoga. 


The range of yoga has grown but its depth has yet to be explored. The physical practice of Hatha Yoga is one wing, and the spiritual dimension of Raja Yoga (meditation) is the other wing. Your practice will not fly by flapping one wing faster and faster. Yoga is not one or the other. It is the combination that moves your practice deeper. 


I AM Yoga TM (Integrative Amrit Yoga) evolved from insights into the ancient sage Patanjali’s Ashtanga (eight-limbed) Yoga. Patanjali, the Father of Yoga and author of the Yoga Sutras, recommends that yoga be practiced as a combination of Hatha and Raja Yoga where the outer physical discipline is combined with inner mental and emotional disciplines. I AM Yoga TM uniquely integrates Patanjali’s wisdom where all eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are practiced simultaneously. The result is a holistic approach that combines the inner and outer dimensions of yoga. 


The meditative dimension of yoga releases the energies trapped in the body as self-destructive habits and compulsive behavior patterns that continue to create ongoing stress. This stress is toxic to your body and mind. It appears as emotional irritation, frustration, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. These symptoms have a crippling effect that destroy your health, as well as the relationships in your love life, family life and work life. 


In the practice of dynamic meditation (Meditation in motion), all the physical benefits are still present. More importantly, the meditative aspect of your practice enables you to encounter and dissolve mental, physical and emotional blocks that disconnect you from your inner source of healing, empowerment and wholeness. The more you suffer from stress, the further you move away from your inner source of harmony, peace, love and oneness within yourself. This separation is experienced no matter where you go, what you do or whom you are with.


Now is the time to recapture the original spirit of yoga that is missing when the practice of Asanas is separated from its meditative dimension. This combination of physical and meditative is the heart and soul in the practice of yoga. With this understanding, you can go beyond the limitations of both body and mind. These limitations are the fundamental cause of all human suffering. 


Through the practice of I AM Yoga TM, you create a paradigm shift where you establish a conscious connection to the power of your inner source. This connection to consciousness that you cultivate on a yoga mat automatically supports, guides and protects you no matter where you go, what you do or who you are with. In this integrated state, your thinking, feeling, doing and being are unified. This is the true experience of Yoga. 


Yogi Amrit Desai is recognized and honored worldwide as a pioneer of authentic yoga in the West. Over the past 54 years, more than eight thousand yoga teachers in 45 countries have been trained in the yoga systems he developed. He is the founder of one of the largest yoga and health centers in North America, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and now Amrit Yoga Institute, the thriving Yoga and Ayurveda Center in Salt Springs, Florida. 


For more information call 352-685-3001 or visit


In 1971, I had a profound experience of awakening energy; yoga postures were spontaneously and effortlessly performed while I was drawn into meditation. From this experience, I developed an approach to the practice of Hatha Yoga that captures yoga’s original depth and responds to the growing awakening we are currently experiencing as a society. Today, this approach is known as I AM Yoga TM (Integrative Amrit Methods of Yoga). Yoga is about returning to the source that I AM. Therefore I call it I AM Yoga TM. It has been my intention to preserve the original values and purity of yoga.


Ordinarily, while practicing yoga postures externally, your thoughts, feelings and emotions continue to move through your mind. This often results in engaging in self-criticism, comparison and competition which creates a conflict between what you are doing physically and what you are doing mentally and emotionally internally.


In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali suggests that the key to dismantle conflict and restore harmony is “witnessing the modifications of the mind”. I AM Yoga TM teaches you to witness conflict creating thoughts and feelings that occur during your yoga practice


The technique of witnessing the mind allows you to enter the inner dimension of Raja Yoga (meditation) while engaging in physical postures (Hatha Yoga). This methodology uniquely enables you to encounter and dissolve mental, physical and emotional blocks that disconnect you from your own internal source of healing, empowerment and wholeness.



Natural Awakenings of Sarasota April 2020 Digital Edition