My first experience with Yoga was when I was 12 years old. My big brother had a paperback book on Hatha Yoga laying around. I found it fascinating and spent the next few weeks teaching myself the exercises that interested me most. About a year later I learned how to meditate in a course called The Silva Method. When I incorporated the Hatha Yoga postures with the meditation, it was magic. At the time my parents were divorced and there was a lot of chaos in my life. But the exercises and meditation were tools that I used to see beyond the chaos. It didn’t get rid of the chaos, but it made it survivable.
A few years later, still practicing, I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. The instructor took me to a park where I did my mantra. During the meditation I lost all sense of “I”, a self that is separate from the rest of the world. And when a plane flew overhead I felt the plane as if it were me. There was no separation between me and the plane. I could feel the air passing over “my” wings. It wasn’t until after the meditation, when my sense of individual self re-established, that I became aware of what had happened. Later when I became a Yoga teacher, I used this quality of merging during my classes. The students would gather around while I went into “trance”. While in a trance I would merge with the students just as I had done with the plane, and from that level of consciousness I would teach, or rather the students would teach themselves through me. This worked because the students perceived that the information was coming from a source outside of themselves. This allowed them to bypass their self-limiting beliefs and to access levels of information beyond their “normal” abilities.
After about 4 years of this I felt that some students were becoming too dependent on me. And there was a temptation for my ego to buy into this and become a “guru”. So I quit teaching and decided to explore the everyday world because I didn’t really know much about it.
Fourteen years later I feel that I know a lot more about the world and all its dramas, and have decided to redirect my attention to more spiritual interests.
The following is a general description of Yoga. It is not meant to be a complete explanation, but rather to provide some concepts that may be useful to those who are considering its practice.