The Mind Creates the Body
In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali said, “Our mind is responsible for absolutely everything. The way we look at the world, the way we perceive the world and the way we understand the world. The way we react or respond to the world is dependent on our mind.” He then went one step deeper and declared, “Your mind is responsible for creating your body.”
As a young child, Nithyananda was given the understanding and experience of this ancient truth by the wise yogi Raghupati Yogi. Raghupati Yogi woud instruct Nithyananda to meditate on peace and bliss. Then he would ask Nithyananda to make his body active with this experience of peace and bliss by running around the 25-acre perimeter of the temple. At first, Nithyananda could not understand why Raghupati Yogi asked him to do such contradictory practices. When he asked Raghupati Yogi for an explanation, he was told, “With whatever reason, intention or purpose you move your body or make your body active, that intention, that purpose gets recorded deeply into your muscle memory. It becomes your very nature and expression.”
Just as the body of an angry, irritable or stressed-out individual would be tight, constricted, tense and rigid, the body of a relaxed and peaceful person would be graceful, free flowing, unconstricted and relaxed. Therefore, according to Raghupati Yogi, in order for the body to change, the mind has to change first. Only then the state of yoga (union) can happen.
“I am not here to add more movements to your life.
I am here to add life to your movements.”
– Paramahamsa Nithyananda
The word yoga is literally translated as union (of body, mind and spirit). However, Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, “Yoga does not actually mean union. It means uniting.” The word union signifies that something has ended, but uniting is the intense process constantly happening in your Being.
The Nithya Yoga practice is designed to give you the awareness, understanding and experience that every moment in life can become and essentially is yoga. Yoga does not mean a set of body postures with some breathing exercises practiced in a 90-minute session that is divorced from the rest of the hours in the day. Yoga is meant to be an experience and an intense enthusiasm in every moment. Every hour of the day can be lived as yoga if there is awareness, enthusiasm and intensity. That is why Nithyananda says, “I am here to add life to your movements. Not more and more movements to your life.”
Ashtanga Yoga: The Eight Parts Of Yoga
Patanjali was the first master who created a scientific, logical formula to experience, sustain and radiate the energy of enlightenment. That formula is known as ashtanga yoga, or the eight parts of yoga. Unfortunately, over so many thousands of years, the truths that Patanjali expressed have been somewhat misinterpreted and misunderstood to mean eight steps that must be mastered in a linear or sequential manner (one by one) in order to reach the state of yoga (samadhi). Paramahamsa Nithyananda, having himself experienced the very consciousness of Patanjali, says, “No. Patanjali never intended that ashtanga yoga be practiced in linear fashion. It is not eight steps (ashtapati); it is eight limbs (ashtanga). All eight limbs should be practiced and experienced simultaneously.”
All the great masters from time immemorial have stated again and again that our very core is already samadhi (bliss). In Nithya Yoga, we also understand that our very core, our very center, is samadhi and we do not have to work step by step, one by one, in order to experience that bliss.