To know the fruits of Jivamukti yoga it must be tasted. Pantanjali believed that wisdom and spirituality unfold in the same manner as a tree grows. Nature is steady and gradual. Every tree in a forest has the same goal: to reach toward the light. Much like our yoga practice, we seek to grow towards enlightenment. In order for our enlightenment to sprout practice is the only means of feeding our tree.
Only through the practice may we taste the fruits of the yoga tree, without it we are left to speculate or theorize. To know the qualities of an apple rather than painting or drawing one, to bite into the fruit itself would gain you immediate experience of its essence.The Jivamukti practice gives us access to the internal world within ourselves and the tools with which to explore the practice are breath, bandhas, vinyasa and drishti.
With breath, the main idea is to create a rhythm and ride it gracefully throughout the practice. This sound becomes a mantra to set the mind in focus. The sound of our breath is a guide which tells us the quality of our practice. If you maintain awareness upon your breath, every moment becomes a meditation.
Bandhas are an internal “lock” system which focus and move the prana or life force energy throughout the body. The 3 bandhas are mulabandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha. When all three are engaged it is called “maha bandha”. Understanding the bandhas will from early seeds of awareness as your personal practice develops.
Vinyasa – also known as the marriage of breath and movement is the linking of one asana to the next in a serpentine flow. It is a dynamic marriage of our internal and external worlds. Vinyasa is an outward expression of the subtle movement of life force. Vinyasa orchestrates balance – the balance of strength and flexibility, lightness and heaviness, movement and stillness. This integration manifests when the act of breathing and movement cease to be separate entities. They become a symphony of seamless unity.
Drishti is a point of gaze or focus yet it has little to do with our physical sight. The real “looking” is directed internally. Drishti directs our awareness back to the subtle aspects above. Look out to look within.