Varieties of Yogic Experience and Integral Realisation

6

Yogic Experience

(a) Experiences in Hatha Yoga

Yoga has often come to be exclusively identified with physical exercises of Hatha Yoga. Actually, the entire system of Hatha Yoga is only one of the systems of yoga. It aims at a complete mastery of the body and the life and a free and effective use of them established upon purification of their workings. The methods of this yoga are those of Āsana (more than eighty in number) and Prāṇāyāma, — the methods of stabilising the bodily condition by stabilisation of various postures of the body and those of breathing and breath- control by which the movements pervading all the nervous system are controlled. The gross body begins to acquire something of the nature of the subtle body and possess something of its relations with the life-energy. Life ceases to be entirely dependent on the action of the physical organs and functionings, such as the heartbeats and breathing. Hatha Yoga is an attempt by fixed scientific processes to give to the soul in the physical body the power, the light, the purity, the freedom, the ascending scales of spiritual experience which would naturally be open to it, if it dwelt in the subtle and the developed causal vehicle.

(b) Experiences in Raja Yoga

Yoga is often identified exclusively with Raja Yoga, or

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