Reinventing Your Body and Resurrecting Your Soul by Living in the Light

For the last few decades, I have engaged daily and joyfully in a practice that has helped me reinvent my body,
every day, by connecting
with my soul. The soul being that piece
of universal or cosmic awareness
of consciousness that appears to be
separate but is not. And I have outlined
these practices in my book,
Living in the Light, Yoga for
Self-Realization. And of course,
you know that yoga does not
look at the body as a physical
object, but as a field
of awareness. The body, of course,
includes the brain and the nervous
system, the cerebral cortex, reflecting the conscious mind, and the autonomic
nervous system, reflecting the subconscious
mind with overlaps. For the yogi, it's
one continuum. In yoga, there is no such
thing as the hard problem
of consciousness or the mind brain or the
mind body problem, because the mind
and the brain, the body
and the universe are all seen as modifications of fundamental
awareness or pure awareness and no different,
therefore.

So when we say,
"Living in the Light",
we don't mean living with photons, but understanding
the light of awareness, without
which photons would not be
a concept, or a knowing,
or an experience. You need awareness
to come up with the model
that we call photons or electromagnetic
fields, or strong and weak
interactions or gravity. Without awareness there is neither
knowing, nor conceptualization, nor perception of those things that we call electrons,
photons, force fields, molecules,
atoms, etc. particles. So what is the mind? It is modified
awareness, in our
case, human mind. Then what is brain? Modified Mind. The brain is what the mind looks like as a physical
object. What is the body? Also modified
awareness because brain
and body don't
operate separately. They are one
continuum. And then what
is the universe? It is the
entanglement of perceptions
that we call the stars, galaxies,
trees, rocks, animals, vegetables, all of that,
minerals. It is the entanglement
of all that with the physical
body. In other words, the universe
corresponds to the biological organism
experiencing it. And that biological
organism includes everything:
mind, brain, body of that
which we call mind, brain and body,
which are concepts of modified
awareness.

But they are useful concepts
because without these concepts and these
modifications of awareness,
awareness would remain unknown. No experience. In order
for awareness to have experience
of itself, it modifies itself into mind,
brain, body and the
corresponding universe that matches that
biological organism. So every organism has a matching
universe. Ultimately, every individual has a matching universe. But I think we can
all agree that the universe we experience is entangled with the
biological organism that we call this body- mind, etc.. This is very useful
because when we practice
yoga, the eight limbs
of yoga and I repeat them:
Yama, social intelligence;
Niyama, emotional
intelligence; Yoga Asana, body
intelligence; Pranayama, breath,
intelligence; Pratyahara,
interoceptive intelligence;
and Dharana, focused
intelligence; Dhyana, meditative
intelligence; and, Samadhi transcendental
intelligence.

And that is what Living in the Light
means. Then we actually can
reinvent the body and resurrect our soul and go beyond the
conditioned mind, which gives us
the experience of separation. So are there any… is there
any evidence that a complete yoga
session can activate
both motor and sensory cortex and even vagal
activities, the different poses
or asanas? And these include everything
from standing poses to sitting poses
to forward bends to backward
bends to twists, to lying poses. But if you do
all of these poses, then you understand
your body as a complete
field of awareness.

These poses are
here, by the way, if you want to
look them up. But now we know that the combination
of all these activities,
the eight limbs that I just
mentioned, actually,
they change the complete
landscape of the brain
and the body. Let's look at some
of the evidence. When you look at the motor cortex,
which is responsible for controlling
voluntary movement, then asanas that
require balance, coordination
and strength; such as tree pose,
vrikshasana; and, the warrior pose,
virabhadrasana.

My sanskrit needs
some polishing. Anyway
the warrior pose can activate
the motor cortex. The sensory cortex
is responsible for processing
information from the senses
such as touch, sight, taste,
smell, hearing, and asanas
that involved deep pressure such as child's
pose, Balasana; and, supported
bridge pose, setu bandha
sarvangasana. can activate
the sensory cortex. And then there are
vagal activities. The vagus is the longest
nerve in the body and plays a role in many bodily
functions, including heart rate,
digestion, breathing and yoga practices. That involves slow,
deep breathing, such as
diaphragmatic breathing,
Ujjayi Pranayam, and alternate
nostril breathing,
Nadi Shodhana, can stimulate
the vagus nerve and
promote relaxation. Yoga can also help to
rewire the brain and autonomic
nervous system. The brain is
constantly changing and adapting,
and yoga can help to create new neural
pathways and strengthen
existing ones. And this can lead
to a number of benefits,
including improved mood,
decrease stress,
better sleep. There are some other
things that happen
in the autonomic nervous system
as a result of the practice
of yoga.

GABA, G-A-B-A, Gamma-aminobutyric
acid is a neurotransmitter
that plays a role in relaxation
and sleep. You can help to increase
GABA production, which can lead
to a calming effect on the body
and mind. Also, yoga leads to reduced activity
in the amygdala. The amygdala is that
part of the brain that is involved in
the fear response. Yoga helps
to reduce activity in the amygdala, which can make it
easier to manage
stress and anxiety. There's also increased
connectivity between the prefrontal cortex
and the amygdala. The prefrontal cortex is involved
in decision making and problem
solving. And yoga
can help to increase connectivity between the
prefrontal cortex and the amygdala,
which can improve the ability to manage stress
and emotions. Also, as I mentioned before,
there's increased parasympathetic
activity and the parasympathetic
nervous system
is responsible for the body's rest and digest response.

And yoga can help
to increase activity in the
parasympathetic nervous system,
which can lead to a feeling of calm,
relaxation and more. Overall, people
who practice yoga find a number of
beneficial effects on the brain
and the autonomic nervous system. And by stimulating
different parts of the brain
and nervous system, yoga
can help to improve mood, reduce stress,
improve sleep. Okay, having said all that, I think the deeper significance
of yoga is that you understand
reality.

You understand
perceived reality, and you understand the source
of reality and you understand
literally what the yogis meant
when they said Meditate
on your body as the universe
and having the nature of awareness. We conceptualize
the body as a physical object,
but it is actually a field
of awareness. And awareness
knows itself by fluctuating as sensations, sense
perceptions, images, feelings,
thoughts, which then we conceptualize
as mind, body and species-specific
universe. The hard problem
in consciousness that modern science is talking about
exists only because of naive realism, looking at matter as the ontological
primitive, subject-object
split, the universe
as objective, and being present as we experience it, even if you're not
experiencing it. And finally,
the assumption that the objective
universe is independent of the biological
experience of it. So I hope this helps and I hope
this will inspire you to
live in the light..

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