Vibhuti Pada is the third chapter of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, which means the chapter on Progressing. Patanjali presents the three last of the 8 paths of Ashtanga Yoga. After the mastering the first 5 parts, which are: Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, the inner practice begins, described by the three states of profoundness in meditation: Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. The three together constitute Samyama (the integration practice through which the yogi vanquishes all the cognitive obscurations).
Dharana may be translated as holding, or holding steady and refers to focus or concentration. The word dhri means to hold, carry, maintain, resolve. After withdrawing the energy from the senses – Pratyahara – the mind is collecting itself and we start the journey within.
Dhyana means contemplation or meditation, a deeper concentration of the mind. It is the one-pointedness of the mind which precedes and leads to self-absorbtion – Samadhi – and self-knowledge.
Samadhi is the one place. All other tools are directed to come to this state of being, a sustained oneness. Therefore the most important thing of Hatha Yoga is a balanced posture. How do you sit is also how you will think. The Spine is an antennae of the psyche, when kept erect and straight it does invite Prana and concentration. The second way to invite Prana into you is by Inversions, which save and generate the life force within you.
St. Francis of Assis, was a thief. Once when he was escaping, he ran into the church and got a glimpse of grace. He was a changed man who devoted his whole life to meditation. It was a milestone in Christian mysticism. Similarly, Buddha was born to correct the state of India in his times, the Brahmins.
To be a true Yogi you need to do the right things, so Kriya Yoga – Tapas, Svadhayaya, Ishvarapranidhana, should fill your day. Ishvara is all knowing, all understanding, all present. True master see your body trapped in a mass of experiences, see you in all your past lives. Surrender and discover the sense of something more than daily living, acknowledge the higher states of being.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Yoga master teacher Sharat Arora
Article derived from the Intensive Yoga Course at the
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre in Arambol, North Goa, 2003