Hatha Yoga – How to Deal with Physical Weak Points?
Question: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. There is a part of my head where there seems to be some kind of blockage. This impedes my ability to focus and be totally involved. I can feel the rest of the body much more vividly. What can I do about this?
Sadhguru: Hatha yoga is a way of paying attention to the various layers of the body – Annamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Vignanamaya Kosha, and Anandamaya Kosha – physical body, mental body, energy body, transitory body between the physical and the non-physical dimension, and the non-physical bliss body. Even on the level of the physical body, in different asanas, you may notice that certain parts of your body do not bend or respond. But if you take an MRI, everything looks okay. The body has taken shape in a particular way based on the karmic information that you have.
There are different levels of information or memory in this context. There is evolutionary memory, there is genetic memory and there is karmic memory. In a way, the evolutionary memory and the genetic memory are also a karmic process. Depending upon the nature of your karmic memory, certain parts of the body will behave in a certain way. No matter what you do, they do not cooperate, even though, if you check them out with your doctor, they seem perfectly fine. If you pay close attention to the body, you will see, in certain parts of the body, there is no experience, no sensation. There are blocks or gaps in the sensory process because of your karmic structure.
Do not pay attention to such gaps. You cannot consciously fix them. If you try very hard to do so, they may even increase in size and intensity. Just keep doing your sadhana. Sadhana is about generally creating a conducive atmosphere. It should never be focused on a specific benefit. There are certain aspects of you that can never be changed with conscious effort. This does not mean they cannot be changed at all, but that is not within the realm of your conscious will. Your effort should just be to create a conducive atmosphere within you. When you have done everything that you can do, just wait, without counting the time.
Using the Physical to Transcend the Physical
If you do not know how to wait, your entire life will be limited to the physical, because you will always be thinking about how to get from one point to another. When you want to go somewhere, you want to cover a distance, which means it is within the physical realm. In a way, time is also a physical quantity. You can describe a geographical distance either in units of length or units of time. For your daily activities, you may have to fix a time. But for your own growth, never fix a time. If, let us say, you start counting how many asanas you can do in a particular time, yoga becomes circus. The important thing is to melt into it. Every asana is a way of becoming fluid and a part of it.
We are using the physical to transcend the physical, not to strengthen it. But we know, we understand and we respect that the physical has a right to be, and that it has a power of its own. If we do not keep it at absolute ease, it will be in our way. If your body is not in a good shape, it will take your entire attention. Only when it is really well, you can completely ignore it. We are keeping it well so that it does not become an obstacle. There is a difference in the fundamental ethos of yoga and exercise. We are not doing yoga to build, look at and present our muscles. Hatha yoga is about making the body so strong and so subtle that you do not even know if it is there. If it sits here, it just sits here, without even asking for water, food, going to the toilet and things like that. This means it is very low maintenance. That is the quality of a good machine, and that is the quality of a good body too, that it does not seek your attention. But the world has turned this upside down – for most people, a good body means it is seeking attention all the time.
Do not worry if a certain part of your body does not cooperate. Use the remaining part of it well, do your sadhana, and create a conducive atmosphere within yourself. Then a little push, and things will clear up.
Editor’s Note: For dates and details of Hatha Yoga programs, visit ishayoga.org.