Before we begin to explain Yoga Therapy, we really need to set the limits of application of the terms ‘Yoga’ & ‘Therapy’ and some other related terms, otherwise we will not be able to explain what is going on. And if we have a misunderstanding about Yoga Therapy, or Therapy in general, as we are applying it here, then our process will not be very productive.
The Classical definition of the word Yoga, a Sanskrit term, is practically synonymous with the English word ‘yoke’. To yoke is to bind, to link.
What is it to be linked, and to what?
The answer to this, in the Classical sense, is ‘Yoga is the linking of the individual Soul of being with the Infinite Source origin of being’. This would imply that at some moment there was a ‘loss of link’ between the Individual and the Infinite origin, between the Soul and the Soul’s Source.
Whatever happens to be nowadays called ‘Yoga’, in order to be called Yoga would have to be the application of reunifying, ‘re-linking’, re-binding of what has become a ‘loss of linking’.
Soul & Source
Today there are many so-called disciplines of Yoga carried out by practitioners who claim to be re-linking the Soul with its Source, and whatever those disciplines happen to be, and how effective they are, may well be worth examination.
To begin our examination let us begin with a definition of ‘Soul’, and a definition of ‘Infinite Source’ as the origin. Another word for Soul is of course Psyche; psyche is the Greek word for Soul.
The Soul as we will use the term here refers to ‘The circumscribed Spirit of Infinity, of God, encapsulated in creatures. The individualised Spirit is called ‘Soul’. We furthermore say the Soul has ‘consciousness’ and ‘will’, and so also has the Spirit. We also say that the knowledge of the Soul is finite, & the knowledge of Spirit is infinite.
Lots of big statements which volumes have been written about over hundreds of years. But we need to be clear about what Yoga Therapy is, so let’s go on.
In the centre of the Soul is a point where Spirit meets it. At this point a “dialogue” takes place between the Soul and Spirit. Soul states what is its individual will, and Spirit states Its universal will. The Soul may then will its own individual will, or it may will to the same purpose as the universal. This divergence of will refers to the ‘loss of link’ between man & his origin, between the individual and the infinite, between the Soul of the Individual and its Spiritual Source.
We now indicate that all which is defined as ‘Therapy’ in the process of ‘Yoga Therapy’ would be applied to this ‘re-linking’.
The aim of Therapy is to assist someone who is unable to help themselves to see a solution, or to initiate a change. Yoga Therapy is to enable the reunification of the will and repair the loss of link between the individual Soul and the Infinite Spirit. This Soul Spirit linking was the original aim of Psychology actually, many centuries ago, but we will leave that discussion for another time.
What is Therapy?
The English word ‘therapy’ derives from the Latin therapīa, and the Greek θεραπεία ‘healing’, ‘curing’. Healing is ‘wholeness’; to be healed is to become whole. Curing comes from the Greek κύριος, ‘kyrios‘, Lord, Master. Later, we see the Latin cura, ‘care, management, charge, healing’. The individual is cured when they become Lord of, have dominion and ruler-ship over, their own being. “Great is he who conquers a city, greater still is he who conquers himself.” Somewhat we may say we are cured when we have the curiosity to consciously look into, clearly see into, our own being, inspect, and become Lord and Master of the content. The rule “consciousness is a catalyst” applies as the ground of all Therapy.
How does Yoga Therapy work?
How is the Soul to be enabled to break free from factors which condition it to finite limited states of awareness? How is the Soul to be released from the yoke of finite limited objects & experience, and allowed to return to its infinite Source?
The aim & purpose of Yoga Therapy, in short we will say, is to conquer ‘inclination’ (“blessed is he who overcomes”). The method of Yoga Therapy operates by lifting consciousness above the level at which conditioned reflexes are brought into existence and operate. Alternatively Yoga Therapy may operate by entering with consciousness into zones of experience-records and discharging their emotional content. This is the Therapeutic process, and it is by this that wholeness is regained, becoming a Lord of our being, freed from the ties that bind to limited experience. This is the ‘yoking of the Soul back’ to the infinite Source of being.
What is the main Obstruction in Yoga Therapy?
One of the main obstructions to looking into, and re-linking with, the Source of being in Yoga, so says Patanjali (an early authority on Yoga) in his practice manual, is what he calls vrittis, or in English ‘turnings in the mind’. Patanjali says that Yoga IS the ability to suspend this turning in the mind, overcome or disengage the opposing forces which cause whirlpools in the lower mind of the psyche. Yoga has many techniques suggested for this suspension, some relatively benign, others significant. Patanjali says that these whirlpools are the cause of loss of Yoga, union with the Source, and are the main cause of ill-health to the Yogi.
Yoga Therapy Technique
The foremost technique of Yoga Therapy is attainment through hierarchy. This requires looking into & classifying the stages, or levels of being, which span from the material world around us, through the physical body, several levels of the subtle body, and back to the causal body, the Spirit as the original Source of being. In this method, each level of being has a yoga discipline, or several disciplines, applied to healing at that level. In addition there is the functional integration between the levels of being, and ultimately across all levels of being. This is the foremost technique. The other technique previously mentioned is to locate, re-enter, & discharge emotional records on identified processes in the mind.
Yoga Therapy – a process within
The Source of our being is sentient & conscious, resides without, and also within. The Source aim of Yoga Therapy is primarily within; beginning with the physical body, then the emotional states of the psyche, desire as well, the lower mind, the ego structure, and having healed and integrated these levels of being, passing on to the higher mind, the will, and pure consciousness itself.
The ultimate aim for human beings is to ‘take up our rightful position between the Intelligence Source Power of our being and the material world around us’. The purpose of Yoga Therapy is to achieve this aim, initially with the assistance of a Therapist, and ultimately as a Reflexively Self-Conscious individual.
Yoga Therapy Application
The application of yogic techniques for the self-resolution release from false identification and fixation with limited states of being is a very sensitive process, requiring certain skills.
Yoga Therapy is a ‘self-application’ applied by the individual. To apply the process the individual is required to understand the relationship between their egoic consciousness & the Absolute Source of their being. Without this understanding, there is no Yoga Therapy.
This process consists in the Yoga Therapy teacher explaining the yogic technique which is to be applied, and then the recipient applying the technique themselves. It is a deep and very precise process of yogic integration, one of the most valuable for those who can apply it. The application results in the progressive reintegration of the whole being, and the re-linking of the Soul with its infinite Source, initially momentarily and ultimately in permanence.
Each appointment for Yoga Therapy is a progressive step. The initial consultation is diagnostic and aims to clarify where initial blockages or breakdowns have occurred. If you require a conversation about applicability & possible benefits for you personally, before your first appointment, please contact Malcolm. If you are ready to begin, book an appointment now.