If you have been practicing or teaching Yoga for years, you may have noticed that your levels of awareness on yoga have grown with you as you practice. Just what do I mean by awareness? In the simplest of explanations, one form of awareness is intuition. If you were viewing people as good or bad, intuition makes it possible to walk in the middle of the road and see the good in everyone. However, it is also possible to see the worst in everyone, if you want to.
How can intuition be a gift? If you have learned to train your mind, you can stop judging right now. Paul often says, “Observe the actions, but don’t be quick to judge. If this is a life and death situation, you have to react instantly and the act of judging another will slow your reactions down.” We simply don’t have time to waste on judging others, if we want to solve a serious problem. Rescue workers don’t have the time to judge the character of criminals. Their job is to save lives. Yet, some people waste precious time judging others and don’t solve anything in the process.
If Yoga is truly the union of body, mind, and spirit, it must lead us to tap into our subconscious minds and develop a connection to a higher source. We know it gives us peace of mind and increases our intuition, but can it help us become clairvoyant? (i.e able to see things that cannot be perceived by the normal senses). Does it give us psychic skills According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the answer is yes, but the gift comes with a warning.
Supernatural abilities, known as “siddhis” in Sanskrit, rise from a connection with the divine and should not be goals in themselves. Under no circumstances should they be used for power or pride, nor should they become an addiction, cautions Patanjali. Jesus gives the same advice in the Bible when he says to first seek the kingdom of heaven and other things will be added.
Eight Special Siddhis
The “Sutras” describe 64 minor siddhis and the following eight special siddhis:
• Anima– the ability to become invisible
• Mahima – the ability to transform into a powerful creature
• Laghima – the ability to levitate or become weightless
• Gharima – the ability to become indestructible
• Prapti – ability to reach any distance in the blink of an eye
• Prakamya – the ability to manifest anything in an instant
• Vasita – the power to dominate everyone and everything, including death
• Isitva – the power of creation and control, equal to the power of the all-mighty
Five Branches of Yoga
Just as all great truths remain the same in all corners of the earth, the following are five branches of Yoga with different paths to the same destination:
• Raja Yoga – Royal Yoga; emphasis on meditation and awareness of authentic self
• Bhakti Yoga – the Path of Love; emphasis on worship or spirituality
• Hatha Yoga – the Path of Hidden Power; emphasis on balancing the body’s energetic pathways
• Jhana Yoga – the Path of Wisdom; study and science combined with knowledge to reach enlightenment
• Karma Yoga – the Path of Action; the practice of service to others without expectation of anything in return
Regardless of the path taken, there are two important things to remember about Yoga’s psychic skills:
1. Supernatural powers are gifts from the universe and never “belong” to any individual, regardless of the feats they may accomplish.
2. These powers should be used only to help others or to promote healthy development.
Yoga practitioners are merely channels for these mystical events.