Published on Aug 21, 2002 by in Uncategorized


Namaste Noble Warriors!

�There are many who are merely Hatha Yogis without the knowledge of Raja Yoga. {They are} simply practitioners who do not get the fruit of their efforts.�

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 4;79

Recently an influx of �intellectuals� having been coming to my yoga classes or signing up for Wholistic Fitness online training. Doctors, lawyers, PhD�s, high-powered business or industry types. These are the elite urban warriors; never a reach away from a cell phone, always wear wristwatches, and can�t start a day without caffeine, often in form of �news� which must be digested because in their profession they are required to, �be aware of current events.� What event is more current than practicing being present?

Anyway, i decided i better devote my morning meditation to examining this abrupt appearance of great thinkers in my life. God knows my own feeble mind could benefit from some intellect! Also, i knew from experience to pay attention whenever a distinct pattern emerged – such as my recent interactions with �smart� people. Seemingly conjoined incidents are known in spiritual work as �synchronicity� and are considered metaphysical beacons blinking at us from Higher Levels.

Synchronicities are medicines for self cultivation. They nudge us awake to a spiritual dimension already in progress. This is why Mindfulness is so important…by paying attention to what we are doing and experiencing, we tap into a Higher language, a more Divine sense of things. When we release and surrender into this Divine sense, it�s like doing a spinal twist when you are nice and heated up in yoga class…suddenly, the vertebra just go POOF! They pop into alignment. No external chiropractor or bodyworker needed. The alignment came from within. Same thing here…pay attention to the meaningful coincidences in our life and POOF! We pop into alignment with Divinity.

So, in my zendo (meditation hall) this morning, instead of following my breath as a meditation, i followed my thoughts about smart people. I had zero idea of where i might be headed with this, which is precisely what makes meditation fun. As the space between thoughts lengthens, Divine Wisdom emerges. She let�s you play within Her omnipotence.

As i merged with the meditation, i realized the commonality that i have noticed of smart people. They always seemed busy. Busy, busy, busy. They don�t bike commute or clean their own homes, for example, because �it takes too much time.� They eat out a lot because, �it saves time�. Don�t drive economy cars because (so they say) a faster one gets them there �with less time�. To hell with Father Sky, i�ve got to speed up my life! Indeed, the whole �time thing� seems at chronic issue with smart, busy people. They talk a lot and as fast as a flash of lightening, i imagine, �to save time�. They hear, but are not great at listening. Their postural awareness is as easily distracted as is the energy of their eyes. Being around them for very long makes me wish for pine canyons and sandstone mesa�s…places where i could sigh relief from all their busy-ness.

As my meditation deepened, my thoughts turned toward Patanjali�s definition of Raja Yoga; �citta vritta nirodha�…restricting the mental waves. Hmmmm. Funny thing to think about not thinking. Yet in yoga – any type of yoga really – suspension of mental activity is critical and can be accomplished by steady application of precise techniques used within a three-part process (which usually require lifetimes to get right). We practice a part of this process our whole life – whether we know it or not. Essentially, our senses first must be drawn together, then within, and finally up and out of the body. Thus the yogic saying, �In, Up, and Out�.

By drawing the senses within (Pratyahara) we change our vibratory level…thought is not so prioritized but becomes another pebble in the Shaman�s rattle within which we can use to shake our vibration Higher. With Pratyahara, our life energy – or pran – changes. It stays within instead of moving out. We may notice shifts in our attitudes and appetites. Thus, we save copious amounts of pran for doing spiritual, inner work. Our workouts may heighten in meaning and intensity. Things that used to be dramatic, are less so. If we miss a meal, for instance, it is no big deal. We switch our mind from thoughts of hunger and do some pranayama (breath or life energy force control). We �eat� a meal of pran instead of Taco Bell! Through determined focus, hopefully one developed from quality Wholistic Fitness and High Performance Yoga workouts, our stored spiritual warehouse of pran can be used to fuel our journey toward Enlightenment.

As i neared the summit of my meditation, i stood under the notion that smart people held a tremendous spiritual lesson for me. They are teaching us that our mind can become so weakened from an addiction to thinking that we lose control of it. Arrogance of intellect serves but to manipulate others instead of learning how to love them more skillfully. We risk recharging our life energy for the sake of constant discharging. By generating so much busy-ness in our days, we weaken our mind, rendering it unfit for Higher psychic capacities. If we understand the sad effects from such mental indigence, we can then realize the precious significance of Wholistic Fitness.

Confidence to move boldly into our Highest joy and stay there does not come from intellectual discharge. Save the smarts for your inner journey. Speak less, listen more. Learn how to recharge more often. Do yoga. Don�t blow off gym workouts. Get a massage. Ride your bike outside. Absorb sunshine and wind. Pran is everywhere! Practice sitting still. Don�t fidget. Listen to your mind. Keep listening until Greater Confidence emerges from the stillness. Then you will know truly brilliant things; like knowing how to dance to whatever song is playing. Maybe even, the song of your own sacred life!

In-Joy your Dance today. I gotta get outside for some Dancing myself. I think me and Grunt (my mountain bike) will head up toward Eagle Rock today. I�ve got to balance all this intellectual stuff with some soaring red-tailed hawks, scurrying lizards, and sweat drenched thighs.

May your Practice be strong and sincere,

Coach Ilg

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