Sattva Yoga Summit Goes To Infinity And Beyond

Replacing fear with cosmic consciousness is a very unhuman experience. But we were in India, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was the Sattva Summit’s first experience with a theme –cosmic consciousness. If the cosmic is the infinite and consciousness is the content from which all experience arises, then this could be a wild ride.

We as humans are finite; we have a beginning, middle and end in our physical bodies. Led by our conditioned existence, we can only experience things with our five senses – taste, touch, smell, sound and sight another thing that makes us finite.

Our conditioning, which comes from our unique experience with our upbringing, has limited our ability to go beyond these senses. Sometimes this conditioning keeps us safe. But if we want to transcend, we need to let go of our fear-based thoughts, says Anand Mehrotra, the founder of Sattva Yoga.

“The extraordinary is here, you just have to go beyond the five senses to experience it.” - Anand

“Sattva Yoga is one of the most comprehensive approaches to yoga in the world today. With its roots in the timeless Vedantic and Tantric Traditions, Sattva Yoga was developed in the Himalayas after years of study and research. Sattva Yoga incorporates all essential practices and teachings of yoga in a radically holistic and powerful way. The practice incorporates contemporary evolution in science and mind-body research.”

Sattva means wholesome, and the Sattva Yoga practice is designed to raise our vibration, weaving in ancient teachings with empowering modern movement and holding us accountable to ourselves.

“True illumination is fearless cosmic consciousness,” said Anand as he led us through a yoga journey with live music that frightened me at first. It began with fierce breath and an Om that required me to take two breaths to his one.

“First step toward courage is the acknowledgement of fear,” he said. “Fear is the resistance toward an experience you’d like to have. You have to lose what you know. Your life is a slow progression of losing what you know. When you realize that, you give yourself permission to feel fear.”

Anand’s voice was like a bull elk bugling to his harem, as fearless as the tiger on his shirt. “Om Nama Shivaya,” he chanted as the sound of the didgeridoo took my breath to places it hadn’t been before between the base of my spine and my third eye, the seat of my intuition. He asked us to squeeze out our suffering as we practiced kriyas, to make noise. I remained speechless among the grunts and howls of the ghosts the other 150 plus participants let out. I kept my demons to myself. I witnessed the horror, but I could not contribute.

The Technology Of Yoga Can Help You Let Go oO Your Fears

“Holding onto your suffering is like holding onto a secret that creates more suffering,” Anand said. “The more comfortable we are with emptiness, the more potential there is for everything.”

It is courageous to acknowledge our fears and it is common to get attached to them. But the technology of yoga allows us to transcend that. “Yogic technology is designed to help us evolve and transcend our conditioning and the false identity that comes from false knowledge,” he said.

What is false knowledge? It is wrong knowledge that acts as right knowledge and it leads to ignorance. It is not the “I don’t know kind” of ignorance. “I don’t know" actually comes from wisdom and leads to curiosity.

I always joke that ignorance is bliss, but now I understand bliss is conscious consciousness, and I need to know myself to find true joy. With this awareness, I found the breath to keep up with his Om (the universal sound of consciousness) and I exhaled my demons.

Evolve Or Suffer

“Know yourself or you are a threat,” Anand says. “Your heightened consciousness is the best gift you can give the world.”

I saw the reflection of my whiteness in another girl’s pupils as we gazed into each other’s eyes in a partner exercise. Her eyes were dark, almond shaped and her skin was flawless. I held her gaze and she held mine. I had done this exercise before, but never had I seen myself so clearly.

“Ask yourself, what am I aware of right now? What can I be aware of that would alter my state in the direction of evolution?” Anand said.

“We are being hijacked, manipulated by our unconscious conditioning, which creates a bias toward content that is negative and self defeating. Our awareness is being hijacked by negative thought,” which replays old patterns and projects into the future and takes us away from the now.

I realized at that moment that my subconscious keeps me unaware of some of this programming. But then I thought, if we humans see ourselves as akin to others and akin to the universe, we can move beyond.

We Are One With The Universe

“The universe has two purposes, to celebrate and liberate,” Anand said. We have the same infinite potential.

“One of the biggest threats to the world is the human because he does not know himself,” he said. “Our subconscious patterns get stronger when we try to numb ourselves and run away from our feelings. When we repeat the patterns of our suffering we are also unconsciously manipulating others and causing more suffering.”

When we are not being manipulating, we are creating, he said. Creating with nature allows us to tap into the infinite potential of our awareness.

At the end of the week, we did an eye gazing exercise again. I gazed into a more familiar face. She was tall with a freckled face. My reflection had transcended her pupil and I saw two images of myself in her light blue irises. Later I saw a kaleidoscope of myself in her eyes. Infinity triumphed.

“Don’t try to know it, just be in the wonder of it,” Anand said. “Hold these dynamic moments sacred to your heart.”