So you were sayin’ samadhi is the last limb…

Upward facing dog-Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana -  Ricardo das NevesWell, it’s the last or the first -- even though there is a natural progression between the other limbs, you might experience them out of order. Nothing’s to say you couldn’t have an experience of Samadhi before you had any interaction whatsoever with the asanas or the yamas. But it probably helps to have that foundation.

So, what’s Samadhi? Is that, like, total bliss-out? Dude?

A little more transcendental than that, actually. It’s a state of being where the ego-identifications disappear.

Wow. Like, far out, man. Um… What the hey does that mean?

Well, the gradual and complete integration of all other yoga limbs lead to what Patañjali, in Sutra I-41 of his Yoga Sutras, describes as a “clear and balanced mind and achieving a state where there is no difference between knower, knowable, and knowledge.”

Lotus pose variation-Padmasana - Ricardo das NevesUp until that last part I was following you, I swear.

All right, it breaks down to this: your mind thinks in dual terms: you and me; in here and out there; you’re now inside the room whereas before you were outside it. But you can in fact alternate between that kind of dual perception and another one that sees beyond location, shapes, reference points of perception.

That was clear as mud.

This makes no sense to the mind, which is the whole point: a transcendent state of being transcends the usual reference points and limitations of the mind. It means going to another state of consciousness not  limited by this body, these eyes that look out onto the world, the desires, wants, history and identity of the body. That would be a transcendental experience of the Samadhi variety.

Close Encounters of the Samadhi Kind.

Corpse pose-Shavasana - Ricardo das NevesYes. So, there you have it: yoga is a complete way of integrating mind, body, emotions and soul and comprising ways to make the body healthy, acquire energy, relate to yourself and society, create enough sensory buffers so you can experience yourself rather than your distractions, concentrate your powers of observation, release your mind from the tyranny of thinking, and transcend your experience of the physical body.

Can I get fries with that?

Something tells me you fail to appreciate the true immensity of the thousands of years that went into developing this science. But thanks for sticking around for the whole tour. Now click somewhere on the menu to explore the other offerings of this website, or go back to the blog.