Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition
with Billy Doylestillness

11 May 2024
Colet House 151 Talgarth Road London W14 9DA

A day of Meditation, Pranayama, Yoga, Self-Enquiry & Discussion
The day will be a mixture of guided meditation, body awareness, working
with the breath and techniques of pranayama, and exploring some yoga postures.
We will be exploring self-enquiry from a non-dualistic perspective

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Pranayama: the art of breathing
Breathing is a natural function but because of tension and fear there tends to be a constant manipulation of the breath. So first we must learn to listen to the breath without trying to change anything and give it the opportunity to free itself of all grasping and pushing. We let the breath breathe us. The inhalation is a gift; the exhalation is an offering.
We also learn to feel and allow the space between each breath, the silence from where each breath is born and where each breath dies.
We will feel the breath in different parts of the body, and in our wholeness, the global sensation. We will focus on the nostrils, feeling the tactile sensation of the breath and the energy within the breath.
We will be using the techniques of pranayama, e.g. ujjayi, bhastrika, kapalabhati, the bandas, alternative nostril breathing, to stimulate and direct the body’s energy, bring it to verticality, and to calm the brain; all the time respecting the body’s possibilities and not imposing upon it. On a more spiritual level the breath helps to bring us to silence, to meditation.

In meditation there is nothing to meditate on, and there is no meditator. It is not a cerebral activity, nor concentration, it’s not something we do, rather it comes to us when we allow it, when we are innocent of all intention; it’s there when we are not there.
However, generally the mind is in constant chatter and the body a mass of density and contraction; this makes going into silence difficult.
So first we must face the fact of what presents itself, without judging or trying to control. This gives us a sense of space, of detachment from the psycho-somatic landscape. We simple ‘listen’, welcome all that appears, let thoughts come, and go, let the body awaken as sensation and not just a concept in the mind.
In this listening we are no longer an accomplice to our past, our patterns. The body sensation can unfold and free itself.
We will also use certain techniques to help free ourselves from fixation in the forehead, the thought factory.
There comes about a re-orchestration of the body’s energy and instead of a feeling of density and contraction we discover the real body to be spacious and transparent. This brings about a deep relaxation of the body – mind and we feel ourselves expanded in space, global, non-localized.
But the emphasis in meditation is not on this expanded body or some experience, which are still objects, however subtle. Rather it is choiceless awareness, the silent background, that which is changeless. You can never think it, you can only be it. Meditation is our natural state, beyond all states, that which is timeless.