Welcome to the Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog!
Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog


About Karin

Yoga teacher, practicing yoga since 1997, teaching since 2003, writer/translator, global soul, world traveller (and sometimes beyond), passionate about eastern philosophy and western psychology, especially its application in mind-body practices such as yoga and somatic movement therapy, deeply in love with life, knows that our greatest teacher lies within, also sometimes a total mess - it's part of the package!

Latest TweetsFollow espritrelax on Twitter!

    Recent Entries

    From Neurons to Nirvana

    Sunday, September 20. 2009

    On Dec. 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a renowned neurobiologist whose life is dedicated to the study of the human brain, woke up to a pounding pain behind her left eye and what she described as “the kind of caustic pain you get when you bite into ice-cream.“ Gradually, over a few hours, she watched as, one by one, her brain functions, speech, movement and comprehension began to leave her. She had suffered a stroke...

    Watch Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight on TED Talks.

    Why am I posting Jill's video link here?

    Each year, millions of people world-wide suffer a stroke. What was unique about Jill was that her stroke left her with a profound experience that not only changed her life and her work but probably that of millions of other people too as they watched her TED talk - a fascinating yet frightening description of a stroke in progress and her subsequent experience of absolute bliss. As she described it, “I found Nirvana. I remember thinking that there is no way that I can squeeze the enormousness of myself back inside this tiny little body.”

    Whilst many scientists would probably describe Jill's experience as a complex chemical and biological process, experienced yoga practitioners would readily recognize her "stroke of insight" as the dissolution of the "ego", "self" or "I". As the ego dissolves, the realization of emptiness comes into being, followed by an expansive state of universal oneness with all (yoga = union). In short: the yogi leaves the body and returns!

    And indeed, it sounds like Jill was - for a short period of time - free from the limitations of her body, merging effortlessly into all that IS. Her vivid description of her sensations and thoughts throughout this extraordinary experience come very close to the state of divine bliss that yogis feel when, after long and hard work on oneself, one enters this space called the "gap of non-being" or complete emptiness and nothingness. It's an experience that, by its very nature, defies description since there's only non-being. That's why Jill's video is well worth watching: it attempts to describe that which the conditioned mind can not measure, let alone understand.

    At the end of her talk, Jill speaks about the profound truth that lies at the very heart of yoga: “I realized that if I have found Nirvana, then anyone who is alive can find Nirvana … I pictured a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, loving, compassionate people who know that they could come to this space at any time, and that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace.”

    And this is exactly what experienced yogis find in this state of non-being: tremendous peace and serenity, loving kindness and compassion for each and every creature and living thing, and a clarity of mind that frees us from our limited conditioning. In short: An experience of unconditional love that is a tremendous gift and that changes one's outlook on life - and death - forever.
    (Page 1 of 1, totaling 1 entries)


    Blogs I Like

    Leslie Kaminoff's blog, making waves in the yoga community since 1998

    AYP Forum
    Advanced Yoga Practices Support Forum

    AYP Main
    Advanced Yoga Practices Main Lessons

    AYP Tantra
    Advanced Yoga Practices Tantra Lessons

    My Teachers

    Godfrey Devereux
    Dynamic Astanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga

    Kira Balaskas
    Traditional Thai Yoga Massage

    Leslie Kaminoff
    Yoga and Breath Anatomy