Samadhi, a state of bliss, may seem impossible to reach or even think of. But this heightened state of awareness is more accessible than you might think.
Well, here we are at Samadhi—the 8th and final step in Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga.
This is the pinnacle of a yogi’s practice. The word Samadhi means “putting together,” as in this is where the sum total of the 8-limbed path comes together in the final result.
Samadhi is an equal state of consciousness where all aspects of our being are joined: physical, spiritual, mental and emotional. Samadhi is complete bliss, total consciousness, and super enlightenment.
“Yoga is the calming and quieting of all the self-limiting tendencies of our own consciousness.” ~Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
Samadhi is the practice of equality—doing things that feed and nurture each aspect of your being. Feeding your physical body with the practice of asana and your emotional self with the practice of self-love first (if you don’t love yourself can you ever truly love others?).
It’s feeding your soul with truly caring for others—servant leadership. It’s feeding your mind with daily knowledge—learn a new language, try a new recipe, take a continuing education class.
We have all experienced moments of what’s called “lower Samadhi”—maybe you set a goal to run a 5k and nailed it experiencing “runner’s high”, you had fully present and intimate moment with your partner, you had a wonderful day with family and friends celebrating an event or a holiday, you aced a test you studied really hard for or you finally got that big promotion at work you’ve worked diligently to achieve—these moments of “temporary bliss” are lower Samadhi. They are fleeting but they are a taste of what achieving this enlightened state is like.
These kinds of experiences create a momentary feeling of completeness and oneness and help us to understand what transcendence might feel like.
Samadhi For Health
More and more research is proving that our mind and bodies and overall health are not separate. The mind is connected to the gut and vice versa.
Our overall health is also not separate from our emotional and soulful states. Our physical and mental health is completely connected to a happy, healthy life. The practice of yoga as a whole and specifically attainment of Samadhi is key to healthy living.
You’ll recall that we have covered each of the limbs in detail, including the aspects of yoga that suggest you keep your body clean with good nutrition, your mind clear of negative thoughts, your breath even, deep and calm, your senses free of external stimuli, and your heart free of hate and full of gratitude.
When you put these practices into play, along with the physical practice of asana, you will feel better overall and you’ll be that much closer to achieving Samadhi—a state of bliss. The healing aspects of a full-on yoga practice (remember, a full yoga practice is not just asana or physical postures) are almost immeasurable.
“Every moment is an opportunity to practice yoga.”
Give Yourself Permission
The practice of yoga as a whole, the eight-limbed path, is a journey, not a destination.
You will fall off the path, you will forget the true meaning of each limb, you will skip asana and forgo meditation in favor of your to-do list. Give yourself permission to fail and to get back on the path when you stray.
Give yourself permission to be free of like, dislike, judgment, worry, fear, and ego.
Give yourself permission to let go of the past, live every day to its fullest, to love and forgive equally, to do for others, and most importantly, to love yourself.