What is Anvaya?

A Nath Yogi, 19th century India, showing the ascending of chakra, an internal pilgrimage. Smithsonian collection, Washington DC, photography by Tangkao Tan

Anvaya is a sanskrit word which implies both connection and separation. In Yoga sutra 1-2 “Yoga-chittavrittinirodha”, where the term “Yoga” is defined as “stilling the fluctuations of the mind”. Accordingly, Anvaya encompasses both attaining and losing Yoga and reveals a reality that Yoga is a moment-to-moment choice, one either ascends or descends. In the Vedanta school, Anvaya signifies the all-pervasive nature of  Brahman, the Absolute, and our true Self, the Atman, existing beyond the realm of the physical body.  In our practice Anvaya signifies the perpetual movement and energy of heavenly bodies, as above and within ourselves, so below.

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