“Children see magic because they look for it.” ~ Christopher Moore
The eighth limb of yoga is Samahdi to bring together or to merge, this refers to true union or true yoga. Sounds magical doesn’t it? Yogis practice asana, pranayama, and meditation to help achieve this state of union with the divine. I cannot honestly say that I have ever reached the mystical Samahdi – but I have felt a union with the divine, a feeling of love and being part of the whole and all of it at the same time. It is a magical feeling that truly makes you realize simultaneously how great and how small we are.
This state is supposed to leave behind all the “I” “mine” ego stuff and transcend you into a deeper spiritual unity with all that is. You will feel joy, peace, and a sense of existing beyond your mortal body – you will feel your soul. Once you have had even a taste of this unity that is samahdi you will view the world around you differently and realize the interconnectedness of everything.
True union or yoga, is not working toward attaining one limb (samahdi) or one goal then moving to the next, it is realizing that all the limbs are important and work together for you. You may experience any of the limbs simultaneously or simply one at a time. You may advance in one area and feel bereft or lacking in another. As I like to say — “it’s all good!”, don’t worry that you won’t reach samahdi, or become the most flexible yogi in town, have profound meditative experiences or insights into every problem. The eight limbs of yoga are just tools to help encourage and comfort us along the journey. If we get kinder, more compassionate, more flexible, more in touch with ourselves and others spiritually, and less stressed as a result of practicing yoga, then its all worth it.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie Peter Pan