Soma: The Inner Flow of Bliss

I watched a PBS talk show on yoga and meditation last night, and I gotta tell you, I was a little disappointed.

Everything focused on relaxation and stress relief. Really just the psychological benefits of meditating.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with either (or both!) of those things. But that’s just really one side of the coin. The side of getting rid of undesirable stuff–tension and stress.

But there’s a very yummy side of yoga meditation that cultivates positive things–like deep abiding peace and a constant flow of joy–that they never even mentioned. Too bad. ‘Cause I’m all over this part these days.

The experience or state of inner bliss is called “soma”, and is said to be the nectar of rejuvenation. When we connect to our inner soma, we are able to live our lives with a sense of wonder and delight. With child-like eyes and mind–the direct opposite of a stiff, aging, cranky mind. (Ya’ll know who I’m talking about.)

It’s important to balance our “cleansing” practices that get rid of the undesirable stuff with soma practices that nourish the spirit and feed us with deliciousness. Otherwise we run the risk of burning up and burning out. Just like after a food cleanse or detox, if you go back to your old, poor eating habits afterwards (or just do cleanse after cleanse after cleanse) you are actually weakening yourself.

There are many specific practices that can be used to start connecting to and even developing more soma. One approach is through special pranayama (breathwork) and meditation techniques for the chakras. That’s what we’ll focus on at the fall retreat in October. Yay! You’re coming, right?