What is I-Yoga – Interoceptive Yoga?

Interoceptive-Yoga or I-Yoga was developed by Dr Nitasha Buldeo. It is a simple 4 step yoga practice designed to deepen your body awareness. It is based on a comprehensive understanding of classical Hatha Yoga and scientific research in the field of interoception.

Interoception is a scientific term that means inner awareness. By fusing scientific understanding with the ancient practices of yoga, Interoceptive Yoga has the ability to train body and brain awareness more speedily than traditional methods. 

How Interoceptive Yoga Works?

Interoceptive Yoga may be seen as a bio-hacking technique that enables you to peel back your superficial layers of awareness to free your Inner Genius. It comprises weekly yoga classes for 12 weeks. Over the 12 weeks, you will be guided through the I-Yoga 4 step process to improve your body function. This 4 step process is repeated 3 times – to help you understand the process and learn the tools required to maintain optimal functioning.

Step 1 – I-Yoga MyoRelease – works on tight muscles and tendons that give us poor posture. We use trigger point stimulation to release muscular tension and myofascial contracture. Poor posture prevents your body from functioning optimally. Muscular tension and contractures hinder the bio-electric flow through your body. By releasing these – nerve impulses can flow freely. I-Yoga MyoRelease also eliminates muscle fatigue, restores flexibility and enables deep relaxation.

Step 2 – I-Yoga ReAlign – once myofascial contractures are released – we begin to realign the body for optimal performance and enhanced bio-electric energy flow. You see immediate improvements in your posture and learn the posture of success. You will also start to understand how to use breath to control the Body. I-Yoga ReAlign improves posture and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to aide deep healing.

Step 3 – I-Yoga Stimulate – once your body is realigned and posture corrected we begin to strengthen your skeletal muscle to maintain this good postural alignment. Yoga flow sequences and strong holds are then used to stimulate the sympathethic nervous system and strengthen your body and mental resolve. You learn how to use posture, breath and mental focus to calm your mind and overcome challenges.

Step 4- I-Yoga MediTate – once your posture and breath are strong and controlled, you are taught mind and body techniques that enable your to access deeper states of awareness, creative insight, intuitive wisdom, mastery or peak experiences. Using repetitive flow, deep breathing and a variety of mind-training techniques, I-MediTate harmonises mind and body generating a deeply restful yet super-creative mental state. With regular practice, you learn how to access this superconscious state at will.

To summarise – in step 1, the primary focus is on the release of tightness and pain in the body. In step 2, we realign and correct posture to enable more efficient bio-electric energy flow in our body. In step 3, we direct the body, breath and bio-energy to strengthen the mind and diminish disruptive thoughts. And once this happens we are able to proceed to step 4, where we explore the learn how to access our creativity, intuition or inner wisdom.

Interoceptive-Yoga is The Most Direct Method to a Blissful State.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What is Your Level of Yogic Awareness? The Kosha’s

Ancient yogis had drawn a map to explore the deepest levels of consciousness which was used to guide their yoga journey. This map consists of five layers of the human body that you have to navigate to gain enlightenment. The theory of five layers of awareness within our body was first presented in the early yogic texts, the Upanishads.  Fifteen centuries later Advaita Vedanta reformers refined these five layers into the koshas, the five coverings that hide the light of our True Self (Atman).

Understanding the Kosha’s

The koshas can be imagined as layers of an onion. The outer layers of the onion cover the inner layers – in the same way the external and visible kosha’s form a barrier preventing us from recognising our true nature and connection with the universe.

Yoga developed as the tool that enables you to peel back layer by layer. By peeling these outer layers, our awareness shifts to the deeper levels of our bodies, eventually reaching the innermost core, our True Self. We move from being externally focused (exteroception) to being more internally focused (interoceptive). It is only when we become more interoceptively aware (internally focused) that we can clearly see, understand and align the layers of the kosha’s to attain the goal of yoga – samadhi or oneness with the universe.

The Kosha’s

There are 5 kosha’s.

  1. Annamaya kosha
  2. Pranamaya kosha
  3. Manamaya kosha
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha
  5. Anandamaya kosha

These 5 levels are described below.

The outermost layer is our visible physical body, called the Annamaya kosha. Anna means ‘food’. This layer – the physical body – feeds sensation and nutrition to the deeper layers. And in doing so it sustains the other 4 koshas. The Annamaya kosha interacts with the outside world by taking in information and nutrition. The Annamaya kosha also impacts the outside world via our actions and words. When we begin to pay attention to what we put into our bodies and the effects of our action – then we begin to experience the beauty of Annamaya kosha.

The second layer is the energy body. It is called Pranamaya kosha. Prana means ‘life force” and refers to the bio-electric impulses that enables our body to function. The Pranamaya kosha regulates the movement of the physical (Annamaya kosha – discussed above) and mental (Manamaya kosha – discussed below) levels via bio-electric impulses. These bio-electric impulses are catalysed via oxygen in the blood and pass through nerves, physiological energy channels (nadis), specific trigger points (marma) and energy confluence centres (chakras) – giving rise to actions and thoughts. Once we access this layer – we have greater control of physical and mental responses.

The third layer in is the mental body. It is called the Manamaya kosha. Mana means ‘”mind”. And this layer refers to the thoughts and feelings that arise from the bio-electric impulses that originates in the second layer. When nerves, nadi’s, marma and chakra’s are stimulated – they set off a chain of reactions – releasing stored instinctual patterns of behaviour. The Manamaya kosha therefore gives rise to either – rational or irrational behaviour, linear versus abstract thinking and focused sequential thought versus ambiguous emotional states. However if we have learned how to use our Pranamaya kosha – then we are able to stop instinctual behaviours that are self-destructive.

The fourth layer of the subtle body is called the wisdom body or Vijnanamaya kosha. Vijnana means “knowledge”. This layer contains memories of everything that we have ever experienced or learned. The Vijnanamaya kosha gives rise to creativity, intuition, wisdom and heightened consciousness. But the Vijnanamaya kosha is overshadowed by the Manamaya kosha. It is only by learning to control the Manamaya kosha that the Vijnanamaya kosha becomes actively conscious.

The last kosha is the bliss body or the Anandamaya kosha. Ananda means “bliss”. This layer refers to the pure unchanging awareness that is found at the deepest layer of our being. When you reach this level, you are no longer merely aware of your feelings. You experience a state of being that connects you to everything. You know that you have always existed in this state. You understand how your awareness was previously obscured by focusing on the superficial koshas. Anandamaya kosha is the awareness of our True Self. When you operate from Anandamaya kosha – you have the ability to choose to operate from multiple levels of awareness (other kosha’s) depending on the task at hand. Hence you have the world at your fingertips. But – Great awareness comes with great responsibility.

The Kosha’s and Yoga Practice

The koshas serve as a guide for deepening your yoga practice. They are a map for your journey. The path of yoga is about progressively moving inward, through each of the koshas, to experience the radiance of the True Self. At the same time, yoga allows this inner radiance to shine through as our individuality or personal magnetism.

Interoceptive-Yoga is The Most Direct Method to Your Bliss Body.

Interoceptive-Yoga or I-Yoga is a simple 4 step yoga practice to deepen your awareness and take you to yoga bliss. It is based on a thorough understanding of classical Hatha Yoga. Interoception is a scientific term that means inner awareness. By fusing scientific understanding with the ancient practices of Hatha yoga, I have created Interoceptive Yoga. Interoceptive Yoga is a bio-hacking technique that enables you to peel back your superficial layers to reveal your True Self or Inner Genius.

I-Yoga: Interoceptive Yoga Four Step Process

Step 1 – I-Yoga MyoRelease – works on the Annamaya kosha. We use trigger point stimulation to release muscle tension, myofascial trigger points and contractures that inhibits your body from functioning optimally. Trigger points and contractures hinder the bio-electric flow through the body. By releasing these, the Pranamaya kosha (energy level) can operate effectively. I-Yoga MyoRelease also eliminates muscle fatigue, restores flexibility and enables deep relaxation.

Step 2 – I-Yoga ReAlign – follows MyoRelease. Once myofascial contractures are released – we begin to realign the body for optimal performance and enhanced bio-electric energy flow. Breath is used to engage and experience the Pranamaya kosha. You are taught how to use breath to control the Body or Annamaya kosha. I-Yoga ReAlign also helps improve posture and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to aide deep healing.

Step 3 – I-Yoga Stimulate. Once your body is realigned and posture corrected we begin to strengthen your skeletal muscle to maintain good postural alignment. Yoga flow sequences and strong holds are used to stimulate the sympathethic nervous system and strengthen your body and mental resolve. In step 3, we work with Manamaya kosha – teaching you how to use posture, breath and mental focus to calm your mind and overcome challenges.

Step 4- I-Yoga MediTate teaches you how to access your intuitive wisdom or Vijnanamaya kosha. Using repetitive flow, deep breathing and a variety of mind-training techniques, I-MediTate harmonises mind and body to generate a deeply restful yet super-creative mental state. With regular practice, you learn how to access this superconscious state at will.

To summarise – in step 1, the primary focus is on Annamaya Kosha, the alignment and sensations of the physical body. Once we have corrected, aligned and harmonised this kosha we can use the breath as a bridge into the Pranamaya kosha. In step 2, when we understand the Pranamaya kosha, we are able to connect with the bio-electric energy manifesting in our body. In step 3, we direct the body, breath and bio-energy to strengthen the mind and diminish disruptive thoughts. This allows Manamaya kosha to be calmed, balanced and harmonised. And once this happens we are able to proceed to step 4, where we explore the Vijnanamaya kosha and learn how to access our intuition and inner wisdom. By working through the the first four layers we spontaneously begin to experienced the bliss of Anandamaya kosha – the Blissful state. Enlightenment happens when all the koshas are aligned to experience the oneness of our True Self.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What are Peak Experiences?


Peak experiences
The psychologist Abraham Maslow labeled ‘peak experiences’ or PE’s as “those moments, lasting from seconds to minutes, during which we feel the highest levels of happiness, harmony and possibility.”

PE’s range from intense pleasure to almost ‘supernatural’ experiences of enhanced consciousness, These experiences feel different from and superior to normal experience.

A recent example of a peak experience was reported by the mathematician, Andrew Wiles, in the Horizon program on BBC. Andrew Wiles described the moment he solved ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’- a problem that has exercised the minds of the greatest mathematicians for three centuries. After working for seven years in solitude and secrecy, Wiles announced that he had succeeded – only to publicly find a flaw in his reasoning. As opposed to giving up, Andrew engaged in another year of intense work. Andrew reported, then ‘Suddenly, totally unexpectedly, I had this incredible revelation… It was so indescribably beautiful; it was so simple and so elegant. I just stared in disbelief for twenty minutes’. As Wiles recounted his peak experience, he became overwhelmed with emotion at the recollection. 

This description of overpowering feelings and sensations accompanying creative insight has been repeatedly described. From the ‘eureka’ moment of Archimedes in the bath, right through to modern intellectual giant’s, the moment of creative insight displays striking similarities. Whether we call it enlightenment, moments of genius, peak experiences or samadhi – these spectacular experiences are available to us all. They are not limited to the wisest amongst us or the most elevated.

However, these experiences do not strike at random, they are associated with particular circumstances. Their occurrence may be associated with intense focus, transformation in physical posture, mental flexibility, states of complete relaxation. Studies suggest that yoga, meditation and mental training techniques enable one to experience PE’s more frequently.

The I-Yoga: Interoceptive Yoga program is designed to enable your body to function optimally thereby increasing the frequency of peak experiences.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



What is Samadhi?

Samadhi is enlightenment. Samadhi means “joining together” or “a state of wholeness”. Within many spiritual traditions Samadhi refers to the deepest state of meditative consciousness or enlightenment. Swami Rama – Master of the Himalayan Tradition described samadhi as the highest state of wisdom. And Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra’s claimed that samadhi was the final limb and ultimate reward of yogic practice.

Patanjali’s second sutra or aphorism explains the aim of yoga philosophy and practice. Yoga chitta-vritti-nirodhah. This translate to “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”. Or “yoga is samadhi”. The aim of yoga practice at every level and in every moment is to attain the highest of all states – samadhi.

But, what is samadhi?

For Patanjali samadhi is not about communing with God. Gods existance or not, was of no concern to him. “Oh yogi,” he says “you have to know yourself on all levels.” You have to understand your body and how it works. You have to know how your body affects your mind. It is only then that you can begin to look into your mind. Only when you understand your mind and discover what is conscious and what is not – that you begin to understand yourself. And when you understand your Self, you understand the Self of all – the Absolute Self (Brahman). This is called Absolute Truth. This is samadhi.

The Katha Upanishad – an ancient Indian text – described samadhi as a feeling of tranquility that is never disturbed, no matter what happens. While experiencing the tranquility of samadhi, your mind becomes so balanced that you are able to enter the fourth state of consciousness – turiya or the superconscious state.

Superconsciousness

All of us have experienced the first three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming and deep dreamless sleep. However a few – yogi’s who practice the inner yogic path – become aware of the fourth state – turiya – superconsciousness or universal consciousness. By attaining turiya – you come in touch with the source of knowledge and infinite love. You gain access into the library of intuitive knowledge.

Turiya is acute, heightened perception not limited by human or ego needs. In the state of turiya – the yogi is still susceptible to mundane challenges – but because all conflicts within and without are resolved – nothing in the world can disturb him.

The Fluctuations of the Mind

Until we reach the state of samadhi – our minds fluctuate between sankalpa (intentions) and vikalpa (imagination). Both sankalpa and vikalpa have positive and negative effects.

Sankalpa helps with discipline and enables us to focus on and achieve goals. But sometimes these intentions can become obsessions that prevent us from growing or achieving higher states of being.

Vikalpa – our imagination may be a wonderful source of creatively – helping us see alternative ways of being. But imagination may also give rise to fear, doubt, mental lassitude – preventing you from achieving your potential.

Hardwired for Tranquility

Yoga practice disciplines body and mind – giving you control over both – so you may stop the mental fluctuations at will. With regular yoga practice we train and develop neural pathways to achieve a states of tranquility. Over time our bodies become hardwired to maintain these states of tranquility – making it possible for us to attain Superconsciousness or Turiya.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What is Mastery?

Mastery is defined as comprehensive knowledge in a particular field or subject. Yet we intuitively feel that there is more to mastery.

In his book, entitled Mastery, Robert Green refers to the sensation of mastery.  I like this explanation because it sheds light on how mastery feels. He writes – mastery is the feeling that “we have a greater command of reality, other people or ourselves”.

We all remember times when have experienced such a feeling – even if it was only for a short period. However for Master’s in any field – this feeling becomes a way of life, it becomes their way of experiencing the world. Therefore Masters ritually engage in practices that strengthens their unique perceptions.

To write his book, Robert Green studied the lives of various Masters including Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Darwin and Thomas Edison. A second author, George Leonard, also wrote a book called Mastery, however he focused on Zen philosophy and his personal practice of martial arts. But the fascination with mastery is not new, over the ages many Indian and Buddhist sages described their practices towards mastery in yoga, meditation and intellectual knowledge. What is interesting is that they all conclude and I concur – the process that leads to mastery is simple and universal. If you learn the process of mastery on one field, you can apply it to any field.

There are 3 simples stages to mastery.

Stage one: Studentship, Apprenticeship, The Learning Mindset

In stage one – we begin to seek knowledge and we feel as if we are on the outside. There seems to be a divide between those who know and those who don’t. This can feel uncomfortable. However, to begin the journey to Mastery we need to overcome pride and decide to learn as much as we can about the the new field. We also need to understand that at this point we will only have partial knowledge. The information we acquir may seem disjointed and sometimes contradictory. However if we persist in our aim to learn – we eventually reach stage two.

Stage two: Implementor, Creative Activity, The Engaging Mindset

In stage two – we engage in regular practice and become immersed in our learning. We then begin to get inside the field of study. We begin to see how things connect with each other. Our knowledge is no longer fragmented – but a unified picture emerges. There is also a feeling of understanding. This feeling of understanding gives you the ability to experiment and creatively play with the elements of your field. And as you more readily engage in creative play, you begin to see beyond the current knowledge, you begin to see things in your own unique way – you experience glimpses of the masters way.

Stage three: Leader, Mastery, The Creative Mindset

In stage three – our glimpses of mastery helps us find a unique view into the field. Our knowledge, experience and focus becomes so deep and complete that we see the whole picture with complete clarity. You gain an access to the essence of life, you freely observe both human nature and the natural rhythm of the universe. This is why art and music created by Masters touches us at our core – for the Master has access to reality.

This three step process to Mastery is accessible to all and can be used in any field. Mastery is not limited to the few elite but available to anybody who makes the time and effort to follow the process.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

I teach the process of mastery through I-Yoga or Interoceptive Yoga for when you master your body and mind – you master all of life.

My book The Body Heals Itself, shares a 7 step plan to transforming your body for greater wellbeing and optimal performance. Available on Amazon.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What is Individuation?

By defining terms and meaning we develop the potential for understanding. Individuation, a word used since 1660 – was popularised by Karl Jung. It is now used by numerous schools in psychology and personal development. For Jung, Individuation encompassed developing the philosophical, mystical, and spiritual areas of the human being. Individuation is about living your most authentic life.

Jung was initially inspired by Sigmund Freud – but then saw Freuds theory as limiting and flawed for it focused on illness as opposed to a method of lifelong growth. He therefore developed his own process – Individuation which was influenced many Eastern classical books – including the Upanishads from India and the Tao-Te-Ching from China. Jung wrote the forward and reviews of these books.

Individuation – The Definition

Individuation was the process of achieving self-actualisation or self-realisation by integrating the conscious and unconscious aspects of the self.

Jung suggested that from birth, every individual has a sense of wholeness – a sense of Self. We see this sense of wholeness in the spontaneity and fullness of children’s actions. But as children develop and we begin to educate them into social norms – a separate Ego begins to arise from the original wholeness. This Ego differentiation forms the first part of ones life and gives one a stable persona with which to navigate the external world. However as we mature into adulthood we find that over-identifying with this Ego is the seat of much anxiety and inner strife. The only way to overcome this is by rediscovering the original wholeness via the process of Individuation.

The Process of Individuation

The actual process of Individuation is the coming to terms with ones inner centre or Self by acknowledging all aspects of ones personality.

The process generally begins with the wounding of the Ego or Persona – this is aspect of ourselves that we present to the world. When the Ego is wounded – a number of negative emotions or symptoms may present themselves – anger, frustration, guilt, grief. One may allow these to define their lives or may realise the need to search the deeper aspects of their personalities for a solution. As one looks deeper within themselves through the processes of contemplation, introspection and interoception – a personal inner regulating centre may emerge. Jung call this centre – Self.

Self is described as the totality of your whole psyche. Ego is just a small part of the psyche. Ego represents the aspects that we are conscious of. The vast majority of the Self is unconscious. Jung divided the unconscious into the personal and collective unconscious.

The personal unconscious refers to all our personal experiences that we repress. The collective unconscious refers to all the societal, community, global ideas, memes that we have been exposed to. For as long as an experiences remains unconscious – it has the ability to influence our lives without us being able to correct it.

The next step involves the integration of the ego (consciousness) with the personal and collective unconscious. When this process is initiated a series of archetypes emerge.

Jungian Archetypes: Drawn from many of Plato’s ideas Jung proposed that archetypes are patterns of personality. They are formed by an individuals unique experiences and reinforced through collective human knowledge that define these archetypes. These patterns of personality exist and are reinforced within our psyche even if we are unaware of them.

The first archetype to appear which is closest to the ego is the Shadow. The Shadow is the personal unconscious. It refers to the unconscious aspect of our personalities. It is the aspects of ourselves that the conscious Ego does not want to identify with. Many call the Shadow – “the dark side” as it tends to include the least desirable aspects of our personalities . The less the Shadow is embodied into consciousness, the darker it remains and the more it controls our lives.

We tend to project our Shadows onto others. If one is constantly annoyed by a behavioural characteristic in others – very often it is their Shadow that embodies this characteristic.

The Shadow is not just negative – it is also our seat of creativity. Very often the Shadow makes its appearance in dreams. Jung believed that the Shadow appeared to the dreamer as the same sex as the dreamer and often involved conflicting desires and intentions between the dream persona and the dreamer.

To recap – the Shadow represents every aspect of my personality that I refuse to acknowledge within myself. A person possessed by his Shadow always stands in his own light and lives below his won ability. He creates his own traps to prevent the Ego from achieving its Goals. The Shadow presents itself in the silly mistakes we make and the things we unconsciously blurt out that undermines our progress towards goals. Once the Shadow is made conscious, one is able to work towards goals – whole heartedly.

The second archetype to emerge is the Anima/Animus which represents the collective unconscious. The Anima/Animus presents itself as a wise person of the opposite sex to the Ego. Anima is this unconscious feminine side in a male Ego and Animus is the unconscious males side in a female Ego. The key to making conscious the Anima/Animus is recognising it when it manifests.

Anima presents as a wise women who helps a male Ego see the world more completely and the Animus is a wise male that helps a female Ego cultivate a more independent or non-socially conditioned sense of self by encouraging her to embody her deeper world. This does not mean that she becomes more selfish. A woman conscious of her animus is more internally aware of what she believes and feels. And she is more capable of expressing these beliefs and feelings without guilt or self-denial. Acknowledging ones Anima/Animus makes one more aware and receptive to new creative ideas.

The third archetype or unconscious level to emerge is the Self and is the goal of the process of individuation. The Self emerges with the unification of the conscious and unconscious and represents the psyche as a whole.

Ego is the limiting centre of conscious behaviour. Self is the centre of the whole person – including the Ego, Conscious and Unconscious. With awareness of the Self – one is able to express themselves fully and authentically. At this point true Mastery may develop.

About Jung

Jungian psychology: emphasizes the importance of the personal quest for wholeness.

Archetypes: a better understanding of the archetypes used by Jung can be found in this definition, “An archetype is an original model of a person an ideal example or a prototype upon which self and others can be understood, copied, patterned, or emulated. An archetype is a symbol universally recognized by all. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior.”

For Jung archetypes consisted of universal, mythic characters that reside within the collective unconscious of people across the globe. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; and consequentially they evoke deep emotions.

The scope of archetypes is broad. Many different archetypes were described by others however Jung described only a few. He went further to propose that these were sub-archetypes that create three main archetypes which symbolise basic human motivations. Each of the three main archetypes has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits and he called them:

Ego, Soul (Anima/Animus) and Self.

The sub-archetypes within each share common drives, for example types within the Ego are driven to fulfil ego-defined agendas. The types within the Soul drive you to find deeper meaning and the types within the Self are driven by wholeness.

To summarise Jung – most people have several archetypes at play in their personality. However Jung postulated that each person carries three dominate archetypes. It is through Jung’s process of Psychoanalysis that he encourages self-examination to identify them. This is how self-actualization occurs.

Some of the Archtypes described by Jung.

Self: Unification of the individual’s ego, personal and collective unconsciousness.

The Shadow: Base for sexual and life instincts.

Anima and Animus: Male/female identities.

The Persona: Self presentation.

The father: Authority figure; stern; powerful.

The mother: Nurturing; comforting.

The child: Longing for innocence; rebirth; salvation.

The wise old man: Guidance; knowledge; wisdom.

The hero: Champion; defender; rescuer.

The maiden: Innocence; desire; purity.

The trickster: Deceiver; liar; trouble-maker.

Individuation is one method of personal development or self-realisation. For more methods go to the section on Personal Development.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What is Self Actualisation?

What human beings can be, they must be.”

Abraham Maslow in Motivation and Personality

In the early-20th century, psychologists were primarily concerned with the illnesses that afflicted the human mind. An American Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, disagreed with this one-sided approach. He believed that the goal of psychology was not just to rid us of illnesses, but to help us flourish.

“…Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and now we must lay out the healthy half.”

Abraham Maslow in Toward a Psychology of Being

Maslow’s research led him to conclude that self-actualisation demarcates the psychologically flourishing from the sick and mediocre. 

Maslow claimed that humans are driven to satisfy what he called the “hierarchy of needs”.

Self-actualization was the high point of this hierarchy. Therefore he hypothesised that we cannot self-actualize until we have satisfied our more basic needs.

These “basic needs” include the things necessary for

  • our survival, such as food, water, and shelter, as well as
  • the things required for our psychological health, such as safety, love, status, belongingness, and self-esteem.

Only after these basic needs are satisfied can we engage in self-actualisation.

The aim of self-actualisation is to become “everything one is capable of becoming”.

When we begin the process of self-actualization, mastery of self becomes our way of life. We view our mind as a vast unexplored terrain, and are motivated to gain a greater knowledge of its depths. Rather than being driven solely by wealth or status, we choose a meaningful life. As we strive to achieve self-actualisation goals, we devote our energies to mastering the necessary skills, and in the process, we actualise our unused potential. 

“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualisation.

Abraham Maslow in Motivation and Personality

As our life becomes increasingly structured around the path of self-actualisation, we become more susceptible to “peak experiences”.

Peak experiences are those moments, lasting from seconds to minutes, during which we feel the highest levels of happiness, harmony and possibility.

Peak experiences are therapeutic and can permanently transform our lives. While they cannot be voluntarily stimulated, they arise spontaneously in self-actualisers more frequently than in the majority of the population. This implies that peak experiences are a by-product of the personal growth that self-actualisers experience.

“Self-actualising people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.” 

Abraham Maslow in Motivation and Personality

Another trait shared by self-actualisers is the tendency to be free from the need for social acceptance. Rather than looking to others or “authorities” for approval, these individuals depend on their own judgement and intuition.

“Self-actualizers have become strong enough to be independent of the good opinion of other people, or even their affection. The honours, the status, the rewards, the popularity, the prestige, and the love that others bestow must have become less important than self-development and inner growth.”

Abraham Maslow in Motivation and Personality

As we being to understand self-actualisation, we are left with an important question. If all of us can self-actualize, why do so few of us do so? Why do so many of us become complacent, conformist, bitter and neurotic as we age, rather than more individualised, joyous, creative, and productive? 

Just like the desire to self-actualise encourages growth and development, Maslow suggested that there exists regressive forces in the psyche which inhibit growth. 

While most of us claim that we want to actualise our highest potentials – in reality we are often far more attracted to the easy path of safety and comfort. We therefore avoid challenges which could lead to personal growth. We refuse to face up to our fears and prefer to hold on to habits that inhibit our capacity to self-actualise. 

These regressive forces don’t just inhibit growth. If we allow them to remain active – they could lead to emotional trauma and mental instability. Anxiety, guilt, shame, and self-hate are some of the symptoms of these regressive forces. However the presence of these negative emotions does not mean that self-actualisation is impossible.

Maslow suggested and I concur. If we learned to view these negative emotions not as a sign of illness but rather as a signal from your inner being – telling you that change is needed in your life. And if you looked for methods to change your life then these negative emotions become a catalyst for the process of self-actualisation.

“He who belies his talent, the born painter who sells stockings instead, the intelligent man who lives a stupid life, the man who sees the truth and keeps his mouth shut, the coward who gives up his manliness, all these people perceive in a deep way that they have done wrong to themselves and despise themselves for it. Out of this self-punishment may come neurosis, but there may equally come renewed courage, righteous indignation, increased self-respect, because of thereafter doing the right thing; in a word, growth and improvement can come through pain and conflict.”

Abraham Maslow in Towards a Psychology of Being

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

To begin to heal yourself and begin your path of self-actualisation – you may download my book The Body Heals Itself.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Night of Transformation 04 March 19 – Maha Shivratri

From sunset on the eve of Monday, 4 March 2019 to the morning of 5 March 2019, Yogi’s across the globe will celebrate Maha Shivratri, a night-long hypnotic-spiritual celebration to honour the deity Shiva.

Hailed as both the creator and the destroyer, the blissful mystic meditating on a mountain and the ecstatic wild man dancing in the cremation ground.  Shiva performs the tandava, a vigorous dance that maintains creation, preservation and dissolution. There are two parts to his dance the violent and destructive Rudra Tandava and the blissful Ananda Tandava. He is therefore hailed as the divinity of dance and yoga, of joy and discipline.

This dark night – with no moon to light the sky – has been celebrated in ancient Egypt, Greece and India since antiquity. The worship of Thoth in Egypt, Dionysus in Greece, Pashupathi or Shiva in India, suggests that these cultures shared a common belief – the only way to transform was to let go of the norm.

Alexander The Great had referred to Shiva as the Indian Dionysus. Like the Dionysian Mysteries, Shiva worship involved the use of trance inducing techniques to remove inhibitions.  This allowed the individual to return to their natural state. Over the centuries this ritual has been associated with the use of psychedelic herbs, shamanic drumming, rhythmic chanting, yogic ascetics and trance dance. Basically it is a night where you are encouraged to let go…. Let go of all limitations and envision the new.

From our earliest times, humans have strived to overcome challenges, to find new ways to empower ourselves, to survive. Whether we call it shamanic journeying, individuation, self-actualisation, mastery, samadhi, sahaja, psychotherapy or personal development – we are all hoping for a similar outcome – to overcome our challenges.

evolution

I am not religious and I do not believe in a creator. However, I do respect the wisdom of the ages. So I encourage you to use this night to contemplate your life, to acknowledge personal limitations and to initiate your plan for change.

For me transformation does not come from searching for the light, it stems from acknowledging the darkness. This is why I honour Shiva iconography. He symbolises the sun and the moon, light and dark – for without one you cannot have the other.

My book The Body Heals Itself, shares a 7 step plan to transforming your body for greater wellbeing and optimal performance. Available on Amazon.

Article originally published on 24 January 2017 on drnbuldeo.wordpress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

What is Spontaneous Enlightenment – Sahaja?

Sahaja means spontaneous enlightenment. Sahaja practices became popular in India during the 8th century amongst yogi’s called Sahajiya Siddha’s.

Spontaneous enlightenment is described as “a deep understanding of spirit and matter, subject and object”. It refers to a method of perceiving the world as it is, instead of being limited by our ego based mental attitudes.

Sahajiya Siddha’s (Siddha means “one who is accomplished”) believed that enlightenment could be achieved in this lifetime, by all people living in samsara (the entanglement of the world). The Sahajiya Siddha’s practiced yoga which included various meditation techniques and a form of ritual union which was supposed to bring the female and male elements in each person together and in balance. Hence the Sahjiya Siddha’s pre-empted Karl Jungs theories of Individuations and Anima and Animus by over 1000 years. The aim of this practice was to unify all aspects our our personality.

The Sahajiya Siddha concept of spontaneous enlightenment influenced many Eastern religious traditions including Buddhism and Hinduism. Spontaneous enlightenment was alluded to indirectly and symbolically in the twilight language (sandhya bhasa) used by the Siddha’s throughout the centuries.

One of the early Buddhist Sahajiya Siddha texts the Hevajra Tantra describes four kinds of Joy (ecstasy).

From everyday Joy – there is some bliss. However from Perfect Joy there is even more bliss. From the Joy of losing the ego comes a passionless state. And the Joy of Sahaja is the finality.

The first or everyday Joy comes by desire for contact, the second or Perfect Joy comes from desire for absolute bliss, the third Egoless Joy comes from the passing of passion and by this, the fourth or ultimate Joy of Sahaja is realised.

The first Joy is Samsara (mystic union), The second Joy is Nirvana (the goal) The third Joy is Vairagya (dispassion) which shows you that there is no difference between samsara and nirvana. The fourth Joy of Sahaja (Sahaja-Siddhi) is free of them all. For there is neither desire or nor absence of desire, nor a middle to be obtained. You are free.

Yoga was a big part of the Sahajiya Siddha tradition. The development of the human body (kāya-sādhana) through Haṭha-yoga was of paramount importance in all Siddha schools. The strength of the body was deemed necessary to enable the supreme realisation. Supreme realisation was called Sahaja-siddhi or the fourth Joy.

Sahaja-siddhi means “accomplishment of the unconditioned natural state”. There is also a text by the same name. This text was revealed by Dombi Heruka, one of the eighty-four Mahasiddha’s or most accomplished ones. The following quotation from this text shows how the state of Sahaja-Siddhi. differs from the ‘mental flux’ of our everyday minds.

Although this translation uses the masculine pronoun for siddha, it must be remembered that the term ‘siddha’ is not gender-specific and that there were many female senior teachers within the siddha communities.

On achieving the fourth state or sahaja-siddhi, the practitioner is known as a siddha, a realised soul. He becomes invulnerable, beyond all dangers. For him all forms melt into the Formless.

Surati dissolves into nirati and “japa is lost in ajapa“.

The disolution of surati and nirati is one of the signs of  the accomplishment of sahaja-siddhi. 

Sahaja-Siddhi by Dombi Heruka

Surati is the act of will that occurs even when you try to disengage from worldly attachments. It refers to the self protective or ego-driven choices we make even when we decide not to be selfish. Surati can only be destroyed when the ego is destroyed. If we are able to destroy our ego then we achieve nirati – the cessation of the mental flux, which implies cessation of all willed efforts. 

Cessation of willed efforts does not mean that we are no longer active in the world. All it means is that our actions are not driven by conscious or unconscious personal desires.

The concept of Nirati or Sahaja-Siddhi is found in many schools of spirituality and yoga.

In Surat Shabd Yoga, nirati is the dissolution of the mind in “Sound,”.  In terms of Layayoga – when the ego dissolves – “Japa is lost in Ajapa” – sound becomes soundless. Words no longer matter – for you feel the truth.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s begin with “citta vritti nirodhaya” – the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

Modern Sahaja Yoga was popularised by Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011). She taught a meditation technique which aims to enable self-realisation along with the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence. While I have no experience of this meditation technique, intellectual understanding of Mataji Nirmala Devi’s philosophy suggests that her idea of thoughtless awareness alluded to nirati and Sahaja-Siddhi.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

How Quantum Entanglement and Samsara are Entangled

Entanglement – the action of entangling or being entangled. To entangle means to become twisted together or caught in process that is difficult to escape.

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon which occurs when pairs or groups of quantum particles are generated, interact, or come together in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the other(s), even when the particles are separated by a large distance. To put it simply quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which two particles interact and form a bond that means that they will interact with each other even over large distances.

Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum and spin of the entangled particles are used to test this theory. For example, if a pair of particles develop a bond in such a way that their total spin is known to be zero (they balance each other) then if one particle is found to have clockwise spin on a certain axis, the spin of the other particle, measured on the same axis, will be found to be counterclockwise. This is due to their entanglement.  

Quantum entanglement, although it was not called that at the time, was first discussed in modern scientific research papers by Albert Einstien, Erwin Shrödinger and colleagues in 1935. Einstein referred to this phenomena as “spooky action at a distance” for this phenomenon violated the view of the world held by scientists of his time.

However, ancient Indian philosophy seems to have described a similar concept at least 2000 years before Einstein and colleagues.

Saṃsāra is the concept of the “cyclicality of all particles of existence”. Over the ensuing centuries this concept has been adopted by many eastern religions and the original meaning has changed to refer to multiple related concepts such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation or the “cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence”.

While the concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the Veda’s, the full theory is not discussed there. It appears in developed form in the early Upanishads.  The full explanation of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in the sramanic or ascetic philosophies of India such as Ajivikism, Buddhism and Jainism around the mid-1st millennium BCE.

In Hindusism, the Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the Karma theory and the liberation from the cycle of Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest. The liberation from the cycle of Saṃsāra is called Kaivalya, Moksha, Mukti or Nirvana.

However Saṃsāra in its earliest description means “wandering” or “cyclic change”. Saṃsāra is a fundamental concept that underlies “the cycle of successive existence” or the “cyclicality of the fundamental particle of existence”.

According to Monier-Williams, Saṃsāra is rooted in the term Saṃsṛ (संसृ), which means “to go round, revolve, pass through a succession of states, to move in a circuit”. A conceptual form from this root appears in ancient Indian texts as the word Saṃsaraṇa, which means “going around through a succession of states, without obstruction”.

In later texts the term shortens to Saṃsāra, referring to the same concept. The idea that samsara applies to the human body and not just the particles of existence comes only in later texts and forms the basis of the reincarnation theory. The concept is then contrasted with the concept of  moksha which refers to liberation from this cycle of aimless wandering.

The concept of Samsara is traceable to the Samhita layers of the Rigveda – sections 1.164, 4.55, 6.70 and 10.14. This idea fully develops in the early Upanishads: Katha, verse 1.3.7, Shvetashvatara, verse 6.16 and Maitryi verse 1.4 and 6.34.  

To reiterate, the original concept of Saṃsāra is closely related to our current understanding of quantum entanglement. However in more recent Indian history the term has come to be associated with the belief that a person continues to be born in various forms based on the actions and conditioning in the current life. The practice of yoga was designed to recondition the body and mind. Multiple levels by which to observe the body were described – these levels are called kosha’s. The practice of yoga was used to balance all levels of the body. This balance enables moksha or zero spin. Hence quantum entanglement and samsara collapse into the same idea.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.