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Turiya - The Fourth State

Stephen in Eternal Resting Pose variation on the beach at Pathos

Here I am in Eternal Resting Pose with lower leg lift variation, from sunset in Pathos, as the waves wash in and out. Resting on your side, head in your hand, Eternal Resting Pose is also called Vishnu Pose, evoking divine being, or the witnessing Self, blissfully surveying creation, ‘resting on a cloud’, unaffected by the ebb and flow of life. The hand to toe leg lift evokes effortless action, but if you add an unsupported lower leg lift it creates some genuine effort and core strengthening. The awakened state in yoga is sometimes called Turiya, the fourth state, and blends the effortless ease of deep sleep, with a more wide-awake state than normal. In our natural waking state, the first state, we identify ourselves with our body, consider other bodies to be outside of us, and experience life as a series of unrelated objects and events. In natural dream state, the second state, we let go of the world of objects outside and start to process events into meaningful processes and relationships, sometimes in a chaotic way, but other times in a lucid way, and sometimes in a profoundly meaningful way when we receive insight. In deep sleep, the third state, our screen of consciousness is clear, with minimal mental fluctuations, as in the state of meditation, but we are unconscious. Returning from deep sleep we tend to feel really great, but don’t know why. The fourth state combines the mental stillness of deep sleep with being fully awake, and the blend of the two creates an intense flow of being. We can use our breath to taste this experience. Breathing out, soften, sink, and relax into calmness, like deep sleep. Breathing in, imagine you are drawing your vitality up your spine, like a wave emerging from the ocean of being, becoming more vitally present. With persistence you may catch the wave of the Turiya state, brilliantly awake, whilst completely relaxed.


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