3.43 Meditative integration (samyama) on the relationship between the body and space or meditation on lightness enables traveling through space (akashagamana).
Akashagamana is a Sanskrit word translated as traveling through space or traveling through the ether. Patañjali offers two ways of accomplishing this prodigious feat: by practicing samyama on the relationship between the body and space; or by practicing samyama on something that is very light, like cotton. When you observe highly proficient dancers, you can probably notice that they have developed a profound relationship with space that enables them to move gracefully and with extraordinary fluidity. It may seem that, somehow, they may not be subject to the same force of gravity as other people. The next time you take your shoes off and you walk, notice the relationship between your body and space.
What is the sound of your feet as they touch the ground?
Can your asana practice be a laboratory for exploring how to infuse lightness into your movements and actions?
Can you make yourself as light as cotton?
Might it be helpful to consider the fact that there is a lot of space between the electrons and the nuclei of each of the trillions of atoms that you are made of?
Could it be that the force that bonds electrons and nuclei may be one component of that elusive life force called prana?
Is it possible that samyama on the relationship between the body and space (akasha) may reveal dimensions other than the gross dimensions we are aware of through our senses, including mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
3.43 kāyākāśayoḥ saṃbandhasaṃyamāt laghutūlasamāpatteścākāśa gamanam
कायाकाशयोः संबन्धसंयमात् लघुतूलसमापत्तेश्चाकाश गमनम् ॥४३॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast:
This is an excerpt from the book Unravel the thread: Applying the ancient wisdom of yoga to live a happy life
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