Balrāj teaches the yoga of self awareness: classical yoga philosophy from the perspective of existential phenomenology. In his private work, Balrāj is self sabotage and stress management coach.
The Yoga of Anxiety Relief
How does stress/anxiety relief relate to the spiritual goals of classical yoga? How does stress/anxiety relief relate to freedom, suffering, self-awareness, and meaningful living?
The Anxiety of Inner Lack
The following phenomenological reflections on anxiety in yoga are being updated.
We feel compelled to matter. This isn’t something we ‘learn’. Nor is it something we can ‘turn off’. Having the desire to matter in the world, to others—to have an existence that means something, as a ‘real’ thing whose will/presence has some weight—is a given.
An Introduction to Existential Phenomenology (Part 2: How To Do Phenomenology)
“Without doing phenomenology, it may be practically impossible to understand phenomenology.” “…without entering into the doing, the basic thrust and import of phenomenology is likely to be misunderstood at the least or missed at most”.
- Don Ihde, Experimental Phenomenology (3, 4).
An Introduction to Existential Phenomenology (Part 1: What is Phenomenology?)
In the second part of this heuristic introduction to phenomenology, we explore how to do existential phenomenology.
Karmayoga: The Yoga of Self-Forgetting
Phenomenological-existential reflections on the nature of karmayoga that answer the following types of questions: what exactly is karma yoga? How does karma yoga relate to "burning" the self's past karma? How does one "do" or "practice" karma yoga?
Yoga & The Meaning of (Your) Life: Phenomenological Reflections
Phenomenological reflections on the nature of meaningful living in yoga. What problem does yoga solve? How does yoga help with personal suffering? And what might it mean to have a "meaningful life" according to yoga? Your desire to find permanent security actually reinforces the basic sense of lack/anxiety that you’re trying to eliminate. In other words, striving for permanent freedom from personal suffering might be the very thing keeping you from your deepest fulfillment.
Self-Awareness & Other People: Phenomenological Reflections
Other people are not an optional dimension of our experience.
We find ourselves as already a participant in the customs of a people. We become members of a society by attuning ourselves to the norms and customs of people who precede us. Our perspective/subjectivity becomes a determinate identity by way of these norms and customs. In other words, we obtain identities in communities—we become persons—by way of these social, cultural, familial, linguistic, etc. customs and norms.
I did not inven...
Prakṛti & Puruṣa: Phenomenological Reflections
What is the meaning of Prakriti? What is the difference between Prakriti and Purusha? In this article, we offer phenomenological reflections on the notions of Prakrti, Purusa, Yoga, and Viyoga (in Samkhya Yoga) as they pertain to our existential situation. We’re already (irrevocably) exposed to (and implicated in) a world that precedes us. Freedom is obtained by "enumerating" the various ways in which you are always already determined.
Desire, Self-Consciousness, and Ahaṃkāra: Phenomenological Reflections
What is the relationship between desire and suffering in spiritual traditions? The following phenomenological reflections on the problem of desire in yoga are being updated.
What the ego finds most troubling is that its reality—i.e., the extent to which it ‘matters’ in the real world, its sense of itself—depends on the will and recognition of other people. To ‘matter’ in the real world means mattering to other people; its reality—i.e., the extent to which it ‘matters’—depends on others. It co...
The Best Astrological Remedies: A Yogic Perspective
Reflections on astrological remediation from a yogic perspective. What are the "best" astrological remedies for changing your life? The cultivation of awareness and the releasing of self-interested motivation. Any “remedy” is constructive if it is used to cultivate awareness instead of avoidance. Traditional astrological remedies are often used to avoid directly facing a problem. Our suffering comes from our craving for personal wholeness, which produces self-interested motivations.
Psychospiritual Astrology: An Introductory Outline
An introduction to psychospiritual astrology. Psychological-spiritual astrology or “psychospiritual” astrology is an approach to astrology that uses the birth chart as a pragmatic tool to address the issue of freedom from 'suffering' (and is not a problem solving tool). The only assumptions made by a psychospiritual approach can be examined and verified by looking at your own experience. The chart provides pragmatic insight into your suffering and self-defeating habits.
The Yoga of Yoga
What is yoga? And what are the benefits of yoga? The "inner peace" we crave is realized in relinquishing self-interested motivations, the latter which produce and re-produce suffering. The yogin recognizes that it can never be “whole” or “complete” (on its own) but rather must become a *participant in* wholeness that precedes and exceeds itself and its personal will. The yogin *participates in* wholeness. This is the yoga of yoga.
Yoga: A Phenomenological Approach
A heuristic introduction to a phenomenological approach to classical yoga. This is not another philosophy or alternative history or set of rules, but rather an appreciation of the object of the study of yoga: experience itself, the very thing in/as which you exist. This study requires your active participation: you must actively turn to face your own experience (in a non-clinical way) and be open to noticing something transformatively new about the nature of experience (and about your life).
The Practice(s) of Yoga: Collected Notes
The following phenomenological reflections on the notion of the absolute are being updated. These notes will be removed from this post as they are added to new articles.
Yoga & Freedom: Collected Notes
The following phenomenological reflections on the notion of freedom in yoga are being updated. These notes will be removed from this post as they are added to new articles.