Transcendental experience during yoga practice
My experience happened when I was practicing yoga.
I was going to a weekly yoga session and had found it helpful, mostly for giving me more physical energy and making my muscles feel loose and relaxed.
I normally found it relaxing, usually didn't experience many spiritual effects besides that. This time was different. The session was done in a large room with no windows except a skylight.
We had just come to the end of an hour and a half session of hatha yoga. We began with slow stretching, moved into Sun Salutations, warrior poses, balancing poses, shoulder and head stands, and finally the abdominal work that you complete by laying on your stomach.
Having finished the physical parts of the session, it was time for the relaxation period. Normally we had done this by lying on the ground and flexing and releasing all the muscles, followed by a 10 minute period of complete silence and total relaxation.
To be honest, I had always fallen into a deep sleep during that period.
But not tonight. The instructor asked us to remain seated in a cross legged position with our eyes closed as she went over to turn off the lights and set up the music for meditation.
I was happy for the change in routine, although I wasn't expecting anything more than further relaxation. I closed my eyes and began to focus on my breath as soft chanting music began to play.
I began to sync my breath with the rhythm of the music. Eventually I think I went into a trancelike but also sleeplike state of complete relaxation, where I was unaware of where I was, or even of my physical body itself.
The music was so entrancing that I felt like I was listening with my very soul. It was as if there was no separation between me and the music: I had become one with it. The lights off, and the only light was coming in from the square-shaped skylight above me.
I still had an image of that square light within my eyes, like what happens when you look at the sun for a long time. But in a split second, I felt as though light from above was shining down on me, and I was witnessing the door to heaven.
I felt I had transcended a boundary and somehow ascended spiritually to a new level of awareness.
When the meditation session was over, it took two or three minutes for the awareness to come back into my body. As I got up to put away my mat, I felt incredibly light: my breathing passageways seemed clearer than ever before, and any weight of sadness or worry I had felt in my chest had disappeared.
I felt like laughing, I felt so joyful.
These types of experiences have been rare for me, so it is hard to gauge their effects on my normal state of consciousness. But whenever they happen, I feel a sense of certainty, gratitude, wonder, and joy.