Yoga and sharks

I'm not psychic. I would never claim to be. The following is just a personal experience I had. It did not occur under objective, controlled, laboratory conditions and, therefore, it does not 'prove' anything.

But it does involve yoga and sharks. I’ll get to the sharks, but some necessary background first...

Twenty years ago, when I was 19, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I mostly manage it by eating right (vegetarian and mostly whole, raw foods), trying to limit stress (yeah, right), and taking some basic vitamin supplements.

Though I recently promised the universe I would stop saying I 'have' MS --- and I really feel like I don't; I haven't had a 'new' symptom in ages --- sometimes the old scars act up.  That was the case last summer.  I had a really rough time and even had to walk using canes for awhile. I could almost feel the inflammation in my head. In situations like that, I turn to additional treatment options like energy healing. At that time, I also started practicing healing yoga as taught by the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF) in India.

KHYF yoga is unlike any yoga I'd ever seen. My yoga therapist, Anita Claney, goes to India for six weeks every year to continue her training at a KHYF clinic. (And that's why there aren't many KHYF therapists in the US: that flight to India is a bear, I hear.) KHYF yoga is based on the premise that the systems of the mind, body, spirit (or energetic system), personality, and emotions are all linked and any and all can be positively affected by the practice. KHYF students use the yoga to manage everything from ovarian cysts to diabetes. Anita explains it better that I can.

Anita met with me for 90 minutes at our first appointment and we talked about almost every aspect of my existence: eating and sleeping habits, childhood trauma, current stressors, and some personal physiological things I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear about. Then she designed a practice specifically for me, taught it to me, and drew it out with cool little stick figures. I go back every six weeks or so and Anita changes my practice to reflect my improvements, new issues, etc. My job is to do the practice every day at home.

That's what I really like about KHYF yoga: it puts my health in my own hands. And it makes me feel better every time I do it. It has made a huge positive impact on my health.

KHYF yoga doesn't include the more well-known poses aimed at developing strength and balance (those apparently were developed to prepare 18-year old boys for meditating for long hours each day). I can do all of the exercises in my current practice (because every summer is hard on me) lying in my bed. It's mostly controlled breathing and simple movements of my fingers. My other practices have involved all kinds of sitting and standing exercises.

As Anita and I got to know each other, I came clean about my research interests on topics that most people find weird --- mediumship, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. Anita didn't find my interests weird at all because what we think of as psychic abilities are called siddhis in the Hindu yoga tradition and are a natural result of the yoga practice.  She 'warned' me that I should expect the development of such abilities as I went along.   

She was right. On to the sharks.

A couple months ago I woke up several days in a row thinking about a friend of mine from college. They were just memories of places we'd been and things we'd done. (Full disclosure: he was more than a friend; I dated Keith for two years.) This hypnopompic state of waking up is notoriously conducive to receiving non-local information, but I didn't think anything of it even when throughout the day I kept being reminded of him.

I hadn't talked to Keith in years and didn't even know where he was living.  When his popping into my head finally reached some sort of threshold, I called his parents and got his phone number.  When I called him, Keith was understandably surprised to hear from me but I got right to the point:

"You've been showing up in my dreams a lot lately," I told him because I didn't want to explain about hypnopompic information transfer. "So I’m just calling to see if you're alright and if you need anything."

"Are you serious!?!" he said. "Right now, I'm on my way to swim with great white sharks."

As you yourself might, I asked him what the hell he was thinking and he said he was hoping to face his fear of water.  Though I thought that starting in a bathtub or a swimming pool might be a more logical first step than water that contained man-eating predators, I held my tongue because it was none of my business.   

Keith was very concerned about what my call might mean for his survival so I explained about hypnopompic states and the theory that we all have access to all information all the time but only the important stuff bubbles up to the surface of our consciousness (much like the severed limb of someone swimming with sharks --- no, I didn't actually say that).

I said, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is probably as scared as you've been in ten years."  He thought that was a fair assessment.  "So all this means is that your distress was strong enough for me to become aware of it." I didn't have any sense that he was in danger.

Keith did indeed survive according to an airport butt-dial and subsequent voicemail. And I potentially had a real-world experience of yoga siddhis. 

If you are interested in learning more about yoga siddhis, check out Dean Radin's new book, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities, which was released today.

Now I need to go do my yoga practice for the day.  Be well!



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Philemon's picture
Member since:
31 May 2012
Last activity:
1 year 41 weeks

Great story, Julie! - I was thinking "how weird!" when you brought up the siddhis and the connection to yoga, as I just got Supernormal in the mail yesterday and began reading it last night. I was hopeful that it was a synchronicity of some sort, informing me as to how to direct my spiritual efforts. Alas, you mention the book at the end and had it in mind all along.

I have only attempted yoga once or twice and didn't enjoy it, however I do occasionally meditate and, when I do... wait, this sounds like those "most interesting man in the world" commercials for Dos Equis: "I don't always meditate, but when I do, I use the hemi-sync gateway experience."

Anyway, three summers ago, I was meditating fairly regularly and found myself being plagued by intrusive memories of someone I had dated for a short time ten years earlier and had lost touch with - much like your story. I had no interest in this person - I wasn't pining away for her or anything like that, and I found these memories annoying. The particular memory which I found myself experiencing was of riding a horse when I had visited her ten years before. It was a rather embarrassing experience for me - and as I am a Pennsylvanian, and this person and her family are from Alabama, they laughed at me as I rode the horse and said, "Look at the Yankee trying to ride the horse!" in their deep southern drawl. This memory kept popping up every time I wasn't busy with something. It was like every moment I was relaxed, it would be there, playing away in my head.

Finally, enough was enough, and I looked for her on Facebook, found her, friend requested her, and quickly started up a conversation with her through the IM thingy on the site. Before I could say anything, she says, "It's so weird you got in touch! - I have not been able to stop remembering the time you came down here and rode the horse!"

Weird, right?

"The yard looks smaller without leaves." -Calvin Jarrett, Ordinary People

pov's picture
Member since:
16 July 2013
Last activity:
3 years 19 weeks

"It did not occur under objective, controlled, laboratory conditions and, therefore, it does not 'prove' anything."

The above expresses part of the systemic problem of the materialism as science approach. First of all a lab is no more or less objective than a pizza place. AKA it's *all* subjective.
Second, the idea that "controlled" doesn't in and of itself alter what it's applied to is preposterous. Third, this concept of proof is based on wanting others to validate one's experience. A couple centuries ago it was common to seek the validation of the local church "experts" Nowadays many seek the validation of those who work in one of the fields termed science. Is there a difference? Not really.

Johannes Angelos's picture
Member since:
24 April 2009
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15 weeks 3 days

What kind of scientific validation should replace the current "materialistic" process and standards?

If this is creation, I feel misplaced.

Elgon's picture
Member since:
3 March 2008
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4 weeks 15 hours

> What kind of scientific validation should replace the current "materialistic" process and standards?

The problem with scientific method(s) available to us nowadays seems to be that it can't grasp subjective, subjectively meaningful non-local experiences that defy statistical chance. And by "can't grasp" i mean can't, won't, won't even try :)

Big high five to Sheldrake, Bem et al for using it though, despite all the resistance.

The flap of a butterfly's wings in the Atlantic may cause it to fly.

alanborky's picture
Member since:
29 January 2009
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

Agreed pov.

If you put Michelangelo or Leonardo through the battery of preliminaries the X-ray eye girl say was put through you could use the mentally exhausted brain dead scrawls they'd almost certainly produce to prove there's no such thing as fine art and any attempt to protest "What about the Cistine Chapel the Mona Lisa?"'d be greeted by "...weren't done in a lab...irrelevant..."

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
20 hours 35 min

Are yo sure this wasn't triggered by movie night spent watching Sharknado? :P

I kid. I found your mentioning that the "hypnopompic state of waking up is notoriously conducive to receiving non-local information" to be particularly resonant with me, since some times I like to go to my car during my office lunch break, and after reading a few pages of a book or magazine, close my eyes & doze off for some 15 minutes before returning back to my desk --go ahead y'all, make fun about RPJ & the Mexican siesta!-- and when I'm just sitting there in total silence with my eyes closed waiting to hear my cell phone alarm, I get to 'see' all sort of weird images, that don't really feel as if they were being generated by my own imagination.

But the images feel like psychic TV surfing, not amounting to anything meaningful to me.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 day 14 hours

I gobble up stories like this. Experience. Since we have lately been on the subject of professional skeptics elsewhere, whenever I read stories like this the first thing that comes to mind is how belligerent and righteous skeptics don't really want to open themselves to experiences. It makes the whole dialogue about proof a depressing waste of time. I periodically get a little crap thrown at me for my orgonite enthusiasm as well, and as I keep harping like a broken record this is an "experience" - not an intellectual exercise. For heaven's sakes get up out of your chair and mix it up with the world out there for a change.

alanborky's picture
Member since:
29 January 2009
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

RPJ I used to have a version of that where the kettle'd start boiling and I'd hear all these voices burbling away in the roar of the steam but the more attention I'd pay the more I'd seem able to distinguish and recognise voices of people I knew in the neighbourhood discussing thinking or dreaming about things I'm pretty certain they wouldn't've wanted someone like me list'nin into.

Oddly enough that surfing psychic tv experience you describe's pretty much what seems to happen when you gaze into the Pillar of Jamshid or down in the Grail.

And in those cases the trick's supposed to be not to allow yourself to make the experiences personal or to continually detach and reattach yourself whenever that starts happening.

In which case it might be proficience you're exhibiting on your part rather than failure.