Bhatki Yoga: The Path of Devotion
Many of us in the west are familiar with Asana Yoga or the yoga of the body. Asana connects us to the body’s flow, it brings in alignment, and it gives us a pretty decent workout. Asana practice in and of itself is not yoga. Yoga is divided into four main forms and Asana is one method of connecting to a particular yogic path. Bhatki is one main form of yoga that has its full roots in the spiritual side of the yogic experience.
Bhatki is the path of devotion. This is also known as the “yoga of the heart”. Most of us that walk a spiritual path have in some way devoted ourselves to our journey, our cause, and/or our community. I want to take a deeper look at Bhatki and how we can apply its deeper roots to our personal practice in order to deepen our connection to the divine. Devotion does not necessarily mean throwing ourselves in front of an altar to any specific deity, devotion is an action of commitment to the divine through our actions. Bhatki truly is the embodiment of seeing the divine in everything around us. To see God or Goddess in everything: In the air we breath, in the trees on our walk to work, in the homeless person asking for change, in the sky above and in the earth below–and to the divine reflection staring back at us in the mirror.
The path of devotion can take many forms, it is up to us to decide where we want to find that connection. In Hinduism, Hanuman is the embodiment of Bhatki. He was fully committed to Rama. Hanuman completely devoted his energy to serving Rama which freed him from the binding nature of the physical. To be single pointed in our focus on the divine, allowing ourselves to transcend the physical.
Each day we have an opportunity to deepen our connection to our divine self. Here are a few things you can do to deepen your practice through Bhatki:
1) Say a mantra (prayer) to your chosen path, deity, or energy. Do this through your day. Say a mantra that connects you directly to that divine energy. Hanuman’s mantra is: Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama. You can use anything that connects you. It could be a line from Charge of the Star Goddess, or just simply a positive high vibration word like “love” or “peace”. Doing mantra work through our day brings the divine into the randomness of our day. We do not have to sit in front of our altars to bring in the divine energy.
2) See the divine in everything. Connect through your heart. Giving selflessly is one way to lead with your heart. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Give to those that are in need. Choose not to argue with those you love. This allows us to BE the divine. Take this further and connect to the world outside. Touch a tree and see it as divine. Pause and see the divinity in a single blade of grass poking its way through the concrete. Go vegetarian for a day (or longer) to extend your compassion to
3) See perfection in all of your imperfections. See yourself as the divine. There is a story of Hanuman rushing off to get an antidote for Rama’s brother who was poisoned. He gets to the sacred mountain and forgets which flower is the antidote–so he lifts the entire mountain and brings it back to Rama. We aren’t perfect. We sometimes forget about our connection and stop showing up. We must show up, even if we forget the details, show up with a mountain of love on your shoulder for all of your parts.
The world is your altar, commit to your path, and devote yourself to this life fully. Each breath is a mantra, each day another chance to be in that space of devotion.
Rock On Hanuman By MC Yogi