Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism
by Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson
foreword by Rodney Yee
Order at www.amazon.com
Read an excerpt from the book at www.realitysandwich.com
Read a “Weekly Inspiration” by Andrew and Karuna on ABC’s Good Morning America website
A Vision Statement:
“The body is an ocean, rich with hidden treasures.
Open its innermost chamber
And light its lamp.”
Many teachers and students in the yoga community are now searching for and discovering luminous new ways of deepening the body’s experience of spirit. They intuit that it is this experience of dynamic unity that will inspire, encourage and strengthen people to meet the challenges of our time. Many mystical teachers and students also are aware that this moment in history demands not only spiritual knowledge, but also a divinely embodied strength and a capacity for compassionate action. They are turning towards yoga as a way of discovering the new grounding inspiration that they need.
Heart Yoga is Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson’s attempt to fuse both these longings and aspirations. Their new and quietly revolutionary work is born from a deep belief that the healing revelation for our time is that of the Sacred Marriage. In most of the world’s mystical traditions the universe is conceived as a dynamic dance of opposites, the most profound of which are masculine and feminine: spirit and matter. This electric unity leads to a wholly new level of both mystical knowledge and embodied physical energy. Andrew and Karuna believe this is essential for the most empowered evolution of the human race. The Sacred Marriage is the living unity of heaven and earth, heart and mind, body and soul. The inner experience of this marriage engenders a transformed human being; one who is simultaneously open to the transcendent and able to create and work for radical change in the immanent.
The most profound aspect of the Sacred Marriage for our time is what Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson call mystical activism. They believe that only intense and deep mystical love, strength, and passion, combined with a commitment to sustained transformative action can now preserve the planet. Heart Yoga, a fusion of body and soul, will enable people to find the luminous energy, calm, and power that they will need in order to help them become mystical activists and give birth a new world out of the ashes of the old.
Andrew and Karuna believe that the unity of spirit, body, heart and mind that all human beings are longing for can be most powerfully achieved through the fusion of simple yoga asanas with simple spiritual practices. In Heart Yoga: the Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism, they create an ecstatic and passionate experience of the Divine. This inspires people to taste the glory of their true spiritual nature and embody its power in the authenticity of their humanity.
The Sacred Marriage of the essence of yoga traditions with mystical traditions is especially designed for our challenging and dangerous times. Andrew and Karuna feel that the most profound way of staying awake, passionate, and grounded comes from this unity of body and soul. It provides the continuous energy and stable strength that is invaluable in so tumultuous an era. Their fusion of yoga and mysticism fulfills the longing of many yoga teachers and students for a deeper spiritual meaning to their practice, while also satisfying the desire of many mystics for a greater and deeper experience of embodiment. It brings together the world of yoga and the world of mystical seeking and practice. Andrew and Karuna pray that all those who open to this innovative and exciting blending of ancient teachings will become radiant with a renewed commitment to spiritual growth and service to all beings, empowered with the practices they need to sustain their lives in the marriage of love, peace, and sacred passion.
“This is an amazing book that will accelerate your journey to God-consciousness.”
“Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism exquisitely merges the poetry of the Divine with the power of Yoga with inspired precision. Authors Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson have accomplished the rigorous blending of heaven and earth, guaranteed to inspire new and well-seasoned students of yoga. This book is a magnificent accomplishment.”
—Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit
“This profound, beautiful and pioneering book will ground the yoga community in a deeper mystical understanding, taking the world-wide yoga movement to a new level of inner empowerment and outer effectiveness. Whether you’re a beginning student of a life-long practitioner, Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson will deepen your practice with this exalted and extremely practical book.”
—Marianne Williamson, Author of Age of Miracles and The Healing of America
“Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson have written an inspirational and passionate guide recognizing modern-day yogis as mystics on the mat. This is a magnificent and timely book affirming that the sacred practice of yoga is a journey of personal illumination, universal recognition, mystical unification and the inevitable understanding that it is love and action that can transform this planet from one of fear and separation into one united by love, truth and God.”
—Seane Corn, Yoga Teacher, Global Yoga Ambassador for Youth AIDS, co-visionary for “Off the Mat, Into the World”
“Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism is a potent offering with the depth of living wisdom, kindled knowledge and mystical insight that will ignite the inherent fire of yoga lovers everywhere. ”
—Shiva Rea, yogini, founder and leading teacher of Prana Flow Yoga and Yoga Trance Dance™
“Through Andrew and Karuna’s inspiration and guidance we can begin the inner journey that will inspire us to be free from the shackles of today’s unhealthy perspective of isolation and separateness. I thank my friends for this wonderful offering that has arisen from countless hours of work and play, and their lifetimes of devoted practice.”
—Rodney Yee, Yoga teacher, Author of Yoga: The Poetry of the Body and Moving Toward Balance.
“Karuna and I invite you into the core of our heart yoga, which is a fusion between traditional yoga in its most sacred form and mystical practices of the evolution of the sacred body. Karuna has been my yoga teacher because of her very great compassion and
tenderness towards all kinds of bodies in her classes. We were able to invent this pioneering yoga together because I trusted her
ability to communicate great compassionate tenderness. So it is with great joy that I am inviting you to experience how a truly kind
yoga teacher who is also deeply inspired by the sacred feminine can help you work with yourself just as you are to go deeper into the
mystery of embodiment.”
Andrew Harvey, renowned spiritual writer, and Karuna Erickson, long-time yoga teacher and psychotherapist, have been working together for many years to birth a revolutionary new yoga. Heart Yoga fuses at the most passionate depth the ancient traditions of yoga with the wisdom of the mystical traditions concerning the sacred heart and the divine light. Their intention is to inspire the yoga community to become the crucible for the divinization of the body and the birth of the divine human. Heart Yoga is grounded in the universal mystical vision of the Sacred Marriage, the marriage of transcendence and immanence that is continually birthing the cosmos and irradiating it on every level with compassion, joy, sacred passion and sacred peace.
In their book, Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism, Andrew and Karuna ground the splendor of the vision of the marriage in an unfolding of the five great joys that radiate from it: the joys of transcendence, creation, love for all beings, Tantra, and service. For each of these joys, Andrew and Karuna offer precise and beautiful combinations of classical asanas with sacred poetry, meditations, and visualizations drawn from the classical mystical traditions. These enable each joy to be experienced simultaneously in the illumined mind, ecstatic heart, and increasingly conscious and spiritualized body.
What they have discovered over their years of practice and study is that when yoga practice is infused with the inspiration of sacred texts and poetry, and with precisely tailored mystical meditations on the heart center and on the chakra system, yoga becomes a holy way of experiencing the greatest mystery of all—that of the embodiment of the divine in the human.
Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson are both longtime devoted sacred activists who believe deeply that the challenges of our times call for a fusion between profound spiritual wisdom and compassion with clear focused radical action in the world. They also believe that in order to act from sacred consciousness in the demanding circumstances of our world crisis we will need not only illumined minds, passionately compassionate hearts, and wills surrendered to the Beloved, but also bodies that have been opened tenderly to the all-empowering energies of the Divine. Heart Yoga is a yoga that can tremendously help this creation in a human being of a unified force-field of embodied divine energy and love.
Andrew and Karuna have already taught this yoga in Canada, the US, and Europe, to mystics, activists, and yoga students of all levels, and have been awed and humbled by its power. It both grounds and inspires the kind of living faith and radiant energy that we are all going to need to co-create with the Divine a new world out of the ashes of the old one. They have also been awed and humbled by the extraordinary response to their new book from many of the world’s major spiritual teachers and leading teachers of yoga. What they have created is an embodied prayer for all human beings to enter into the fullness of the birth of the divine human.
Please join Andrew and Karuna for an experience of Heart Yoga that will deepen and inspire your yoga practice, fill your mind with the wisdom of the Divine, open your heart to the compassion of the Beloved ,and strengthen and infuse your body with the radiance of the Mother’s all-transforming shakti.
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI
Here are a few testimonials from our students that express their joy and wonder in Heart Yoga.
“This new work, presented by Karuna and Andrew, was profoundly transformational in how it opened the heart through the gentle yoga moves and beautiful poetry of the masters, such as Rumi, Mirabai and Hafez. As I moved slowly through these Heart Yoga postures, glimmerings of light began to make their presence known from deep within my heart. The experience had a very ephemeral quality to it, a quality that contrasted starkly with the seemingly solid nature of my body. I was aware of the gentleness of the moves and how this gentle nature invited the heart to open, rather than pushing anything to happen. “ –Julie Daley
“My body embraced your guided asana meditation; a peaceful, strengthening, and spiritually enlivening experience! With words of poetic magnificence you guide students through a graceful sequence of asanas, filling the mind with imagery of the divine’s perfection.” —Tara
“Your use of imagery and metaphors connect my body with the body of the earth and with my Spirit. In that centered place, I am more present and awake, leading me to a deeper trust in life.” —Sandra
“In this practice the words seemed to become pure energy and speak directly to the body. I felt my body flow into the poses without first thinking about them. It was a beautiful experience of non-duality and free-flowing consciousness.” —Suzette
“This is truly a mystical journey. To come to a place physically and spiritually where I can embrace the sacred in everyone and everything is the greatest gift I have ever received.” —Marina