According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, samadhi is a state naturally and organically reached by sustained single-pointed concentration and meditation. I am lucky to say that I have experienced at least once during my asana practice, when my breath, movements, and mind were all aligned in time and space, that everything about my body and its actions just seemed easy and light. Everything seemed to make sense. It seemed almost like a trance, as my body moved about on its own will, and I felt like my big “I” was experiencing all these sensations from without. In this state, you are, more or less, detached from the material world.
However, I also believe that samadhi can be achieved when your entire being is so immersed in the worldly happenings around you that you feel as if you are experiencing all these sensations as part of universal fluxes. I believe that samadhi can happen any time, as long as your entire being is whole and fully present.
This very morning, as I finished my last vinyasa of my practice and chanted the Closing Invocation, I suddenly felt a wave of heightened senses and sensations that comes by only occasionally. I was in a small, empty room in the yoga studio on the top floor. It was a warm day in San Francisco, the windows were propped open, and a light, cool (not the frigid SF wind) ever so subtly brushed across my skin. I wasn’t alone, and it wasn’t quiet. The usual hustle and bustle of the city at 8:30am traveled to my ears, but this very morning, this very moment, it seemed to come in harmony with the birds chirping in the background, welcoming the warm day. I felt the sunlight shining through my closed eyelids, and my body seemed so light, so free of blockages.
At that moment, my senses had completely immersed themselves into the world and its happenings. I felt like there were no barriers between me, my body, my sensations, and the world. I was grateful to be present in that very moment, I was grateful to be alive to experience it. And I knew at that moment, that I had entered into a brief samadhi.
“Samadhi is the state in which we no longer experience reality through a grid; instead, we experience reality directly…Samadhi is the state in which you are aware on a cellular level of the underlying oneness of the universe.” –from Yoga Journal Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi
Note: after a bit of Googling around, I found a similar article written by Judith Lasater on Yoga Journal