person meditating on a dock for enlightenmentIs Enlightenment Something We Can Get Intentionally?

Is enlightenment something you get after doing lots of yoga. Or is it something that you can take the tools of doing yoga  – from a yoga teacher training (ytt) and arrive at it. In this blog we will discuss this.


Enlightenment is when one has reached Samadhi and becomes one with ‘the source’, the ‘divine’, with ‘God’, with ‘the One’ or with ‘pure consciousness. Those are some of the many names given to the unknown energy that is inside of us and all around us.  We cannot define this energy, we can only feel it. 

enlightened people


Enlightenment is a state of wholeness, of being one with all, of being one with ‘what is’. If you believe in the illusion that there is a you and a totally separate ‘other’, you have then forgotten that underneath the world of appearance, you are one with all that is. 


Yoga is one of the disciplines that aim to reach enlightenment by stilling the mind. Yoga and meditation allow us to see the first aspect of emptiness (also called egolessness).

That is the discovery that the usual sense of oneself as a solid separate being is only an image, an illusion, created in your mind.). 

So, there are many obstacles to enlightenment. 



The main obstacle to enlightenment is what is known as the ‘Thinker’, the ‘ego’ or the ‘mind’. Ego is simply the identification with forms, which may be physical, thought, or emotional forms.

Phillip Moffitt made a wonderful metaphor on how the ego can trick you: if you are caught in a rainstorm and you get wet, does that make you rain? 

lady meditating for enlightenment


Of course, it doesn’t. Nonetheless, you must deal with being wet by using a dry towel for example. It is the same with hard emotions and trauma, they will get you  ‘wet’ and you have to take care of yourself.

But even though the ego would like to make you believe ‘you’ are the trauma, you need to understand that you are not the trauma, you are ‘the mirror’ looking at the trauma.

If use wrongly, ‘the mind’/ ego’ can control you and you become a slave to it. The ‘mind/ego’ cannot live in the now. That is why it tries to attach itself to the past (past trauma) or the future.  


This where yoga and meditation are critical as yogis are trained ‘to let go’ of their fleeting thoughts and live without attachment. 

By doing so, the ego loses its power. The eight limbs of yoga of Pantanjali lay down the path for yogi to live without the ego. The ego will always exist, that is why a daily yoga practice is essential to attain enlightenment. Which in its simplest definition is to live in the present moment where inner peace can be found. 

This essential yoga philosophy should be emphasized in modern day yoga classes, especially in the Western culture.