Aristotle said that the ether is the quintessence. According to ancestral belief, the aether is a symbol of the space between earth and sky. The Greeks believed that the ether was the breath of God, or the source of life. In the first book of Moses, he refers to this space as “the earth was desolate and waste, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The purpose of yoga is to subdue the whirling thoughts and return to a still state as formless as the ether itself.
The practice is dominated by its etheric fabric, and is concerned with developing awareness and alertness. The etheric element is boundless and infinite, thus filling the whole space. Literally: the microscopic pause between breaths, or noticing the space around the body, can help practitioners connect with the ether. To compensate for this, grounding asanas are used to ‘dampen vibration’, to ground oneself to a resilient ground. The question rightly arises, where is the consensus boundary between music and meditation? It is a fragile terrain, and with this ethereal practice we will teeter around the cracks of this vague conjecture.