Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, magazine editor, Washington DC:

The first time I experienced Yogic Flying fifteen years ago I felt like a helium balloon suddenly released into a bright sky. I’ve never felt such palpable lightness and bliss – the kind of happiness that makes you laugh for no reason and find delight in everything. That buoyant joy has been a part of my daily experience ever since, and it continues to bring endless amounts of creativity and beauty into my life.1

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

The phenomenon produced by the TM-Sidhi programme of Yogic Flying gives the experience of bliss, and generates coherence between consciousness and matter in the body. EEG studies have shown that during this phenomenon, when the body lifts up in the air, physiology and consciousness are completely integrated. This integration takes place at the level of the Unified Field of Natural Law, which has the character of infinite correlation. The impulse of coherence from this level instantly reconstructs and transforms unnatural stressful, negative and undesirable tendencies in the brain physiology, and brain functioning becomes coherent.2

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi defines “sidhi” as perfection, and the performance of the TM-Sidhi programme, as perfecting specific channels of “mind-body co-ordination”. Thus he placed the TM-Sidhi techniques in three general categories; consciousness moving within itself, (the development of various emotional qualities), consciousness moving outwards towards the environment (more knowledge of the environment including our own bodies, more refinement of the senses); and consciousness moving matter, which, toward the end of the third chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, includes the technique of moving through the air by mere intention.

Historical examples of rising in the air

Saint Joseph of CupertinoHistorical examples of rising in the air include Rabi’a of Basra, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Adolphus Liguori, Father Suarez of Santa Cruz, and most famously, St Joseph of Cupertino. Documents state that the flights of St. Joseph of Cupertino, who lived four hundred years ago, occurred every day. They began in 1628, continued until his death in 1663, were officially recorded on over a hundred occasions, and were watched by many people including priests, bishops, cardinals and Pope Urban VIII. Either this is fiction, or we need to re-consider the relationship of mind and matter.

St. Joseph’s brain wave coherence must have been fully developed if he was able to move through the air at will. If brain wave coherence is not fully developed, an individual practicing the TM-Sidhi programme (Sidha), for instance, will not move through the air but rather will move in a long, or short, series of hops. (The second stage of hopping is described by Maharishi as levitation, when the body remains suspended in the air, and the third stage is described as moving freely through the air.) The practice of moving through the air is the most powerful of the Sidhis and is called by Maharishi, the Yogic Flying® program.

The Yogic Flying programme, like the TM technique, is simple, effortless, and for the purposes of the Maharishi Effect, the most relevant Sidhi technique. Research indicates that the inner-motivated hopping associated with the programme is based on coherent brain functioning and is sufficient to produce a beneficial influence on society, whereas outer, or muscle-motivated jumping is not. This process is analogous to a master hologram. If coherent laser light with all photons in phase is shone on a holographic plate, the master image will be revealed. Incoherent light will not produce the same effect.

Maharishi notes that without the experience of Transcendental Consciousness, it is not possible to harmonise the conflicting demands of social harmony and social diversity. Confirmation of this from the Vedic Literature comes from 2.35 of the Yoga Sutras Tat sannidhau vairatyagah, translated by Maharishi as: “In the vicinity of Yogic Influence, unifying influence, integrating influence, coherent and harmonious influence, conflicting tendencies do not arise”.3

The Physics of Flying

John-Hagelin-337x337Most scientists would view the second stage of the Yogic Flying programme, levitation, as a violation of laws of gravity. Physicist John Hagelin, agrees that levitation appears to violate the laws of gravity from classical physics, but suggests that these laws reflect a partial understanding of gravity. Dr Hagelin explains that levitation almost certainly would be in accord with a more comprehensive view of gravity – a quantum theory of gravity. And since, at the moment, one doesn’t exist, the second stage would undoubtedly upset the conventional understanding of the law of gravity, and might have implications for other physical laws.

Einstein explained gravity not as a force but as space-time curvature. ‘Space-time’ combines three-dimensional space and time into a single entity or continuum. Einstein’s general relativity theory, probing deeply into the nature of gravity, showed that objects positioned within the space-time continuum follow a path, which is determined by the gravitational field.

Gravity, therefore, can be understood as the curvature of space-time rather than as a force of attraction, and is only popularly considered a force in the sense that space-time is curved.

Within a few years of the discovery of space-time curvature, General Relativity was found to be inconsistent with the new quantum theory. It is this inconsistency that opens up the possibility that Yogic Flying is a phenomenon that can be explained in terms of our existing scientific principles. If General Relativity and quantum theory are two aspects of an underlying unified field, then, explains Hagelin, “a sustained level of coherence at the quantum mechanical level might upset the balance of statistical averaging that ordinarily gives rise to the familiar classical laws”. He comments: “In the above discussion the mechanics of the TM-Sidhis and Yogic Flying, we have not mentioned the mysterious role of the observer in the “collapse of the wave function”. We have merely discussed the possibility of introducing a small but orderly influence in the evolution of the wave function itself. The potential ability to steer, through intention, the direction of the collapse of the wave function would constitute an additional, powerful mechanism to control the outcome of events. I did not embark upon this discussion since little is known about the mechanics of the collapse, and I wanted to minimise conjecture”.4

This process of modification would permit the body to fly, and thus explain the levitation success of Rabi’a of Basra and St. Joseph of Cupertino.

Hagelin’s description of the mechanics of the Maharishi Effect assumes that a unified field explanation is correct in principle and that this level of unity is available for anyone to access. Progress to the second stage of Yogic Flying would certainly constitute conclusive evidence that both these assumptions are valid.

A related point is made by physicist, Paul Davies, whose popular book on the development of a unified field theory notes that the super force, his way of referring to the unified field, ultimately generates all forces and physical structures. Davies describes the unified field (super force) as the “fountainhead of all existence”. With a complete understanding of the super force/unified field, scientists “could change the structure of space and time”, create knots out of nothingness, and most controversially of all, “build matter to order”.5


  1. Pearson, C. (2008). The Complete Book of Yogic Flying, Fairfield, IA: Maharishi University Management Press. p. 47.
  2. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, (1995). Absolute Theory of Defense, Vlodrop, the Netherlands: Maharishi Vedic Univerrsity Press, p. 599.
  3. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Life Supported by Natural Law. Age of Enlightenment Press/Maharishi University of management Press. 1986. p. 25-26.
  4. Hagelin, Foundations of Physics and Consciousness, p.18.4.
  5. Davies, P. (1985). Superforce, London: Unwin, p. 168.