Thursday, October 20, 2011
The lamp on the path
I take this opportunity to offer my respectful and humble gratitude to Swami Vishnu-Devananda, direct disciple of Swami Sivananda, who personally designed the Sadhana Intensive course I have just returned from; to introduce serious practitioners and teachers to the intensive techniques of Hatha Yoga Sadhana. I take this opportunity to offer my thanks to all the Guru's, Sat Guru Swami Sivananda, Swami Govindananda who put me on the path, and the many people who have appeared in the form of Guru's to me, including other great yogi's be them teachers of students, whom I have learnt from and will continue learning from. I was born in the darkness of ignorance and my spiritual masters are opening my eyes lighting the lamps on the path.
Sadhana Intensive undertakes the daily life that ancient works describe that a yogi is expected to live. We should rise at 4am having his or her Guru in mind and chosen diety in heart. We should perform our abolutions and cleansing practices, then seated in padmasana, our meditative pose, mentally salute our Guru, then make our sankalpa; a prayer to help us with our daily practice and our daily resolve to the practice. We should offer salutations to all the great yogi's and to Sesa- the king of serpants,so we can successfully go through our asanas. After completing our meditation we can begin. The practice takes us through our suryia namaskar and our 12 postures, then we begin with intense pranayama (breathing techniques) of 2 hour sessions, 3 times a day. 10 pranayamas have to be completed increasing by 5 everyday, until reaching 80. Bandhas (energy locks) and Mudras (energy seals) are used to lock and direct the energy within the body. After completing each session one should sit in padmasana and concentrate on the inner sounds (the nada) and at the end of the days practice at 9 or 10pm one should offer it all to Iswara, (God.)
Om Namah Sivaya Guruve Satchidananda Murtaye
It is hard to put in a simple little blog post exactly what happened in those 15 days of intense practice, getting up at 4.20am, beginning practice at 5, and going through the whole day either in asana practice, pranayama, meditation or kirtan, with two breaks to eat. What happened to the body, and more importantly to the mind. What was it that changed in me, or became illuminated to me. It was a time to journey deeply within, and to try to overcome the darkness filling our hearts with divine virtues, still the mind waves and find peace.
Yoga meaning unification, unification with what? With the universal consciousness , or we can say God. Maybe in society today we have forgotton our eternal relationship with this universal consciousness, every one of us is full of anxieties because of this material existence. Our activities have to be purified, and practice brings purification. The Bhagavad Gita teaches that we have to purify this materially contaminated consciousness, one must become free and one who wants to become free has to practice with sincerity and an open heart.
"The action of a person, who has abandoned all desires is freed from desire. Indifferent to ownership or sense of possession and free from any sense of ego, he attains peace." 2:71 Bhagavad Gita
I asked Mother Ganga, of which we were sitting right beside, take my ego, wash it away, burn it in the fire, let me find peace. I asked Mother Ganga to help me, I asked Lord Siva and Saraswati to guide me, be with me. During those 15 days I felt Joy, my mantra become very strong, the moon came to me. My hearing became so acute to even hear things that weren't there. I was able to observe the different emotions I was going through and the realization came that often when we have a problem of some sort or irritation, the problem is not external as we see it, but lies within us, within our own minds, and only by changing the way we think can we overcome the problem.
It is a blessing to be a Yogi, and I feel incredibly grateful. I have found more peace, more bliss, and feel that I am coming closer to that universal consciousness. Yoga can mean to walk in the path of God, to feel light, feeling a change in ones attitude to life, more healthy, more happy, more focused and more content. Yoga can bring you to be like the shinning sun and it is for all humanity no matter who you are, where you come from, and if you have faith what faith that comes from. And oh how we need this yoga now in todays world, I feel truly blessed I can teach yoga in hope of making people feel better and to bring more and more peace back into the world.
Now I am back from Sadhana, back to the life of noise and traffic, what now? The hard part is coming out of the practice, one has to be in the right place with an experienced Guru to practice so intensely, but it doesn't stop, the peace is still there, it is deep in my heart and I continue with my practices as I was before, meditation, asna and pranayama, keep up my studies and keep teaching, hoping that the vibrations are spreading. And lets see where the next part of the journey takes me and when the next lamp on the path is going to be lit. From a small seed, great things can grow.
Shanti- peace for your eternal self
Shanti- peace to all living beings and entities
Shanti- peace to Mother Earth
love and light and OM
please feel free to contact me regarding course details, however you need to have taken the Sivananda teachers training course before embarking with Sadhana Intensive. Images above are of the Sivananda Netala Ashram, Utterkashi, India where the course was held. Om.