Wishing All good health, and confidence to Stay on the Path with Practices that lead to Peace of Mind. Hope that more folks find values in skills which bring the ability to know how to still everything to fully experience the awesome silences and pregnant pauses available in each and every Moment. Do open your Gift of conscious breathing which reveals the beautiful Present of Being fully in the Moment. Do click the link below the image to read Sadhguru’s words about bringing in the New Year ahead. Thanks Isha Foundation for posting these valuable teachings from Sadhguru. Namaste.
Isha Foundation offers an online 7 part course “Inner Engineering.” The Shambavi Mahamudra is the SuperKriya that one is initiated into after completing the online course. This initiation program happens at the ashram in Tennessee, USA and India. Do click the link here to listen to Sadhguru explain about the powers of Shambavi. Then go to the Isha Foundation website and check out the links for Inner Engineering for more information. This is a wonderful yogic tool to tune up your energetic powers and to bring an amazing ongoing wave of peace and much more. Thanks for taking the time to visit this blog and thanks to Isha Foundation for sharing these classical hatha yogic tools with all of us….Namaste
Asato Ma Sat Gamaya Tamaso Ma, Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor Ma, Amritam Gayama, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti OM
We recite this invocation at every yoga sadhana: Take us from the unreal, to the real, take us from darkness to Light, Take us from death to immortality. This is from the ancient Brihadaranyak Upanishad, 1.3.28….
This reference about darkness and light relates to ignorance and knowledge. Ignorance, like darkness obscures true understanding. The remedy for darkness is light, and the remedy for ignorance is knowledge of one’s own true nature, our Divine Spirit.
The cultural significance is this festival is a way to enjoy and celebrate our Spiritual Birth, our Second Birth. Diwali celebrations take place all over the whole subcontinent of India, from north to south, east to west, from different religions from Hindu, Sikh to Jain and Christian, including Muslim as it is an agrarian harvest celebration and the business of farming includes all who consume. The festival spreads over five days, historically marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of the winter season. Farmers give thanks for their bounty and wealth. Lakshmi is the deity associated with wealth and is celebrated to bring continued good fortune for families.
Diwali, (spelled differently depending on the state and religious background) means lighting diyas (small clay vessels filled with oil and lit with cotton wicks). These lights are arranged in huge arrays in beautiful patterns like the rangoli drawings (like the background pictures on this homepage. The picture just above this text has tea light candles as any candle may be used and fire crackers are often lighted to celebrate the spark of our inner light.
The Yogic and Spiritual significance celebrates the realization of our own inner Light. Honoring, Atman, the pure, infinite and eternal Divine Energy which can be awakened in all people. This celebration of victory of good over evil signifies the victory of self-knowledge over ignorance, light over darkness. The awareness that we are much more than our physical body, but an infinite, ever-present Spirit. Every year people celebrate their birthday and Diwali celebrates their second birth…the Spiritual Awakening…our Inner Light…the true reality for All.
I read this as a post on Facebook…“Auditions are being held for you to be yourself…Apply within.”
May you choose to wake up and realize your Inner Light! HAPPY DIWALI!!!!!!!!!
Hari OM Tat Sat OM
For so many living and following yoga in the west Ashtanga can mean so many things. It can be a name of a restaurant, a line of clothing or beauty product, a record label or a yoga style made famous by Madonna. Not sure if Madonna would want to steal Shri Patanjali’s thunder, but it is in fact our most famous sacred Father of Indian Classical Yoga who penned the list. The eight-fold path or Ashtanga encompasses the entire evolutionary process for this spiritual path. At the base of these guidelines are the Yama and Niyama, (listed in the two previous posts). Yama and Niyama comprise the basic, timeless, universal code for behavior and some important guidelines for daily living. The Yama and Niyama may lead one towards a balanced regimen for individual discipline. The first six practices are merely preparatory for the first goal of spiritual quest- Meditation. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are purely mental and spiritual practices concerned with transformation.
Ashtanga, the eight-fold path, is a practical, workable system of self development that helps to control body and mind, and to live a balanced lifestyle: mentally, physically and emotionally. Through understanding the intricate connection between body and mind, what causes distractions and obstacles in life, comes a willingness to use these guidelines to achieve the balance of body and mind, eventually leading to self-realization. Success is measured by practicing each step orderly and do know the Isha Kriya will allow you embody 4-8, when completing 108 mandalas. We can use consciousness and awareness as terms in alignment with self-realization. Without further ado here are the infamous 8:
1. Yama– ethical practices
2. Niyama – conscious observances
3. Asana – physical postures designed to release mental tensions and stresses lodged in the physical body
4. Pranayama – the science of breath control to balance prana (life force) in the body, mind and emotions
5. Pratyhara – sensory practices, aims for the withdrawal of the mind from the senses.
6. Dharana – concentration practices
7. Dhyana – meditation
8. Samadhi – liberation
The practice of Yama and Niyama creates a strong fortress of physical, mental and emotional purity for the seeker/practitioner. If this purity is not created as a foundation, many complications can manifest later to obstruct one in their practice. For example, as one progresses on the path and more power is accumulated, diversions/temptations may arise that can distract a seeker from a genuine experience, causing the loss of valuable time and energy, as well as getting lost. Here are the five Niyama– Conscious Observances:
Saucha – Purity. An impurity is anything on the physical, mental or emotional level that obstructs our optimal functioning. It is our impurities that stand between us and our highest realization All the practices of Yoga are designed to remove these very impurities. Some simple examples are the various cleansing regimens of hatha yoga that help purify the physical body and mantras that help cleanse the mind and emotions. The more work a practitioner has put into willful cleansing disciplines, the easier, swifter and more successful towards spontaneous development.
Santosha – Contentment. Santosha is the art of being happy with whatever life brings. It is learning not to expect or desire more than one needs.
Tapas – Transformative Spiritual Practices. Tapas creates the heat that purifies and strengthens our bodies and minds to make them fit vehicles for self-realization.
Svadhyaya – Spiritual study. This is not merely study in the usual sense, but a deep contemplation, digestion and integration of the deeper and often hidden essences contained in the Yogic scriptures. It refers to an intensity of contemplation in which this deeper knowledge is revealed to the seeker from within themselves.
Ishvara Pranidhan – a dedication to Divine Energy. Actual practices can include any type of devotional worship, singing of bhajans, repetition of mantras, etc. These practices purify the heart and mind. There is a deeper impact when using the original sanskrit for these chants, mantras, bhajans/songs. The Yogi Scientists of long ago took the time to develop the sounds for the actual idea so that when uttered that same idea is created inside the cells, and this is why Sanskrit is today still so very valuable as a benefit.
This now completes the ten tenets for Yama and Niyama. These are the first two rungs on the Ladder for Self-Realization on the Path of Classical Indian Hatha Yoga/Ashtanga. Oftentimes we can see many who are accomplished at doing asana but have not come close towards compassion for their own spirit. To not get lost in the physical body and to rise beyond via higher consciousness these ten steps must be explored and fully understood. When we are on the path to Self -Realization it is a different and thorough process above and beyond mere exercise. Do find a way to keep these Yama and Niyama close to you in your practice via Journal, or any other format that works best for you to re-visit important concepts for your personal development. Shri Patanjali designed a complete course for us in Personal Development and Self-Realization that is a very Holistic psychology. Namaste
The link above takes you to the audio podcast by Sadhguru and below is my commentary on the value of teachers of Indian classical hatha yoga. Whenever we begin to practice yoga it is always a good time. Many follow the “newly re-invented” versions that have popped up in the west. These western forms are more about aerobic activity and exercise. True Indian classical hatha yoga is a gateway to human consciousness. When one finds hatha yoga in a gym or spa and has a positive experience this is a good beginning. Many who are teaching yoga are not certified. Some who are leading classes have taken so many classes and can expertly perform the asanas/yoga poses therefore they feel they can teach yoga. Some take a certification class that may be a weekend long, month-long and feel this is enough to start teaching. Yoga is an ancient science for the highest of all human searches – for evolution in one’s lifetime. People are very careful about the backgrounds of their doctors and lawyers but not their yoga teachers. This says much about how precious their consciousness is to them. Ashtanga is the basis for the curriculum and many in the west think it is the name of yoga that stars like Madonna practice. Ashtanga is the stepping stone route to higher consciousness. So many who do yoga are just satisfied with feeling good in their physical body, with looking good, etc. This is only the first part to make the physical body steady and able. This stability is necessary to be able to withstand the processes necessary for the deep purifications that will take place via kriyas and higher forms of yoga. In the west we find many who are physically strong and beautiful and this seems to be the goal of yoga in the west. This is the bargain store variety of yoga. It is perhaps a beginning that so many know about and are doing what they consider yoga in the west, hopefully this will be a platform for people to search for authentic classical hatha yoga. It will only be known if we share with others about the source. Teachers of classical Indian yoga will always give reference to their teachers and lineage and will always try to share with students how to tap into the vast treasure trove. I am grateful to all of my teachers including: Dr. K. M. Tripathi, the Late Sri Radha Kant Jha, the Late Sri Aurobindo and now Sadhguru. We always begin our sadhana with this invocation that we should respect each other in the process, there should be no envy as the practice comes from teachers of the past and continues as we practice here and now. Asato Maa Sadagamaya, Tamso Maa Jyotir gamaya, Mrityor Maa Amitam Gamaya, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-OM.