Friday 22 May 2015


I just felt this enormous longing …just longing…longing and connection with the nature around me! I felt so happy but at the same time I wanted to die …It was quite  powerful !

What is mantra or mantram as it is also known?

Many people will make an association with it with the image of orange robes, garlands, exotic locations and incenses. But actually it has been known all over the world for centuries, only different cultures call it different names.
It is a Sanskrit word.  According to the explanation which Eknath Easwaran gives in his book’’ Meditation’’ the name ‘’mantra’’ links to the roots ‘’man’’ (the mind) and ‘’tri’’ (to cross).’’ ‘’The mantram, repeated regularly for a long time, enables us to cross the sea of the mind’’.  It transcends our mind beyond mundane reality, it actually connects us with our deeper, true self.
In Hatha Yoga Pradipika, mantra is described as subtle sound vibration, it is a tantric process for releasing energy and expanding consciousness from the limitations of mundane awareness.
Mantra could be a spiritual sentence, a formula of words or sounds which has enormous power that has been transmitted from age to age, from teacher to a disciple following a lineage or religious traditions. The practitioners wanting to achieve this state silently repeat the word as often as possible as each repetition ads to their physical and spiritual well-being.
After all Mantra is a spiritual tool which include the name of God or of the supreme reality or the Self at some form or another. One can come across different theories that explain that mantra is a part of the basic vibrations of the universe, like ‘’OM’’, which we will talk about later.
Following the examples which Eknath Easwaran mentions in his book we can see that some great mantras and very commonly used ones can be found in every religion and tradition from thousands of years ago until today:
1. Christianity -  ‘’Jesus’’, or ‘’Hail Mary ‘’, or ‘’Lord Jesus Christ, son of God have mercy on us ‘’ or just ‘’ Lord Jesus Christ’’. These are mantras to awake the love and the mercy in our hearts like Jesus Himself and the wisdom and unconditional love like Divine Mother as Mary.
2. Judaism- ‘’Barukh attah Adonai’’(blessed art thou, O Lord) , to help in time of distress and turmoil , emotional cultural etc.
3. Islam -‘’Allahu akbar’’(God is great) or simply ‘’Allah’’(God).
4. Buddhism -‘’Om mani padme hum’’ (the jewel in the lotus of the heart’’), corresponds to the hidden divinity in each one of us.
5.Hinduism ‘’Rama’’ or ‘’Om namah Shivaia’’ or ‘’Hare Rama-Hare Rama, Rama-Rama,Hare-Hare, Hare Krishna –Hare Krishna, Krishna –Krishna, Hare-Hare.’’
Rama also was Mahatma Gandi ‘s mantra. It is to evoke joy and inner strength.
But most popular of all is mantra ‘’Om’’
‘’OM’’ !
In Patanjali’s sutra 27 :‘’tasya vacakah pranavah ‘’ (the word expressive of Ishvara is the mystic sound OM).
Because it is difficult to understand anything without a name, Patanjali gives the supreme Purusha /God a name. Using the interpretation of Sri Swami Satchidananda’s yoga sutras of Patanjali ,it states that every form vibrates with certain sound. Although the supreme is omnipresent and ever pervading, Patanjali wants a name that gives us unlimited idea and vibration which includes all sounds and all vibrations. He says it is ‘’Mmmm’’. Because we can’t easily say ‘’mmmm’’ so he writes it ‘’om’’. In the sutra 27 ‘’om is called ‘’pranavah’’- humming.
Om is the word for the supreme. Even in the Bible it is said ‘’in the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God’’. In the Vedas :’’The name of Brahman is Om ,and Om is Brahman’’.
The ‘’om’’ sound can be split in three - A (ah), U(oo) , M(mm).
In the Mandukya Upanishads ‘’Aum stands for the supreme reality. It is a symbol for what was, what is, and what shall be. Aum represents also what lies beyond past, present and future.’ It is divided in four stages- A,U,M and anagata (unspoken , beyond verbal pronunciation).
A –is the beginning of every sound, our first sound when we are born is normally a cry like ‘’Ahhhh’’, it is almost every nation’s alphabet first letter or sound. ’’A’’ sound is produced by opening the mouth and making the sound, it is produced in the throat where the tongue is rooted. It corresponds to the first level of consciousness Vaishvanara (Mandukya Upanishads), where senses are turned outward and one is aware only of the external world.
 Then comes U – pronounced between the tongue and the palate, closer to the lips. U is Taijasa or  the second state of consciousness (Mandukya Upanishads), the dreaming state , the senses are turned inward where  ‘’one enacts the impressions of past deeds and present desires’’. Then closing the lips, producing M. In Mandukya Upanishads it is referred as Prajna state of consciousness .One neither dreams nor desires. There is no mind, no separateness, but the so called sleeper is not conscious of it, when he/she is ‘’awake ‘’ to this state it will ‘’open the door to the state of abiding joy’’(Mandukya Upanishads)
So in other words - A is creation, U is preservation and M is culmination or beyond. A-U-M, according to Swami Satchidananda, includes the entire process of sound and all other sounds are contained in it. Om is the origin or the seed of all the sounds and words, it is dormant in all other words.
But after the sound ends, there is still a vibration, says Swami Sachidananda. That is the unspoken sound or so called anagata. This corresponds to the forth, the super-conscious state, called Turiya ‘’neither inward, nor outward ,beyond the senses and the intellect, in which there is non other than the Lord.’’(Mandukya Upanishads).
There is always a sound vibration within us, which was before A and will be after M.
We can tap into this inner ‘’humming ‘’ when we become quiet, when we manage to still the mind and the senses through different ways of meditation like mantra repetition(japa), Bhramari pranayama etc.
This basic sound is always part of us, no one can stop it. It is the seed for all other sounds to manifest from. Just because we can’t hear it we think we are disconnected from it, but through practice we can become aware of it within us and all around us. As Swami Satchidanadna explains it ‘’the entire world evolves from that and goes back into that again. That is why God’s name should be OM. No other name should be adequate to represent Him.’’
We can find OM in Amen , Amin or Ameen …they are only different variation of the same sound , or just simple hmmmm in the humming of the bumble bee ,the motor of your car , the couch sound ,the noise of the ocean- ‘’truth is one , seers express it in many ways ‘’ ( Swami Satchidanada quotation from the Upanishads,  ‘’Ekam sat, vipraha bahudha vadanti’’).
Every chant starts and ends with OM. It is to open and enrol the creation we tap into during the chanting. So by opening a chant or a mantra with Om we connect to a certain aspect of the universal consciousness.
Om reminds me of the shape of the egg, broad base, oval walls (arches) and pointed tip.
In terms of yoga and asana, especially, it helps me and inspires me to teach or hold a posture. When we start we must be open like A, broaden and well based in our pose to support us in our journey, then the breath is the U that transcends our mind and our awareness to the deeper levels of finding our true self, while at the same time supports this pose, and finally M,the tip , the top or  the one pointedness where we achieve union and peace with the our  edge- physically , mentally and spiritually and we become nothing but the subtle vibration hmmmmm .Take for example Lotus pose …. Obviously it is my simple theory but it helps me to be more observant and present in my practice.
In conclusion about OM I’d like to say that every time when I start a class we start with a Om. Some students are not so open to participate , others are very enthusiastic .Their Oms are ever so present and open , especially the A bit .Which made me think that we are likely to emphasise  more on the physical ,dense, aspect of the creation. By the time we slowly get to the U our breath is not enough and M is almost not existent .But for a class of beginners it is understandable to be like this.
I try to encourage them to use the full length of the breath when we chant OM but it happens with practice of course.
People who are more advanced in their practise, like some of Amma’s ( Mata Amritaanandamayi , The Hugging saint ) swamis ,hardly ever open their mouth when they chant OM , it comes out as strong and very powerful Hummmmm, resembling a motor of some kind.
So really the way we chant it shows where are we in our journey...or at least I believe so.
Observing my relationship with Om, I can see when I am physically unsettled or distracted- I have longer A, worried or emotional- I have longer U, and  when I am more introverted I tend to do it like a humm …
On some occasions I chant a mantra after Om.
Mantra chanting is very beneficial to set the mood and the tone of the class. It transforms the atmosphere helps the student to get into a zone for practice, exploring and studying.
Some times I do little experiment with them. After we practised for few sessions chant and repeat after me, I leave the mantra chanting and we just have Om in the beginning and Om at the end of every class. They seem to be relieved that we don’t have to do this ‘’difficult’’ and exotic singing (as some of them call it). But soon after few classes, or even may be few months later I begin the class with a familiar chant(I say a verse and they repeat it after me) and to their biggest amusement and surprise they remember it even better than the firs attempts. Oh the joy on their faces!! Priceles! So this shows how mantra really can go deeper through certain practice. The practice is necessary to tame the mind, the mantra is always within us, it is just necessary to allow it to come back.

Mantra given to you by enlighten being comes with the blessing and the love of this being. It is also a mantra which has been tested through the times and has been part of the linage or the teaching of the guru who gives it to you. Such mantra has more power than the one you or I can chose.
There are different ways to connect and make your mantra work.  Simply by saying it out loud when no one can hear you, then gradually whispering, murmuring and finely repeating it in your head. Every moment when your mind is not actively involved in some demanding or dangerous operation, like driving or cutting with knife etc.. you can use mantra while waiting for the bus , the elevator, while walking or before you go to sleep, using mala (japa) etc.

On one occasion in the beginning of my mantra practising not so long ago I set my self for a walk and just wanted to see if this mantra business is that good as they say.
I kept walking by the river and repeating it, and repeating it very concentrated and… nothing… everything was normal…until suddenly I felt this overwhelming sadness in my chest, as if my heart was reaped apart, I just wanted to explode with tears on the bank of the river, my throat felt like it had a very heavy stone stuck in it  …. I just felt this enormous longing ….just longing….longing and connection with the nature around me! I felt so happy but at the same time I wanted to die …It was quite  powerful but I couldn’t hold it for long as there were people walking their dogs around and it would have been ‘’well’’ embarrassing to see me sobbing like mad on the bank of the river, so I had to find a way to compose my self and go home never the same again, transformed by such surprising encounter with my mantra.
So the moral is … I don’t know what the moral is. You never know until you try it.  Everyone should find it for themselves in their own practise in order to allow it to blossom in their own time from within their own heart.  But always make sure you have a certain preparation before hand to know the meaning of the practice you do and be honest with your self, with your expectations and experiences….and most of all be open for anything and be patient. And practise, practise, this will show you your way,it will help you to find your own true experience whenever the time is right. Trust it!


Sunday 12 April 2015

''A lover asked his beloved ''

A lover asked his beloved, 
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I've disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.

I have forgotten all my learnings,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.
I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
        I am able.

     If I love myself
     I love you.

                                                             If I love you
                                                             I love myself.

The Rebirth of the New Divine Feminine Energy

There is something exciting afoot these days that has been percolating for decades.  This “something” is a new way of being for women and all people everywhere.
For thousands of years the divine feminine energy has struggled to stay alive in a male dominated world.  This energy has re-surged throughout history for periods of time.  When it has thrived we have called it a Golden Age, for music, medicine, science, art, love and life have flourished. The old ideas of competition, might over right, private ownership, greed, domination and war virtually did not exist. Peace and prosperity reigned during these times and feminine based values of collaboration, co-creation, connection to the  natural world and to each other.
It has been several thousand years since the world has experienced a true Golden Age and a world and to our divinity, where all life was revered were honored and celebrated. Not since the Renaissance in Europe, have we known such a rebirth of art, science, and medicine where many of the patriarchal values shifted allowing the feminine to come forth once again. It has been foretold for thousands of years by both the Mayan Calendar and Vedas that 2012 was the beginning of another Golden Age, one that would last for 10,000 years. This Golden Age would be like no other for it would be during this time that a new world would be born.  This world would once again bring into balance the masculine and feminine principles of life allowing the feminine energy to lead the way, but not the feminine as we have known it but in its new form, the Solar Feminine.

The Solar Feminine began to stream onto the planet with the Venus Transit.  We saw Venus in front of the Sun which was blazing its light behind and through her. Venus, the symbol of the love and the Divine Feminine, is now in front of the Sun which has been traditionally viewed as masculine.  The divine feminine is now in the forefront of masculine energy but the masculine is supporting the feminine this time.  There is no need for the feminine to go underground to survive in a male dominated world but rather to thrive, be fully seen and supported by all.
The world is now ready to open its arms in a more loving embrace toward the feminine and has begun to truly see that embracing feminine values is not only a more conscious and loving way to live but a necessity if we are to survive. The New Divine Feminine is allowing a renaissance, rebirth of feminine based values to lead us into our promised Golden Age or The Age of Light.
The New Divine Feminine is also bringing forth a new paradigm for women to live by.  What I mean by this, is that what we have defined as feminine has been based upon masculine values and how men have interpreted what the feminine is and how they would like women to be. We have been brought up with these misinterpretations as have generations of our mothers and grandmothers.  A new paradigm for women has needed to come forth so that women can learn how to live in a new way with each other. This new way of being encourages women to collaborate rather than compete, trust each other rather than mistrust, to value each other as much as they value being with a man and to honor and value themselves. When women embrace each other as the Divine Feminine incarnate then the world will follow.
The New Divine Feminine is the next octave of the vibration of the feminine for the 21st Century. It brings us the opportunity to create new archetypes of the feminine and masculine, to weave a new story of creation as we are living it and to align more and more with our destiny as spiritual beings having a human experience. We are all beginning to live our divine purpose as this new world takes shape based on the complimentary energies of both the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine, and as we
learn how to integrate these energies within ourselves.

The New Divine Feminine is a new way for us to allow the feminine to lead us into this Age of Light.  Women may take the lead in this but men too will follow.  The story of Durga tells us that once when the world was threatened by demons who created much suffering and havoc on Earth, the kings and high standing men called upon the Goddess Durga to save the world.  Durga is a Tibetan warrior goddess who is more  fierce than even Kali. She responded to their call and answered that she would come and save the world.  She did, and when all was restored and peace reigned again, she told the all the rulers on Earth that if they should ever need her again they should just call for Durga as it would be through the feminine that the world could be saved again.
To me this story reflects that it is through the fierce divine feminine energy and the restoration and implementation of feminine values that we as a culture, country and world will thrive. This is our choice, of course, but I choose to say ‘Yes!’ to this invitation and I invite you to do too. 

source : Luminessa Enjara 

Sunday 8 March 2015

The Age of Bhakti 
'' my hands are my heart'' G. Orozco

(you'll be sooooo inspired reading this !Trust me!! A talk with Swami Satyananda Saraswati )

I have had a glimpse of the new millennium. Yoga will go backstage and bhakti will take its place. Bhakti means devotion or love; it is an expression of bhavana, a deep feeling from the heart towards God. Love will become prominent, not as a belief but as a science. After all, you may not know what antibiotics are, but they have been researched and defined. In psychology, research has been done into brainwaves. Similarly, scientists will investigate people like Mirabai. Mirabai was given poison but it did not affect her. How did that happen? What changes took place in her body? What waves were predominant in her brain? Were they beta, alpha, theta, delta or something else? Christ was crucified for three days yet he did not die. How did he remain alive?
BlissI had years and years of believing that God was without name or form. However, those views changed because I have been convinced by my personal experience, aparokshanubhuti. When I was at Bihar School of Yoga, I always spoke about yoga and carefully avoided God. Most of you must remember this. But now I can no longer talk about yoga, I can only talk about bhakti. Now it is necessary to speak about God and it does not matter whether it is done in a Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu way. Something transcendental has to come as a focus for the mind. God has to be brought forth very systematically and scientifically, not as someone mysterious. I never spoke about God before in my life, but suddenly I am not able to speak of anything else.
The next generation will get scientific proof of bhakti, not religious evidence. What is said in the Ramayana is legendary evidence; it is not scientific. No religious book is scientific evidence. When you say that the moon is so many miles from the earth, there is scientific evidence, objective data, today to prove it. Either my view is right or it is wrong. It can't be both. If I am wrong, then I am crazy, but if I am right, then what am I? You must find out. I am speaking about this very frankly, although you may not understand it.
The new millennium will see the renaissance of dharma and bhakti. If I am still alive, your children and grandchildren will love me! They will say, “Papa, do you know what bhakti is? In school we learned that a great scientist from America says that bhakti has a very important influence on biological matter and that he has measured it with different instruments. So you must love God like you love your family.” You will say, “This boy has gone crazy!” Then he will say, “I am not crazy; I am talking science!” The time is going to come very soon for redefining bhakti as a part of our personal lives and as a means of redemption from pain.
Lumbago is not the only pain that man suffers from, nor is arthritis. It is true that there is pain, but there are many other problems in the human mind, consciousness and psyche. If you were to search for an individual cure for all of these problems, it would take a lifetime. However, there is a common cure for them all in bhakti. Therefore, you must practise kirtan, have satsang and read the lives of great saints, whoever they may be – Mirabai, Ramakrishna, St Francis, Aurobindo, St Teresa of Avila or St John of the Cross. Read the teachings of St Thomas Aquinas, for example, and just try to live like that, but do not make bhakti a religion or a sect. This will take time to develop because the intellectual mind is a very hard nut to crack. Therefore, a devotee should not take recourse in vain discussions. Aurobindo has said, “Reason was the helper and reason is the barrier. Transcend reason.”

The culture of bhakti yoga

The twentieth century was the century of political culture. Politicians were at the forefront of everything. Now people have understood that the political culture will never save humanity, it will never solve social problems, it will never bring an end to war. In the twenty-first century scientists will change their focus. They have been working on the dimension of matter and have developed the technology to prove their hypotheses. In the new millennium, they will investigate feelings, emotions, devotion and bhakti. The research will be streamlined and has already started to happen in many countries.
It was the scientists who proved the superiority of matter. Now they will prove the superiority of mind and emotions over matter. The twenty-first century will see this happen. There are many things which the last century missed that the new century will pick up. If it misses them, then disaster will follow because man has so much technological knowledge that he has the power to destroy himself.
There is only one path; all other paths are stepping stones. Karma yoga, raja yoga and jnana yoga are stepping stones. Bhakti is the path, God is the destiny and you and I are the travellers. This is the only truth. If there is any philosophy other than this, it is illogical. We are born with only one destiny. Man is an experiment, and the outcome of that experiment is the experience of God. Many people in the past have had that experience, but many more will have it in the future.
I can see clearly the great changes taking place in different parts of the world, particularly in the western hemisphere. Wherever there is an excess of worldly pleasure and materialistic aspirations, people have developed a feeling of distaste, dispassion. The twentieth century has only shown us a culture of indulgence and enjoyment, a utilitarian, consumer culture. This culture now plays a dominant role in literature, music, art and drama as well. The twentieth century has given us no path advocating spirituality. Spirituality has only survived the onslaught of stark materialism because great people like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramatirtha and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa have kept it alive by injecting some inspiration into it.
The age of bhakti is dawning. Bhakti is a force which will influence the civilization, culture and relationships of man. If you study history, you will find that there have been revolutions brought about to promote awareness of bhakti. These were the times when society was going through a transition period and a feeling of instability prevailed everywhere, like today. It happened in India as well as in Europe. Whenever a society passes through a transition period, it experiences a social vacuum and people begin to reject it.
Do you accept what is happening in your society today? Do you accept the way people think, act and behave? Don't you criticize these things? What does all this mean? It means you are not satisfied with the existing state of society. When a society becomes dissatisfied with its own state of affairs, that situation is known as a social vacuum. This has already happened in the developed western societies, but they fail to understand it. Therefore, they are turning towards spirituality. They are adopting bhakti marga, the path that leads to God. This is the only way.
Bhakti comes from the heart
The twenty-first century will be the century of bhakti yoga for everyone. Scientists will start to investigate human emotions because emotions are more powerful than matter. By human emotions I mean feelings. Bhakti is not religious doctrine, it is not a product of intellect. Bhakti is concerned with your inner personal feelings, which come from the heart. It is constant awareness. Just as you have a deep feeling of terror, passion or enmity, in the same way, there is a deep feeling of true love for God. Instead of directing your emotions towards fear, anger and hatred, you have to direct them towards God. You must direct your emotions totally in the right direction.
Bhakti is present in everyone; it is an all pervading essence in all living beings, not only human beings. The feeling for God is bhakti, the feeling for one's enemy is revenge, the feeling for one's beloved is passion, the feeling for money is greed. When your feeling goes towards God, it is called bhakti. The same feeling from a mother for her child is affection, sneha. When it is directed towards a friend it is friendship. So, you do not have to be told how to develop your feelings because they already exist. You only have to be taught how to channel them. Bhakti is natural for everyone.
Only in bhakti yoga can the human mind stabilize itself easily. Give some time to serving God and the mind automatically becomes one-pointed. There has to be balance in life. You have to have as much devotion to God as you have cravings for enjoyment. Enjoy this world as much as you can, but side by side give as much devotion to God as possible.
The most important thing that you have to understand is that God is the centre of the universe. You can only see God through the eyes of your heart. The heart is free from selfishness, it is the source of sacrifice and selflessness. If you want to have any connection or relationship with God, then intellect is the barrier. You can discuss God through the intellect, but you cannot feel Him. You express your feelings through the heart. Love, hatred, passion, sacrifice and anger are feelings. You feel them; you do not see them. Similarly you cannot see God, God has to be felt.
How can bhakti be developed? This is a very important question and a very difficult one. Everyone wants to love and be loved. You don't have to learn how to love, but how to streamline this love from matter to spirit. How can the love that you have for the material world be channelled towards God? You have to discover and forge a relationship with Him. Is God your father, mother, husband, wife, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or master? You have to be very clear about Him. There are two truths: one is that love is natural to everyone, and the other is that everyone is connected with God. So, you do not have to connect yourself with God, you have to discover your relationship with Him.

Important aspects of bhakti

The foremost attributes on the path of bhakti are trust and faith. Bhakti is an emotional quality. Faith and trust belong to your psychological personality. Their effects can be measured in terms of electromagnetic radiations. What is the effect of faith and trust on the blood pressure and metabolism? Faith and trust are personal things. How can I know how much faith and trust you have? Can they be measured if I cannot see them?
We cannot see faith or belief, but I can feel mine and you can feel yours. However, that is not enough. Objective data needs to be produced. Trust and faith are the basis of bhakti and cannot be seen with the eyes. What is that faith? Is it a blood flow or a current of electromagnetic radiation? What is the form of bhavana? Is it a vibration or a flow? It is a feeling and it definitely exists, because when you are angry, you hate. The feeling of anger disturbs the heart and blood pressure. You lose your appetite and the liver function is impaired. In many people worries and anxieties cause the eyesight to become weak.
This means that the effect of bhavana or feeling on the human body is tangible. Although you cannot see faith or trust, the effects can be felt on the body. Therefore, you can know the cause through the effect. Bhakti yoga will be the next topic of scientific research. Until now scientists have only carried out research into matter. They won't investigate the soul, the spirit, atma, because they say it does not exist, but they can certainly research feelings, faith and trust.

Forms of God

God has two forms, the transcendental and the immanent. God is beyond everything, beyond time, space and matter, and God is present in all beings. We have to accept both concepts of God. God exists in many forms, from the microbe to the towering tree, from the limited mind to the universal mind. God is the person who needs your help, God is in the animal that needs your protection. A complete idea of bhakti has to emerge in such a way that society will be regenerated, then people will enjoy life.
One can worship God in any form one likes. In this Kali yuga, samkirtan, the singing of God's name, is a divine path. The other path is helping others. If every single person were to light one candle for another, how many candles would be lit? With this chain reaction every house would be lit with a candle. The last century did not support bhakti, it supported politics, materialism and the fulfilment of petty desires. International peace can only be achieved if every human being is peaceful.
The times are changing. The winter of materialism is going and the spring of bhakti is coming. People are really frustrated and disappointed with this culture. Wouldn't you prefer a simple life with peace of mind? For achieving mental peace two things are necessary: one is acceptance of one's situation in life and the other is bhakti, love for God. Where there is bhakti there is peace of mind, no worries, likes, dislikes, love, hatred, anger or lust. Peace means acceptance.

Inspiring others to lead a divine life

The preliminary groundwork will have to be done by a number of people who have realized this divinity in their own lives. That will be the first step. The twentieth century did not have such people with the capacity to inspire others to lead a divine life. There were many preachers who spoke about God, but unless God is in you and works through you, that is not enough.
The second point is that in the new century people will be as scientifically-minded as they were in the last century. Scientists will work, not only in education, but on many other fronts. God-realized saints on one side and scientists on the other will have to work together. Bhakti is not only a philosophy or a religion. Bhakti is a science which can transform the individual and change his thinking pattern. The generation of the 21st century will belong to the bhakti yoga culture because mankind has developed its feelings and emotions during the present era and these expressed feelings have to be redirected or streamlined.
It is necessary to lead the future generation onto the path of bhakti. Try to inspire your children to take a new direction. You do not have to tell them to eat or to get married because these are natural drives. You have to teach them how to devote more time to God, how to be spiritual, how to make some time in the morning and evening for remembering God, for singing kirtan. The yoga of the next generation will be samkirtan because people everywhere are crazy about music. People all over the world, irrespective of nationality, culture, colour and creed, will enjoy singing God's name on a family or community basis.

The future of science

In the twenty-first century scientists will turn their attention towards bhakti and they will conduct research into the human psyche in the same way that they did research on matter, electronics, nuclear physics, computers and satellites in the twenttieth century. Technology was the outcome of science in the last century. Bhakti will be the outcome of science in the new millennium.
Scientists will discover the impact of bhakti on the human mind, behaviour and constitution, and its effect on society and civilization. How does bhakti effect the electromagnetic waves of the human brain? How does it influence the enzymes? How does bhakti improve the cardiovascular system? What is the effect of bhakti on universal consciousness? It is clear that the scientists of the twenty-first century will have to work very hard. Spiritual discipline then will not be known as religion or faith, but as a science of life. Just as we have been able to deal with space communication through electronic mediums, similarly we will have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of humanity, with its complicated mind and its strange behaviour, which I do not think science is able to control.
Nobody has control over the human mind and behaviour today. This should develop when scientists realize that things are going wrong. Once they start to think about it, there will be a revival of religion. But which religion should be revived? The religion which is based on logic and reasoning and which has a pragmatic approach. So, scientists will give up experiments on matter and they will work on the influence of devotion to God and its effects on the chemistry, behaviour and experience of the human body and mind. It will be a wonderful thing and it will happen. This is the inevitable destiny of mankind in the new millennium.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Saturday 22 June 2013

What is the purpose of asana ?

  1. What is the purpose of asana ?

What is asana – this is the physical side and the most common association with yoga and its art.
According to the explanation in HYP(Hatha yoga pradipika) ,asana is a steady , comfortable meditative pose (referred to Patanjali ), also a specific position of the body which channelizes prana, opens the charkas and removes energy blocks.

Asana is the physical posture, the beginning of our practice. According to Hatha yoga Pradipika and Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, we begin with asana in order to purify the body and to prepare it for meditation.
In our modern society we connect asana with the physical exercise. And sure asanas have profound physical effect on our bodies but this is not their ultimate significance. We are not only physical beings; we are emotional and conscious beings too. So all this body, mind, consciousness is merging together, it is interlaced.
Asana’s aim is to influence all these aspect and to bind them into one harmonious one. So when we perform asana we should become aware of our whole being taking part in it. The awareness is not only on the muscles or the strength and flexibility of the body, it is also on the breath in relation to the movement, the relaxation of the muscles and also on the more subtle awareness on eventual appearing of any emotional or mental fluctuations and so on.... The practice of asana requires one’s full involvement and attention, one’s entire being as fully as possible.
As Swami Nishchalananda puts it ‘’The prime aim of asana is to help us tread the path to higher consciousness so we can begin to understand and know our relationship with the existence.''
In general when we don’t feel well, we are sick or have some disease, mental or emotional depression, aches and pains we are not able to achieve or even consider any higher awareness …. It is like wearing very uncomfortable dress or shoes and wanting to sit or walk comfortably, impossible/ me thinks  ;-) / .
So the practical aim of asana is :

  1. to ease the stiffness in different parts of the body ,to loosen up the joints and to stretch and to tone the muscles.
  2. to remove any toxins.
  3. to harmonize the nervous system.
  4. to massage the organs.

The whole immune system will be improved and the body will be ready to go deeper into the practice ,not disturbed from aches and pains we will be able to sit comfortably in meditation and thus we will be able to connect on a higher level with the environment in and out of us.
Also by performing asana we get connected with our body. We are able to ‘’hear ‘’ its needs and so we begin to know more and even care more for our selves , accepting who we are and looking after ourselves and our environment with care and love .
I find this particular aspect of practicing asana with our full attention very important, esp. in the times we live in .
Everywhere around us is a propaganda and manipulation who we must be, how to look and how to live. So I think that getting to know your gross needs helps to learn about yourselves more and achieve acceptance and freedom of who you are. In this aspect asana helps us ground in order to expand. Without good foundation a tree is unable to grow strong and healthy in order to blossom, give fruits and thrive.

  1. General benefits of asana
-physical benefits :
Asana is very beneficial especially today in our very sedentary way of life. Most of us use just certain muscle groups because of the type of job we do. For example sitting all day in front of a computer or working heavy manual work as builder etc. Some muscles are overworked and others are not used at all. This brings a lot of problems in the body and the posture. Asana practise is able to restore the physical balance.
Very often people complain of back pain, stiff joints or muscles. When we sit all day on a chair our feet are not in use to support the body and sometimes wearing high heels or very impractical and most of the time uncomfortable shoes (mainly women and their fashion obsessions)disturb our proper posture. Through asana practise we become aware of every little muscle and how we use it if at all.
Tadasana(Mountain pose) is a good example to learn about our posture. It starts with the feet up through the crown of the head. For example the four layers of the musculature of the foot all combine to create lift, balance and movement. As Kaminoff explains in his book the deeper muscles (to move the toes, the foot arch,the outer edge of the foot), inevitably weaken and the arch of the foot is not supported properly which eventually may lead to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Asana practice develops strength and flexibility in our body .Some people are naturally very bendy (flexible) but not able to sustain a posture as their muscles are not strong enough, and others are just strong and find it difficult to go deeper into the posture. .
Asana is perfect to balance muscle strength and flexibility.

Muscle strength is the amount of force a single muscle can produce with a single maximum effort .Size of muscle cells and the ability of nerves to activate them also define the strength of the muscle.

Muscle flexibility is the ability of the body to move through range of possible motion.
Or simply said, muscle strength is how much weight a muscle can lift and for how long. Flexibility is how far the body can go into a posture. Without those two aspects of the body ability the person will not be able to enjoy their practice and it will not benefit from it , but luckily just through practicing the strength and flexibility can be developed simultaneously. The more a flexible person practice, their muscle will be able to hold and sustain the body for longer.
The muscles develop their ability to contract and hold. A strong muscle will be able to relax, stretch and thus allow the blood to flush through its tissues bringing fresh oxygen into them. Allowing the muscle to work slowly and contract and hold a position will help the development of the strength and allowing its ability to stretch, relax and thus maintaining good fitness levels.
When we have good fitness and well being in our body we are less stressed and tensed. Our body and mind are relaxed and our immune system works better. We are healthy and generally happy and positive. When we don’t look after ourselves we tend to make ourselves ill or we become out of balance and so we become stressed.
 According to the definition given by Trotora and Grabovski ‘’stress is any stimulus that tends to cause imbalance in the internal environment’’. Stress is natural, we live everyday in some level of stress, from what we put in our body to traffic jams, argument or learning something new. When we are not able to deal with the inner or outer stimuli, like heat, noise, high/low blood pressure, pain, fear etc. we cause extreme stress to the body, leading to illness and disease.
Signs of stress can be cognitive (poor concentration), emotional (depressed ), physical (aches and pains) or behavioral(getting into fights and arguments). When we experience these signs our body suffers. The breath is irregular, the blood circulation is not smooth and the adrenalin glands are in constant use which brings further health problems affecting the organs.
But through simple  asana practice we become ware of our breathing patterns and allow the lungs and the ribcage to open, the shoulders to soften and the muscle to relax. And just by doing this we already have sent impulses to the brain and the central nervous system to relax and break down the negative patterns in our systems. By simply introducing breath awareness in our asana practice we can achieve balance in our system and body which will help us to develop our spiritual and emotional balance.
Good example is practicing Shavasana(corpse pose). It teaches us to be still physically but aware mentally and thus achieving deep state of relaxation. Ultimately Shavasana brings different levels of spiritual peace for as long as one can identify with their body. The spiritual relaxation is to be able to disatatch yourself and become the witness. The body uses less oxygen and less carbon dioxide is eliminated, the muscle tension is reduced, breathing is slower and deeper, there is decrease of the sympathetic nervous system activity and an increase in parasympathetic activity. This occur due to reducing the body’s energy loss, lowering the pulse rate and resting the whole system.

  1. What is counterpose and how it works?

Every class is supposed to be balanced in postures and degree of difficulties . That is why it should follow so called intensity curve. This is the sequence of the postures /asanas/ preparing the body and the mind for the peak posture of the particular flow. The intensity curve is necessary as it is gradually building the strength of the body and the mind , helping them to open for more advanced practices.
During this process the practitioner would need so called counterpose.This is a pose which allows the body to restore and absorb more energy after each asana in order for the practitioner to be able to continue recharged and not tired up the intensity curve in their practice. Other wise it is possible to hurt or injure themselves.
Counterpose (to set in contrast , opposition or balance) is the pose which is normally done as an opposition in order to restore the balance in the body after each posture is performed .
It is necessary as the muscles used in one way can restore their previous position and rest and thus absorb and perform the maximum range of their movement and stretch.
Muscles develop better when counterpose is performed. Also for people who don’t have strong and flexible bodies it is a way to restore and work the body in a safe way especially if they are beginners or if asana is used as a therapy.
In order for the muscles to work they use agonist and antagonist movement.
Agonist is the muscle that performs a movement and the antagonist is the muscle opposite to the one performing the movement i.e it is the muscle which contracts. Biceps contracts and triceps is stretched and this creates the movement.
Muscles works in pairs ,because the muscles in agonistic/antagonistic movement are involved into the each other ‘s movement ,the best way to work the muscle is in opposing muscle groups. That is why using a counterpose is essential. Otherwise when we strengthen one side of the body (chest for example) without working the opposite side(the back) we cause imbalance in our posture and causing the back to round forward.
By performing agonist and antagonist action the muscles create flexion and extension at the same time.

Namaste x

Monday 4 February 2013

Reducing Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure Naturally

Garlic & Lemon Paste 

The use of the following home remedy has been researched and tested at the German University of Erlangen and was found to be highly effective in reducing blood levels of cholesterol (LDL)and also hypertension (high blood pressure).

A man, I know of , heard of this and decided to try it out. He had been having high cholesterol levels of around 320mg/dL for many years.Having taken just one course of the garlic lemon paste described below , his cholesterol levels dropped to the normal 200mg/dL.

INGREDIENTS :                   30-40 (depending on size) cloves of garlic
                                                     5 organic lemons 
                                                     1 liter of water. 

Cut the garlic cloves and the whole lemons (with skin and pips) into small pieces and cook them for 2 minutes in a liter of boiling water. Using a blender, puree the lemon and garlic pieces in the water and pass the resulting liquid through a sieve. 
Then pour it into glass container (not plastic) and store it in the fridge. 
Take 25ml. of the paste once a day after food, until it's finished. 
This course can be repeated 2-3 times a year until cholesterol levels stay consistently in the normal range. 

And the really good news is - there is no 'garlic breath' afterwards!  


I have got this intriguing information via the Ayurvedic course I did in London. Our teacher decided to share it  kindly with us ! 
So now i share it with you in case you 'd like to try it ;-)

Monday 14 January 2013

I really hated it !

Hi ,

My blogs will be mainly about yoga , or... at least I will try to stick to that theme.
I just thought it would be nice to share my experience with this ancient THING , so may be some of you can be inspired and try it , or  may be see it from a  different perspective , or just ,may be, my blogging may amuse you and make you laugh or annoy you.
I also will tell you how I never liked yoga or anybody doing it or even talking about it..  It( I mean by ''it'' yoga ) has been following me all my life ,with patience and loving persistence ,which in the days I didn't realized at all. I say loving persistence because it  wonderfully Ha(!)PPENED to me in one of the most difficult periods in my life(so far) and actually saved my life !'' It '' gave me total support ,new (out)look ,yes even physically i look better than before, new understanding and loads of courage !!!... It taught me to transform and with that to live fully , or otherwise said , yoga taught me how to be happy while I am dying ,don't get me wrong , I mean this in a good way . Because we are dying with the very same breath we are actually inhaling so we can live , right? ....So it is all a point of view and it's better to see it from the positive side ....But any way , I will also tell you how I love yoga and  how annoying I can be talking about it !

So let me stop here .
I need to sleep now ...sleep is important ;-)  

Good night x

Sleep well beautiful yogis !
Namaste !