Tag Archives: Yoga

True Essence of Yoga

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Yoga

The literal meaning of this word is – Union.

The marketed meaning of this word has become – Breathing and Stretching Exercises.

We celebrated International Yoga Day Yesterday on 21st June 2019. Something which originated in India centuries ago has now widespread on an International level. Its popularity has gained a stronghold, especially in western countries. By declaring 21st June as International Yoga Day, we are now celebrating this rich heritage of India worldwide. The most profound thing here is that Yoga is accepted everywhere by all age groups and ethnicities. Despite the fact that some people confuse it with Hindu Religion and try to deter non-Hindus in accepting this healthy way of living; its positive life-altering experiences has credited in its success and popularity among masses.

But, my question over here is -The Yoga that we are celebrating and promoting, is this the true Yoga in its complete form?

If you google yoga types, you will find Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hybrid Yoga, Power Yoga, etc… I couldn’t comprehend how did we reach here from a simple word which meant – Union.

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Yoga is as simple as the word Union, its literal meaning. 

It is a union of you with your higher self. You may call it God, Universe, Existence, Non -Existence, Nothingness, Everlastingness, or just a union with your true self. Once you will understand the Union aspect of it, then you will also realize that you are never apart. So, why the Union? How can we unite with something from which we were never apart? This union is not physical. This is spiritual and psychological. This is more like a realization through self-discovery.

What we see today everywhere is more of Aasans and Pranaayam; which on a broad level can be categorized as body exercises/postures and breathing techniques to attain a healthy physical body for a healthy mind and in turn, they help you in progressing towards spiritual union(the true Yoga). We certainly need to go step by step and thus this is the most important step to lay the foundation upon which you can climb higher in your spiritual growth. It is as important as a baby’s first step. But, we also need to keep that in mind that purpose of teaching a baby how to walk is not limited to him taking a walk but also teaching him a way of life where he knows what he should be walking towards to.

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There are various paths given to achieve this self-realization from Raaj Yoga to Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hath Yoga, etc. There are ‘Yama’ and ‘Niyams’ to be followed like Ahimsa, Asteya, Aparigraha, Santosha, etc. The intent is not to just clean your body of toxins but also your mind, your actions, and your thoughts. We need to integrate it into our behavior and our actions if we want to call it Yoga; otherwise what most of us are doing are just aasans and pranaayaam. This should be the role and responsibility of Yoga teachers who when opening up Yoga Studios and Yoga Workshop teach their disciple that Yoga is done by integrating a way of life where not only our physical body but we also take care of our psychological and Spiritual well being.

In Yoga, we talk about harmony. We talk about our connection with each other. We talk about how we are connected to nature. We talk about how we are one with everything around us. How we are one with The One. It is much much much larger than what we have shown to the world so far. I know with time, we will teach our young generation that how they can start with Aasans and Pranayams and progress through Meditation and a Yoga Path to reach to their full potential and live a life which is filled with joy and compassion.

Happy Yoga Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chakra Meditation

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We are fooled by the term Yoga(Yog). We do Surya Namaskar and say we have done Yoga. We will do kapaalbhati, Praanayam, a few OMs and we will start preaching ourselves as Yoga Guru.There is nothing wrong in doing all these, but to term them as Yog is like ignoring the big picture. Pardon me for using the term Yog and not Yoga, I just prefer it as this is more apt to its hindi nomenclature, like it is Lord Raam and not Lord Rama. I don’t want to pronounce it Yo-Ga. It is Yog.

Yog in simple plain hindi means – To Add, To Sum,To Join.

It is the Yog of us with our spiritual being. Joining of body with mind and soul.

Yoga, however is the most popularized version of physical exercises which are teachings of Yog, to make your body apt for meditation. Only a healthy body can have a healthy mind; and only a healthy mind can have a healthy soul. This is the basis of Yog. We use Pranaayam, and other type of Yogic exercises to make our body fit. Meditation is used to make our mind distraction free and focused, so we can receive the knowledge of beyond. When this is reached, Yog helps us to reach our highest spiritual self. To be one with The One. This joining of trinity. Mind + Body +Soul.

There are so many ways to practice Yog in your life, like Hath Yog,Raaj Yog, Tantra, Mantra, Gyan, Karm. One of them is Kundalini Yog, which involves almost everything from breathing exercises to mantras, to meditation. Kundalini enlightenment works by awakening our Chakras.

I felt fascinated with Chakra Meditation and Kundalini Yog, as somehow, this is the most scientific and processed form of a ritualistic meditation. It’s not just about making your mind blank, it is about enriching your mind/soul. It works on body, mind and soul simultaneously.

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There are 7 Chakras, 6 in our body and 7th on our outer body, just crowning us on top.

Muladhar – Base chakra, or Root Chakra is at the end of our spine. Its representing color is Red and Mantra is Lam. In senses it represents smell. It’s element is Earth. How apt is that when we say – come back to earth, put your foot down, to touch your roots; what we actually means is to be stable and secure, to become grounded; and all these take us to our root which is earth, our Muladhar, our base. This is the Chakra of stability, of the first step. We start from earth. This is our base. 

Svadhishthana – This Chakra represents reproductive organs, and our emotions. Water is its element. Water which also represents emotions, feelings, and reproduction. Have you noticed how much watery terms when it comes to our reproductive organs, like flow, blockage, pipes, swimmers, etc… In senses it represents taste. It’s color is orange and Mantra is Vam. Water over Earth.

Manipura – It is the fire element, and quite suitably denotes our digestive system. This fire is used to digest our food, to burn it. Fire over water. Yellow is its color and Ram is its mantra. Sense is sight. It governs fear, power, and anxiety etc. Butterflies in stomach, feeling sick in stomach… we say all these things when we are anxious or scared.

Anahata – It is the Heart Chakra. It governs circulation, love, compassion, and well-being. All matters related to heart. Its color is green, and mantra is Yam. Sense is touch. Has anyone touched your heart? Its element is Air. Air over Fire. It is the most powerful chakra for emphats.  Person with strong and awakened Heart chakra is full with love and compassion. It is one of the strong point in being an empath.

Vishuddha – This is throat chakra. Visuddha meaning pure. This chakra govern communication and expression. Its element is Ether. Ether is what this universe is made of. Our sound can not travel without this medium ether. Sound which is a part of communication, ruled by throat chakra. Its color is blue, mantra is Ham, and sense is hearing.

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These were 5 chakras with elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. 5 elements. Our body is made of these 5 elements, 5 matters. These are those 5 matters. Now, what resides over matter.

Mind.

Mind over matter.

Ajna – Aagyaa, or gyan chakra. This is our 6th Chakra. Our mind. Mind over all the matter. It is above all the physical elements. Our mind can go beyond this Ether filled universe. Its color is violet, or indigo. Its mantra is OM. It is also called as third eye chakra. It govern intuition. Clarity. Knowledge. Our consciousness. The sixth sense. This is our 6th Chakra giving us 6th sense. This is our inner voice. Its sense is insight.

Sahasrara – thousand petals chakra, also known as Crown chakra is at the crown of our head. It is not inside our body but rather just on the top, where our aura is. This is the final destination of Kundalini shakti, where she unites with her Shiva. Shining like millions of sun put together. The perfect union of Shiva-Shakti. Perfect Yog. This is the place of pure bliss. Enlightenment. Samaadhi. This is where our higher spiritual self resides. To reach there is attainment of Moksha. To attain pure knowledge. To know all. To be all. To be The One. Where there is no difference in body, mind and soul. It’s just a single point. Nothing matters. You are one. Shiva is one with her Shakti. Yog.

This is Yog for me.

Meditation For The Love Of It : Book Review

Meditation For The Love Of It

Meditation For The Love Of It

(Book Review)

When you are interested in knowing something, you will find so many ways to achieve it. That is what happening with me. Since I have started doing Chakra Meditation, I am picking books, articles and every possible opportunity which is increasing my thirst more and more on learning about it. This book “Meditation for the Love of it” by “Sally Kempton” has also enhances my learning experience.

Coming to the review of book, this book is very good for the ones who wants to start their Meditative journey. Author has provided a detailed description of her experience in meditation and her Kundalini awakening episodes. Sally Kempton has spent her 40 years of life in immersing herself in meditation. She has learned the meditation techniques by her Indian spiritual Guru. Their teachings and guidelines are also mentioned in the book in very descriptive format.

If we talk of what does not clicked with me while reading this book, then there is only one point which makes it somewhat less interesting. The point being, it is less of self help book and more of Sally’s meditation journey. It’s actually good for those who are not sure if Meditation is meant for them, and they should proceed with it in their regular life or not. It could be a good inspiration to start Meditation. For those who are just looking for more techniques and exercises for meditation, this book has the information scattered around in a vague way. So you have to kinda dig in to all the Sally’s experiences to find out real stuff.

To mention an example, Chakras are mentioned in the book but nearly in the end, that too very vaguely. Another book is mentioned there for reading about Chakras which should be actually the base of Meditation, in case you want to awaken your Kundalini.

Kundalini is also mentioned at the end and not much has been given about it. I was expecting more. Kind of disappointing to me, but no sad face. Whatever you read and learn, is never sufficient. I need more and thus I have ordered some more books. So, just keep watching this space till I get my hold on those books.

Live and Learn. 🙂