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About Yoga: Interpretation of the Yoga Sutra I.I

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Anusara Practice Nov 28, 10 was about embracing the invitation of yoga and what it implies.

We used the 1st sutra of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥ atha yoga-anuśāsanam ||1|

Here are some note about the using sutra 1.1 during the practice:

Yoga is an invitation –atha yoga-anuśāsanam
Atha is Now. Right here in the perfection of this moment you have been chosen, invited to participate in the practice of yoga.
In showing up you are saying yes to the invitation. Now- atha, you are ready to begin this journey called yoga

When? Now
Where? Here.

This invitation underlines 2 important distinctions:

1- In atha, there is a very important silent agreement as part of this invitation. For you to be ready to experience the process and goal of yoga implies that you are worthy enough of receiving this very secretive highest knowledge. We accept the responsibility of realizing our own greatness. So it is from knowing who we truly are in essence (with the awakening- shaktipat) as perfect that we can begin the journey of releasing the karmic seeds and samskara or past impressions so we can become fully established in the experience of our true essence as satchitananda- existence, consciousness and bliss.

2- When ever you are being invited somewhere there is an expectation from you host. When you go visit your friends and family you agree to follow the rules of their home. If they ask you to remove your shoes you do so, if you use their bathrooms you leave it clean, if they serve you a meal you accept it and thank them for their generosity. You may also bring a small gift to express your gratitude.
Atha-Now that you have been invited to practice yoga, what is the expectation?
In atha yoga-anuśāsanam there is the word anuśāsanam just like the word anusara in anusara yoga, the prefix anu invite you to participate fully in the process of yoga; not only showing up with your physical body but also with your mind and your heart. The invitation implies you are offered to be a student of yoga. Studenship requires for you to be open to new ways and new concepts, to move passed your limitations and to give your very best. On the heart level fullness implies that we are filled of devotion and gratitude for the teaching and the teacher-Guru. In the Anusara Invocation the 1st phrase is dedicated to expressing our devotion and gratitude: Om namah shivaya Gurave.

Now we begin with the remembrance of our infinite perfection and greatness for we have been chosen to be part of the process of yoga or merging with our essence which is Ananda- bliss. What a gift, what an invitation, we have accumulated so many good karma that we have bee granted the gift of yoga.

In Anusara we express our bhakti (bhakti yoga) and jnana with hatha Yoga.
The term Hatha has been translated as Ha = sun and tha = moon, meaning the balancing of opposites called in Anusara Yoga: Balance Action. Yoga invite us to have the experience of our divinity while being in this embodiment. It is an experience. By exploring and experiencing the contrary complement we find the place in the middle and Allow it to expand. That’s Anusara.

Ishwari Jay

MahaShivaratri

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Article  from the holiday spot

Puranas contain many stories and legends describing the origin of MahaShivaratri. According to one, during the samudra manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.

According to another legend in the Shiva Purana, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end. On his journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When asked where she had come from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the flower as a witness.

At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. He punished Brahma for telling a lie, and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him. The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship, as she had testified falsely. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity.

This version is the one my Guru, Swami Chidviliasananda always tells on that day:

A legend explains the all-night worship of Shiva on Shivratri. There was once a poor tribal man who was great devotee of Shiva. One day he went deep into the forest to collect firewood. However he lost his way and could not return home before nightfall. As darkness fell, he heard the growls of wild animals. Terrified, he climbed onto the nearest tree for shelter till day-break. Perched amongst the branches, he was afraid he would doze and fall off the tree. To stay awake, he decided to pluck a leaf at a time from the tree and drop it, while chanting the name of Shiva. At dawn, he realized that he had dropped a thousand leaves onto a Linga to keep himself awake, the tribal plucked one leaf at a time from the tree and dropped it below which he had not seen in the dark. The tree happened to be a wood apple or bel tree. This unwitting all-night worship pleased Shiva, by whose grace the tribal was rewarded with divine bliss. This story is also recited on Mahashivaratri by devotees on fast. After observing the all-night fast, devotees eat the Prasad offered to Shiva.

Health is Your True Wealth

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Take extreme care of your health!

Health is true wealth. You don’t want the richest man in a graveyard as Tony Robbin says. Well the greatest death is death by medicine.

Harmful Chemicals in foods:

Heart disease, cancer and diabetes, belly fat is not only unattractive it’s dangerous and anti longevity.

There are more than 80,000 man-made chemicals in use in the U.S. BUT only about 200 have been required to be tested for safety.

Every American alive today, including newborn babies, has hundreds of chemicals flowing through our blood. Some of these substances may cause prostate and breast cancers, diabetes, heart disease, lowered sperm counts, early puberty and other diseases and disorders.

But current laws are tilted drastically in favor of the manufacturers. The burden of proving that a chemical is harmful is so extreme that only one group of chemicals, PCBs, has ever been banned.

Loosing weight: Stay away from refine & artificial sugar!

Counting calorie and eating less to loose weight doesn’t work. The reality is everyone knows that and still 3 American over 5 over obese or over weight.  The process food is full off sugar and when we eat all that sugar we raise the insulin level in the body which makes the fat cells grow. So when you keep the insulin level low, fat goes away especially around the waist. Jorge Cruise, author of “The Belly Fat Cure”, recommend a maximum of 15 grams of sugar in one day spread out through the day and 6 serving of carbohydrates a day, that’s 120 grams. Purvia, zalatol, stevia, are natural sweeteners with no calories and are not artificial. Artificial sugar causes very harmful neurological damage to your brain so skip the diet sodas and all process food that says no sugar and in the ingredient you see artificial sweeteners such as aspartame for instance. Replace with raw honey, stevia, real raw agave or any other non refined sweeteners.