Yoga and Music in India

How Hatha yoga and music connect… I will here share my experience of being a Hindustani musician as well as a Hatha Yoga practionner for about 20 years. Recently I have completed a 6 weeks retreat at the Himalaya Shanti Ashram of HIYC which helped me a lot bringing all this together !

The goal of Hatha Yoga is to experience peace and freedom. This can be only experienced in a quiet mind and body. The all job is then to minimize the noise from the mind and body… only through silence, the self will be accessible.

At the body level, silence is gained by reducing the body pain. Tensions and tightness are the noise that our body feels more or less loudly as background sensations.

At the mental level, the noises are the arising of thoughts. Some louder than others will keep silence at a far distance. Allowing thoughts to go away without reaction helps silence to come back. According its deepness we can have different quality of silence.

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Yoga In Our Daily Lives

Life is a field of activity - call it nature, universe, prakrti (Sanskrit word), space-time matrix, quantum field, or by any other name. It is absolutely experiential to any participant of it. Activity means a constant action. And this action is inevitable to all living beings. We all dwell inside the action game of the 'cause and effect'. We can’t remember the beginning of it and we don’t really know where the end of it is. We all reside within a certain framework of law of nature.

If we concentrate for a while and observe - we see that there’s always a freedom of choice within that field of activity. And these, our choices, they define the direction of our activity, shape our very existence. It is not necessarily to be spiritual in order to understand that choice - conscious or unconscious - is always there. Our whole life is a chain of choices. One can find that not choosing is also a choice - choice to have no direction in the field of action and decision to depend on inner and outer flows of the circumstances.

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All we need is Love! Yoga, Determination and Discipline

If we want to bring about sustainable peace and harmony in our world, we must start from ourselves. It is critical that we develop and cultivate a healthy and aware relationship with love. With determination and discipline, yoga practice can allow us to do that.

Yoga means union – the union between the Self and the higher consciousness or God. And although love must be experienced to be understood, love is often described as the higher consciousness, God or divine. (One does not have to be Christian to appreciate the biblical description by John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.)  Yoga is a practice that gives us the space and tools to go inward, to become aware of the source of love within, to love ourselves and to relate to all that is around us from a state of love.

However, one must be determined to follow this path with the understanding that this is the way to a peaceful and harmonious world. To be in the state of love or not to be in the state of love is the choice of every individual. We do not have the power to change others and at times do not have the power to change what happens to us, but we can decide how to relate to others and the situations we find ourselves in. In every given moment and situation we encounter it is up to us to respond from a state of love or not.

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Yoga - An Essence Of Life

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma Kashrchit Dukha Bhagbhavet
(May all be happy, May all be healthy May all experience prosperity in everything, may all be free from suffering)

This is the basic principle of Yoga. Yoga is not only Asana and Pranayam,  Yoga is an essence of life which helps us to live in healthy and balanced manner. When we are in practice, we transform, connect and bring ourself to a better individual despite of our fear and suffering .We find solace and contentment in practice.

Physical posture do brings about a connection that aligns us with mother earth and the qualities of earth like groundedness, stabilization, power to face each and every situation with calmness automatically inculcate into us and open us to greater world. Yoga is a way to know yourself which brings enlightment,it is a spiritual science for the integrated and holistic development of our physical, mental as well as moral-spiritual aspect.

Moral-spiritual aspect play a lead role in today’s scenario nowadays people who brutally kill innocent men, women and children create shock , fear and anger which brings  chaos in our society and whole world desperately look for a solution which can come only from YOGA. With the help of yoga we can fill the world with divine love, eternal peace, bliss, goodwill, forgiveness and humanity because a yogi is always dutiful to the world. A yoga practitioner is an intellectual crusader.  A yogi when gains the power of mental concentration , he overcome the very nature of mind which is nimble, changing, moving and transitory.By regular practice,a yogi rises above external and environmental factor and amalgamate himself with God.  

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"What is Asana"

Yoga can lead to a total freedom of the body and mind. It is a spiritual path that helps us to find refuge, discover our true self and experience what life really means. The most well known aspect of yoga is asana which means posture, specifically a ‘comfortable and steady posture’ - like it is mentioned in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” - ‘sthiram sukham asanam’.  Unfortunately most of the modern yoga today places an incorrect emphasis on this aspect. There is only focus on the acrobatic ability of the body which is a total misunderstanding of the concept of asana and the opportunity that yoga provides to us.

First benefit that the asana can give us is to bring our body into alignment. Usually we fail to pay attention and give awareness to our misalignment and therefore cause ourselves more damage. Our minds correspond with our bodies and therefore when our physical being is misaligned; our mental state is misaligned as well.

When we experience the alignment of the body and mind we benefit nourishment from the yoga practice. Bringing our body into alignment will allow the breath to be as it should be – a deep, flowing, fully nourishing breath. When we are misaligned, the breath will be short and insufficient, therefore creating more stress in the muscles and the mind. Furthermore we will never be able to experience freedom when our breath is not free. The asana will open the body in a way that the breath can flow easily, and this also indicates to us whether we are performing the asana correctly or not.    

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