Articles derived from yogacharya Sharat Arora (Anand Sagar) Teachings

Eating and Practicing

SELF PRACTICE

Before the inversions – actually before all kinds of Asanas – we should not eat. Not even a little bit. Why? Because our body starts to digest. Vata, the air element, is responsible for all kind of movement in the body. And when we start to practice while the air is working, we bring it out of balance. It cannot work properly anymore. So we have to wait to practice until the digestion has finished.

Sleeping also disturbs the digestion. It is recommended to have some movement after food for minimum half an hour. If we do a siesta after lunch or we go to bed soon after dinner, we should lay down on the left side so that the right nostril stays open and the HA energy continuous to work. When we sleep on the other side, the digestion will not work properly, the food stays in the body too long and cannot really be absorbed. By sleeping on the left side we digest and sleep good.

Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, 13.10.15

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Yoga Brings Balance

SELF PRACTICE

Practicing Yoga Asanas will bring clarity about how to act in life. How? We learn to act in life like we act in the poses: we are aware of our actions and make them as perfect as possible. These actions also include thoughts and speech. Thoughts might come and go but by being aware we can choose whether they bother us or not. This is in our hands, this is an action. But how can we perform proper actions unless we are not aware of what we are performing? Most of the time we are just acting without reflecting, we don’t take time to stop and get feedback. An unreflected action is an incomplete action. But by doing Yoga we learn how to reflect upon our actions. We act and then reflect. This is the quality of THA. Only HA and THA together bring balance. When we integrate both of them in our practice, then also our life becomes balanced.

All the Yoga poses bring balance. Inversions are the most important ones but also the family of Sethubandhasarvangasana for example – and especially the one where the tail bone rests on a brick in order to realign it (“injection”) – brings balance and takes away conditioning. As it sticks the tail bone in, it brings awareness in that area and makes our whole posture better, we become more upright.

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How to practice during Menstruation

SELF PRACTICE

Our society still imposes that during the period women have to pretend that everything is fine and that they should function normally. But the body is in a special state and women can feel very sensitive. They should honour the menstruation, understand their needs and take care of their selves. So listen to your body and do the Yoga poses you feel like doing. But don’t do any inversion. Don’t force yourself into something. Don’t do active stretches, only the passive ones.

The lower belly area is tight because of the contractions of the uterus. Therefore we want to open, relax and soften there. We want to feel good, hence we work with props to give support and softness. We can start with gentle stretches like Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Baddakonasana or Viparita Karani(vithout the bolster where the trunk is flat on the floor so the pelvis is not higher that the chest). Especially the version with the legs wide open stretches and relaxes the whole pelvis area.

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Yoga is About Silence

Yoga’s primary emphasis is upon general well-being. Yoga employs a broad holistic approach that focuses on inspiring people to live consciously, adopt an aware way of thinking and interacting in the world. In the process it brings about a myriad of healing effects and health benefits.

To access emotional pain through the brain, one must in some way access or attend to the body. Our bodies communicate imbalances or discomforts to us whenever they arise. This can be experienced through feelings of anxiety, discomfort in the abdomen or difficulty with natural breathing. Many people feel stressed and experience neck and shoulder stiffness or feel sad and as a result feel closed in the throat area.

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Part 2: Finding Peace in the Poses (Resolving Conflict)

Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Philosophy Paraphrased, Adapted and Edited 10 December 2013
Combined Introductory and Continuing Class, Day 5

To be quiet and peaceful is our right. Exercise this right by dropping things, by doing less, by being less busy in your daily life. A Yogi is one who remains connected, focused within and in a state of peacefulness while doing everything in life. This is the path.

In life, as in the asanas, there is work to be done. The question is how much should we do? The answer is simple. We should do enough and not more. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the final of the seven stages of Samadhi is to experience a pure state of peacefulness in the body for extended periods of time. When you are completely peaceful in a position, or in life, that is the final pose, there is nothing left to do. In the one or two minutes you stay in an asana, you experience perhaps a few seconds of peacefulness.  Enjoy this time. When it passes and again conflict arises, continue to work towards resolution.

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