Articles derived from yogacharya Sharat Arora (Anand Sagar) Teachings

Awareness Is The Healer

Wherever your body is unaware there is darkness there, ignorance. That part has to be brought to light. Awareness heals everything because when we become aware and conscious of our problem it’s then that we start to deal with it. Therefore, as soon as we become conscious automatically the body has a mechanism and it starts to move. It is the same as nature. If I leave nature alone it has the power to heal itself. This is the amazing power of nature. And we are of that nature. We just have to become aware and the body starts to heal itself. This is why the practice of yoga is the best healer, the subtlest healer. If you are sick and you always need a doctor what is the use? Grow awareness in yourself and the nature of your body automatically heals.

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To Find Peace, First We Must Purify

Peace is like a cup that is washed, cleaned, and ready to use. The washing and the cleaning is not a very pleasant activity. If you look carefully, what does it mean, the washing and cleaning? It means you put some soap, scrub, take out the dirt or whatever is left of your food then you rinse it till the soap is gone. It’s not pleasant always, because what happens? If it’s big dirt it goes and clog the sink, blocks the pipes, when it gets blocked then there’s trouble because now you can’t wash any more. It’s trouble for you and for everyone. That cleaning process we call purification. To find peace first we must purify.

Purification is going to happen for everyone on this course. And sometimes there are some very heavy things that are going to go down the drain and clog it up and that will mean trouble. That trouble may come out as anger. When you’re angry the first person to blame is the teacher. The teacher is always in the firing range. How will it happen? You’ll start thinking ‘the teacher is wrong, is like this and that’ your mind starts to work. Or someone else is disturbing you and you blame that person. All these kind of things come up when purification is taking place. The dirt goes and gets stuck somewhere on someone else. This is inevitable.

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Discipline with eating

To really experience Yoga and silence is not easy and it requires discipline. I hope they’ll make great food on this Intensive course but restrain your-selves. Did you know that humans can survive on a few grains? Therefore, eat, talk and interact with each other but in a disciplined manner. Eating in a disciplined manner firstly means eating with awareness.

Being aware, being patient, chewing your food, you will notice that you eat less. You can reduce your weight in one month by chewing the food till it becomes liquid, and only then swallowing it. When you chew your food the digestion begins in the mouth and so you give less work to your body and then because you give less work to your body it has more energy to do other things that are healing. What is healing? Healing is the process of eradicating what we suffer from.

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What is a distraction? It can be something as subtle as a neighbour making coffee. You can smell it and at once it puts certain motion within the head, the brain, which feeds information to the mind that’s waiting to be told what to do. Then the mind takes it on, the mind is a genie and it can manifest anything that it wants. And then suddenly you’re caught up in that. That is a distraction, you being caught up through a simple process of smelling something, hearing something, seeing something. As if we did not already have enough going on in our head.

So, whatever comes up from our head comes up because there is external stimulation. You take away external stimulation and it’s possible to have less distraction. For example, a hospital, not that hospitals are good but I’m giving an example. Normally a patient is not allowed to go out of hospital, so we provided that kind of environment here, you cannot go out and there are no external distraction so that, and this is important, so that we actually experience the sense of peace or experience silence. When we go into the sutras of Patanjali we will see that that’s what yoga is all about – minimising distractions equals yoga practice. For this reason we built the ashram for the Intensive courses, so that people can come and stay and be discharged only after three weeks of the Intensive. For this reason we told you to inform all your friends, your relatives that you are not available, you are offline. And for this reason we take your phones, laptops and books

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The Art of Relaxation

The art of relaxation is to learn how to completely surrender. If it was easy, we would be very relaxed people. Therefore, yogic relaxation is to be conscious of all those things, which are taking us away from surrender. Surrender, letting go, letting go…. Therefore not holding on. In our body there are many places where we hold on, without our knowing. So, yogic relaxation is about recognizing these places by being conscious and then dropping them. We experience that tensions are felt as tightness, as something hard. So when we do relaxations we’re watching in our body for anything that feels hard and we are letting that go, letting that go…

In our face, it’s a mask that we’re conscious of it and give it, therefore, our full attention. This is where we start off, the lips and the whole area around the lips. As soon as we start to become aware of the tightness there, then that takes us into the cheeks and down where the jaws meet, where the upper jaw and the lower jaw meet, a lot of tensions reside there permanently. Being fully aware there and letting go may involve making some movements between the upper and the lower jaw. The moment we give that area our attention and it starts to become soft, straight away it takes us to the area around the ears and down into the throat. It’s almost as if when one door opens, we’re able to see what is beyond that door. The throat is related to the tongue and of course the jaws. Being completely and absolutely relaxed in the tongue also involves watching, or making movements and watching what tightness there is. When the tongue is quiet it has the quality of smoothness as it flattens on the lower palate.

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Sharat Arora
03 August 2016
16.10.14 When we do a practice like we do in our Iyengar Yoga centres, we gain understanding, so we increase our awareness about ourselves and about the world. We go inside and the mind slowly stops i...