Articles derived from yogacharya Sharat Arora (Anand Sagar) Teachings

Being In The Body

Hatha yoga means that from the time you begin your yoga practice till the time you leave the room you’re going to be conscious in yourself, especially the body. Eckhart Tolle calls this ‘being in the body’ which means having your awareness in the body. You are in your body, you are aware of your body, not as an outsider looking at your body, but as an insider feeling the body. As you stretch your toes are you feeling the stretch on the sole of the foot? You are doing to feel and then being aware of that feeling. This is yoga practice. By being in your body you come to be present. Now, when stretching your toes you take your arms to the side and press down through the centre of the heel into the floor. Presence is totally there and stays there. You make other movements but you don’t take your awareness from the foot.

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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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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...