Articles derived from yogacharya Sharat Arora (Anand Sagar) Teachings

Pranayama Part 3 Relaxing the Throat

20.10.2010

Letting go of facial muscles is an art, as these are the muscles which are the most connected with our mental movements. By dropping that, we are able to go beyond. With awareness we will get rid of those pathways that have been created in the face. That is where all relaxation starts and that is what we check it in the middle of the process and we continue to check it every time we feel disturbed. Those pathways have to be eroded with awareness. If your throat is tight and tensed, you know that it is all your attachment with the world. All your attachment have its mark in certain areas. All the things – whether it be the ideas that you are attached to, the objects, maybe your house – all that which you hold on to and you are afraid of losing have its mark in the throat. The energy which that attachment creates causes movements and they are visible in the eyes. So in fact in the eyes it is showing you what the present state is.

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Pranayama Part 2 Shavasana

20.10.2010

Shava – is dead body and dead mind. It means that it is not moved, it is completely quiet. The principle of Shavasana is, that when we lay the physical body in harmony, without any conflictual body posture, we are able to penetrate in it and free it. Therefore we become “dead” during that time. It is the most hard to do. In fact it symbolises the whole of the Yoga practice. This is the ultimate posture that there is – Shava – to be dead. When you are dead like this, not moving, it is then that you realise who you really are.    

The art of lying down in the Shavasana is to eradicate all conflicts in the body. When after a while your body starts to say, “I am uncomfortable”, the intention of Shavasana is at least to put away all conflicts and to learn more about your body if conflict arises. Then there are many means to erase them and so the technique to lay down in Shavasana consists of few key steps.

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Pranayama Part 1 Introduction

(likes / dislikes and the karmic rules)
20.10.2010

In Pranayama we are dependent on the body for the breath to move freely. If the body is out of line, the breath can’t reach everywhere, it can't go to that area which is blocked. The next important thing is related to us trying to control, influence the breath. When we try, automatically the muscles tighten. Whenever we make actions arising from the local awareness, we get into trouble and there once more come blockages. It is proving that we rely on the body for the breath to be harmonious.

When is the body in total inaction? When we are lying down, when we are still and we don’t have to do anything. Also in some Yoga postures like Halasana and Shoulder Stand we are dependent on the body for the smooth breath. Even if there is no action in the body, it is still dependent. The one pose which is completely balanced, in which we can practice our breathing is Shavasana. It is for that reason that we are going to learn Shavasana in depth, in all its aspects, so that we are able to perform our watchfulness of breathing. And in that process we also learn when we hold tightness anywhere in the body without even knowing.

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Prana and the ha-tha balance

The energy that supports life is Prana, which is in every living creature. When this is balanced we enjoy health. Yoga practice is about being so aware that we notice imbalances and do postures to bring harmony.

Prana, like all energies; light, sound, magnetism, electricity, etc; travels in waves from plus to minus. To regulate the Prana, "Ha-Tha" Yoga came into being, which is to do with the understanding of these plus (positive) and minus (negative) aspects, symbolised by "Ha --> Sun" and "Tha --> Moon".  The exact meaning is to discover how to act and be passive at the same time. Practically speaking, doing the pose and being relaxed while doing it.  

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Yoga is not about flexibility or strength

Yoga is not about flexibility or strength which is what most people understand about Yoga. Yoga is about peace and freedom. By being caught up in the pursuit of flexibility and strength we direct our energies in a goal which involves accumulation. And everyone knows that there is no limit to how much one can want. Than the pursuit of power, wealth are a similar attraction without end. Therefore we must devote our time to renunciation - which is surrender - rather than accumulation. For most of us the giving up of things is a threat to social norm.

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