Category Archives: Yoga

An Easy Guide To Meditation

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I salute the supreme teacher,
the Truth, whose Nature is Bliss;
who is the giver of the highest
happiness; who is pure wisdom;
who is beyond all qualities and
infinite like the sky; who is beyond
words; who is one and eternal,
pure and still; who is beyond all
change and phenomena and who
is the silent witness to all our
thoughts and emotions—I salute
Truth, the supreme teacher.
– Ancient Vedic Hymn
  • Meditation as a Foundation Practice for Personal Benefits and Authentic Spiritual Growth
  • Experiencing the Natural Process:
  • How to Meditate Effectively
  • Meditation Techniques and Routines to Use for Satisfying Results
  • Awakening Through Progressive Stages of Spiritual Growth
  • Lifestyle Guidelines Supportive of Our Primary Aims and Purposes
 

Meditation, correctly practiced, is the simple process
of removing attention from conditions and circumstances
which, when cognized and overly identified with, fragment 
and cloud our perceptions. Meditating,
while remaining alert and observant, enables us to easily 
experience pure (clear) levels of awareness
or states of consciousness. Doing this on a regular schedule
 provides frequent opportunities for physiological
and psychological rest, while freeing attention to explore 
more refined states of consciousness
and to effortlessly experience spontaneous unfoldments of innate, 
spiritual qualities.
Please remember, as you read this and proceed to the practice of 
meditation, that the secret
of successful meditative experience is to relax into
the process, allowing constructive adjustments of
mental states and states of consciousness to occur
naturally. For this reason, it is recommended that
anxiety, as well as any inclination you may have
to exert effort to accomplish something, are to be
avoided when meditating. Anxiety about the outcome
of an endeavor indicates an attitude of need
and keeps us too self-centered. A sense of personal
effort or excessive use of will power, to accomplish a
goal or to make something happen, arises from selfconsciousness
which needs to be renounced so that
more refined levels of awareness can be perceived
and experienced.
At all times, whether meditating or routinely engaged
in everyday circumstances and relationships,
it is helpful to be inwardly aware of the fact that
you are an immortal, spiritual being temporarily
relating to the human condition. While in this world
you express as a Spirit-mind-body being, with your
spiritual nature remaining superior to the mind and
the physical body.

The Great Yoga Teacher Sri Aurobindo

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Early mystic experiences of Sri Aurobindo

In the formative years of our youth, some of us experience those serendipitous and decisive moments which open new vistas and reveal to us our calling  in life; one individual may chance upon a stirring piece of music and be impelled to become a musician; another may be captivated by an enigmatic pattern of numbers and subsequently enroll in math studies; and yet another might discover an uncanny aptitude for mechanical tools and go on to build a business around it.  These are predestined moments, moments when the soul shines forth to disclose our purpose and guide us to our vocation in this incarnation.   In the lives of mystics as well, we see such transcendental moments which initiate their entry into the spiritual path.  This article presents some early mystic experiences of Sri Aurobindo as noted down in his poems.

Before we discuss Sri Aurobindo, let me digress by providing an example from the early life of a noted computer scientist Michael O. Rabin.  In this excerpt from the book Out of their minds: the lives and discoveries of 15 great computer scientists by Dennis Shasha, Michael Rabin narrates an episode in his childhood which motivated him to study math even though his father wanted him to devote himself to religious studies.

My sister, who is five years older than I, brought home The Microbe Hunters by Paul de Krif.  Reading that and other books on the pioneers of microbiology sparked my imagination, so from the time I was eight until about twelve, I thought I might become a microbiologist.

Then one day serendipity played a role and I was kicked out of class.  There were two ninth-grade students sitting the corridor solving Euclid style geometry problems.  I looked at what they were doing.  There was a problem they couldn’t solve.  So they challenged me and I solved it.  The beauty of that, the fact that by pure thought you can establish a truth about lines and circles by the process of proof, struck me and captivated me completely. [1] (link)

Such transformative experiences abound in the lives of mystics as well.  Ramakrishna Paramahansa early in his childhood was said to have been entranced by the ethereal sight of dazzling white geese silhouetted against a dark monsoon sky.  Rabindranath Tagore in his youth had a vision of the world bathed in light; this vision informed his soul-stirring poetry and philosophy of life.

Early experiences of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo was born in 1872 in Calcutta, India.  At the tender age of seven, he was sent to England by his father for higher studies and that is where he remained till the age of twenty-one.   While in England, he once came across a brief statement on the “Six philosophies of India” and was especially struck by the concept of the Atman in Advaita.  He thought it might bear a clue to the reality behind the phenomenal world but he couldn’t ascertain its deeper significance at the time. [2]

He returned back from England to India in February of 1893 on board a steamship as was the custom in those days.  When the ship docked at Apollo Bunder (seen below) in Bombay(now Mumbai), he felt a vast calm descending upon him.  This envelope of calm that ensconced him persisted for many months. [2]

Photo: Apollo Bunder circa 1900. Click image for source

He subsequently took up employment with the Maharaja of Baroda State. In the first year of his stay(approx 1893-1894), he was involved in a horse carriage accident during which he had the vision of a Godhead surging up from within to save his life. [2]   He wrote the poem “The Godhead” describing this experience.

Photo: Horse-drawn carriage circa 1900. Click image for source.

The Godhead

I sat behind the dance of Danger’s hooves
In the shouting street that seemed a futurist’s whim,
And suddenly felt, exceeding Nature’s grooves,
In me, enveloping me the body of Him.

Above my head a mighty head was seen,
A face with the calm of immortality
And an omnipotent gaze that held the scene
In the vast circle of its sovereignty.

His hair was mingled with the sun and breeze;
The world was in His heart and He was I:
I housed in me the Everlasting’s peace,
The strength of One whose substance cannot die.

The moment passed and all was as before;
Only that deathless memory I bore.

Yantra Meditation

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Yantras are ancient sacred symbols which denote cosmic energy. Yantra,  is a combination of two words – yan meaning instrument, something you use in order to make something happen and tra emanating from trayati, meaning liberation, to make free or to awaken. “A yantra thus works as an instrument, a key to open up particular parts of the mind, to extend our consciousness, to make us aware of our godliness, to make us aware of ‘I am that,” 

No words or thoughts exist in the spiritual dimension, since they are creations of the intellect and the mind, respectively. So how does one discover or express an internal experience? “Through symbols known as yantras and mandalas in yoga.

Symbols employed in Yantras

Shapes and patterns commonly employ ed in yantra include squares, triangles, circles and floral patterns but may also include more complex and detailed symbols, for instance:

  • The lotus flower typically represent chakras, with each petal representing a psychic propensity (or vritti) associated with that chakra.
  • A dot, or bindu, represents the starting point of creation or the infinite, unexpressed cosmos.
  • The shatkona (Sanskrit name for a symbol identical to the star of David) composed of a balance between:
    1. An upwards triangle denoting action (or service), extroversion, masculinity
    2. A downwards triangle denoting introversion, meditativeness, energy
  • A swastika represents good luck, welfare, prosperity or spiritual victory
  • Bija mantras (usually represented as characters of Devanagari that correspond to the acoustic roots of a particular chakra or vritti)

SHREE YANTRA

Shree Yantra is one of the most auspicious, important and powerful Yantras, which not only gives the maximum benefit, but also proves beneficial for almost everybody. It is the source of attaining all worldly desires & fulfilling all wishes through inner cosmic power & mental strength. “Shree Yantra” – Shree meaning wealth and Yantra – Meaning “Instrument” – The Instrument for Wealth The Shree Yantra brings about material and spiritual wealth.

Shree Yantra has that unexplained power to fulfill all our wishes and change our life for the better. Shree Yantra is definitely the answer to all the problems and negativity in our life. Any person using Shree Yantra achieves much greater affluence , peace and harmony.

Shree Yantra Sacred Geometry – help in clearing all the negative energies – the fog that surrounds our life – standing in our way of Peace , Prosperity and Harmony and make everything work for us in orderly manner . Shree Yantra the Multi Pyramid Geometric Grid is in 2 Dimension or 3 Dimension form . In 2 Dimension Form it is a Symbol of 9 Intertwined Isosceles triangles. The Shree Yantra in the 3 Dimension Meru Type is a multi Pyramid Cosmic Grid signifying unlimited abundance and positive powers. This Multi pyramidal Geometry is with 7 Pyramid steps and 43 petals with Base angle of 51.5032 exact matching of this Geometry brings about optimum results. Crystal Shree Yantra balances & harmonise the aura around us and remove the negative energy, therefore when we place this crystal shree yantra, in our home or office, the place is purified by the power of crystal and the mystical geomtery of shree yantra blesses the native with success and wealth. It is evident and proved that those who place this yantra in their home or office, replace all negative energies with unlimited abundance and positive power. Just see this yantra daily in the morning and you would see the effect of this yantra from the very first day.



An Easy Guide To Meditation

Standard
I salute the supreme teacher,
the Truth, whose Nature is Bliss;
who is the giver of the highest
happiness; who is pure wisdom;
who is beyond all qualities and
infinite like the sky; who is beyond
words; who is one and eternal,
pure and still; who is beyond all
change and phenomena and who
is the silent witness to all our
thoughts and emotions—I salute
Truth, the supreme teacher.
– Ancient Vedic Hymn
  • Meditation as a Foundation Practice for Personal Benefits and Authentic Spiritual Growth
  • Experiencing the Natural Process:
  • How to Meditate Effectively
  • Meditation Techniques and Routines to Use for Satisfying Results
  • Awakening Through Progressive Stages of Spiritual Growth
  • Lifestyle Guidelines Supportive of Our Primary Aims and Purposes
 

Meditation, correctly practiced, is the simple process
of removing attention from conditions and circumstances
which, when cognized and overly identified with, fragment 
and cloud our perceptions. Meditating,
while remaining alert and observant, enables us to easily 
experience pure (clear) levels of awareness
or states of consciousness. Doing this on a regular schedule
 provides frequent opportunities for physiological
and psychological rest, while freeing attention to explore 
more refined states of consciousness
and to effortlessly experience spontaneous unfoldments of innate, 
spiritual qualities.
Please remember, as you read this and proceed to the practice of 
meditation, that the secret
of successful meditative experience is to relax into
the process, allowing constructive adjustments of
mental states and states of consciousness to occur
naturally. For this reason, it is recommended that
anxiety, as well as any inclination you may have
to exert effort to accomplish something, are to be
avoided when meditating. Anxiety about the outcome
of an endeavor indicates an attitude of need
and keeps us too self-centered. A sense of personal
effort or excessive use of will power, to accomplish a
goal or to make something happen, arises from selfconsciousness
which needs to be renounced so that
more refined levels of awareness can be perceived
and experienced.
At all times, whether meditating or routinely engaged
in everyday circumstances and relationships,
it is helpful to be inwardly aware of the fact that
you are an immortal, spiritual being temporarily
relating to the human condition. While in this world
you express as a Spirit-mind-body being, with your
spiritual nature remaining superior to the mind and
the physical body.

The Twelve Laws Of Karma

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The Dalai Lama, in his book describing the “Path to Bliss,” wrote, “Some people misunderstand the concept of karma. They take the Buddha’s doctrine of the law of causality to mean that all is predetermined, that there is nothing that the individual can do. This is a total misunderstanding.” This, of course, is absolutely correct. Karma is not “resigned fatalism.” Far from it. There is tremendous free will evidenced in this doctrine; we are each perceived as masters of our own destiny. Stated simply, karma is the law of cause and effect, one of the most basic truths in the universe!
The Laws of Karma instruct us how to free ourselves from the cage of destiny.
1) THE GREAT LAW
As you sow, so shall you reap. This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us. If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love… Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving, a Friend.
2) THE LAW OF CREATION
Life doesn’t just HAPPEN, it requires our participation. We are one with the Universe both inside and out. Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state. BE and DO yourself… what you what to have in your Life.

3) THE LAW OF HUMILITYWhat you refuse to accept, will continue for you. If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.

4) THE LAW OF GROWTH Wherever you go, there you are. For us to GROW in Spirit it is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us. The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over. When we change who and what we are within our heart our life changes too.

5) THE LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me. We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us We must take responsibility what is in our life.

6) THE LAW OF CONNECTION Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected. Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on …

7)  THE LAW OF FOCUS
“You can’t think of two things at the same time.”
Be pure of thought and pure of intent.  Stay single-minded and focus on tasks at hand.

8) THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
“If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you must demonstrate that truth.”
In other words, practice what you preach!  In order to have values in life, we must first practice those values.

9)  THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
“You can’t go home again, but you must try.”
We must examine our past in order to learn from it, but we can never go back into our past. Dwelling on old dreams prevent us from having new ones. Life moves forward, and so must we.

10)  THE LAW OF CHANGE
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
History will repeat itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

11)  THE LAW OF REWARD
“When you focus on your life, good things will happen.”
All rewards require initial toil.  Anything that is good and worth lasting value will require patience and persistence.  True joy follows doing what we’re suppose to be doing and waiting for the reward to come in its own time.

12)  THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
“What you put into it, you will get back.”
The Law of Reciprocity, Cause and Effect, and Karma! The value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.  Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the whole.

Back Pain and Yoga

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Back pain is a common problem for people all over the world , it is estimated that eight out of ten people will have a problem with back pain at some time during their lives. Back pain is more likely to occur during the ages of 30 to 50, the most productive period of most people’s lives. Most episodes of low back pain are self limited, meaning that they will resolve no matter what the treatment is. But, in some people these episodes of back pain can become chronic, meaning that they do not go away. The back pain continues and causes problems indefinitely. Low back pain is a common problem for all types of people, no matter what their job is. There is no quick fix or total cure for most back problems. The good news is that chronic back problems can be treated effectively to limit the impact on your day-to-day life.Most people with low back pain do not simply injure their back suddenly. Over many years your back is subjected to repeated stress that may not result in pain at the time the injury to the parts of the spine actually occurs. These repeated injuries add up, and can slowly cause degeneration of the parts of the spine and low back pain. Most episodes of low back pain are at least partially the result of degenerative changes that have occurred in the back over many years. There may be an acute injury that causes your back to begin to hurt, but the overall condition of the lumbar spine is also very important. The overall condition of the spine usually determines how fast you will recover and the risk of the condition becoming chronic.

* Low back pain is the second most
common cause of missed work days
* Low back pain is the leading cause
of disability between the ages of 19-45
* Low back pain is the number one
leading impairment in occupational injuries
Treatment
Your goal in any treatment program should be to improve your back pain symptoms and to slow the progression of the degenerative process occurring in the spine. The physician’s role in the treatment of low back pain should be aimed at identifying dangerous problems that require immediate attention.To prevent chronic back problems you should use several tools to help prevent further injury and to improve the condition of the back. Yoga Back Care Exercises, Glucosamine Condroitin MSN and weekly therapeutic massage. Take this important step and order Ava’s Back Care DVD today. Back pain can also come as a result of tight hamstrings and weak abdominal muscles.
The Yoga postures featured in Ava’s Back Care DVD can alleviate these conditions over time however there is work that will need to be done.
Please remember that yoga is no quick fix, and results will come slowly and steadily. Anything that markets itself as a quick fix should be looked at very carefully before a decision is made. Each time you do yoga, you are investing in your health and well-being.
Prevention is always the best medicine. If you have already got back-pain, please ease into your yoga poses slowly and really look
to gain understanding from each posture you practice.WHERE DOES THE PAIN COME
FROM IN DEGENERATIVE DISK DISEASE?It is not entirely clear where the pain comes from due to degenerative disk disease. In fact, the pain probably comes from more than one part of the lumbar spine. Many physicians feel that at least part of the problem is caused by a condition called segmental instability. Remember our earlier description of a spinal segment? Segmental instability is a term used to describe the shift of one vertebra on another in a spinal segment. This movement can result in pinching and irritation of the nerve root as it exits through the foramen. The excess motion at the spinal segment can also inflame the facet joints and cause mechanical pain from arthritis of the joints. Muscle spasms may occur in the muscles that support the spine. These muscles begin to spasm (meaning that they tighten up uncontrollably) in an attempt to stop the painful spinal segment from moving. Just like a cramp in your calf, if it goes on for long it can become quite painful. Finally, the degenerating disk itself can become inflamed and may cause mechanical pain.In the late stages of spinal degeneration, bony spurs from the degenerative process can cause a condition known as spinal stenosis. In this condition, the spinal canal becomes too small and presses on the nerve roots causing pain and nerve dysfunction in the legs . This usually occurs after years of wear and tear on the spine and is much more common in elderly people. Spinal stenosis is usually a term that is used to describe narrowing of the whole spinal canal in the lumbar spine. Technically, anything that causes the bony tube that the spinal nerves run in to become too small can be termed spinal stenosis. You may hear the term segmental spinal stenosis used to describe the combination of bone spurs arising from the facet joints and a bulging disk at the same spinal segment causing a narrowing of the spinal canal.TREATMENT: OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO
HELP YOU WITH YOUR BACK PROBLEM
Each case is different and treatment must be individualized to meet the circumstances. Treatment falls into two major categories:
* Conservative treatment — which includes exercise, medications, physical therapy, and other non-operative therapy.
* Surgical treatment — which includes laminectomy, diskectomy, and spinal fusion in selected conditions.Treatment for any back condition should involve two goals:
* To relieve the immediate problem
* To reduce the risk of re-injury
  1. Exercise plays an important role in achieving both of these goals. Many studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have far fewer problems with back pain. Exercise stimulates the body’s natural pain controlling hormones and actually decreases pain perception.
Ava’s Back Care DVD is an ideal Yoga exercise program for maintaining a healthy back, you may order this DVD from her website or buy one at a discount from Ava on the beach, either before or after class.
You may purchased this directly from Ava’s siter site  www.hathayogalesson.com if you want it mailed to you.
You may also donate $15 on this site and just specify that you bought the Back Care DVD then Ava will give you your DVD on the beach when you arrive for class.