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Hatha Yoga Tip

EAGLE – GARUDASANA  – A standing balance posture with concentration.
Stand with both knees slightly bent. Prepare to take weight into your left leg and foot by lifting the right leg and foot a little off the mat. Root the standing foot and toes into the mat, find balance by alternating weight on heels and toes then settle into your point of balance, trying to equalize weight between heels and ball of foot. Take a few moments to stabilize balance. Once your balance feels secure then wrap your right leg around the standing left leg. The right thigh will be come over the left thigh and the outside calf of the right leg will be pressed firmly against the left outer calf. Lock your right foot behind your left calf while keeping the standing leg slightly bent. Keep the upper body as straight as possible without tilting forward. Now place the left upper arm into the right elbow and bring the palms together in front of your face.  Keep the shoulders down as much as possible and let the arms do the work. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Breathe rhythmically. Release arm and leg and repeat on the opposite side, standing on the right leg and wrapping the left leg around and hooking the left foot. Put the right upper arm into the left elbow and bring palms together.

All standing balances benefit by fixing the gaze on an unmoving object and keeping the head level and the spine aligned with the head and neck.  Concentrate on the breathing to help with the focus and balance, and to maintain stamina.

Finds your Centre of balance.
Practises focusing and ignoring distraction.
Practices steady eye gaze.
Strengthens leg muscles, bones and nerves.
Strengthens spinal column.
Aids flexibility in arms, legs and hands.
Increases circulation to limbs by the squeezing effect.
Presents whole body awareness.
Adds inner calmness.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication: “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Kundalini will drop down by itself through the force of Prarabdha. It will stop at each Chakra by itself. You need not exert to fix it anywhere. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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desire-less action, selfless action. nish: without; kama: desire.

More generally, it means action performed without desiring or fearing the consequences; action performed with indifference to the outcome. It is used to describe the practice of doing actions without any expectation of the fruits (results or reactions or effects).

In the practice of Nishkamya Karma Yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm.” – Swami Sivananda

Nishkama Karma Yoga is another name for Karma Yoga, which is one of the main themes of the Bhagavad Gita. The practice of Nishkamya Karma Yoga destroys sins and impurities of the mind and causes Chitta Suddhi or purity of the Antahkarana. Knowledge of the Self dawns in a pure mind. Knowledge of the Self is the only direct means to freedom.

In the mind there are three Doshas, viz., Mala (impurities like lust, wrath, greed, etc.), Vikshepa (tossing of the mind), and Avarana (veil of ignorance). Mala is removed through Nishkamya Karma Yoga; Vikshepa by means of Upasana (worship); and Avarana by means of study of Vedantic literature and Jnana. Nishkamya Karma Yoga purifies the heart and prepares the mind for the dawn of knowledge (Jnana Udaya).
The following passage records how Sri Ramana Maharshi once demonstrated Nishkama Karma Yoga:
Mr. Rangachari, a Telugu pandit in Voorhees’ College of Vellore, asked about Nishkama Karma. There was no reply. After a time Sri Bhagavan [Ramana] went up the hill and a few followed him, including the pandit. There was a thorny stick lying on the way which Sri Bhagavan picked up; he sat down and began leisurely to work at it [sic]. The thorns were cut off, the knots were made smooth, the whole stick was polished with a rough leaf. The whole operation took about six hours. Everyone was wondering at the fine appearance of the stick made of a spiky material. A shepherd boy put in his appearance on the way as the group moved off. He had lost his stick and was at a loss. Sri Bhagavan immediately gave the new one in his hand to the boy and passed on.

Love all equally. – Sri Swami Sivananda