Gurugram July 2022 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from all staff in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams.
With the summer approaching in the Northern hemisphere and COVID restrictions loosening in most countries, many felt more free to travel again, and took this opportunity to visit the Ashrams for a rejuvenating stay.
We recently celebrated the International Yoga Day successfully in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams, organizing public programmes with the Indian embassies in many countries, or programmes at the Centres directly, to celebrate this important landmark in the propagation and recognition of Yoga in the world.
The Yoga Farm celebrated the milestone its 50 year anniversary with a one week intensive program including Homas (fire ceremony) for the continued protection and blessings of the Ashram, the initiation ceremony of a new sannyasin and brahmacharini, heartful messages and videos of the Acharyas around the world, a slide show on “then and now” showing the transformation of the Ashram, musical and kirtan concerts, sharing both on site and on line from the special guest teachers in Ayurveda, Jyotish, Vaastu and Satsangs workshops with the swamis focusing on Yoga and Vedanta. Words of profound gratitude have been shared towards Swami Vishnudevananda’s vision and shakti to make this classical Yoga and Vedanta teaching a reality in North America for such a long time. Much gratitude was sent to all Swamis, supporters and karma yogis throughout the years.
At the Yoga Camp in Canada, the celebration of Kaavadi is coming near, on 17th July 2022, and preparations are taking momentum. We invite you all to partake in this powerful event.
The Kanya Kumari Temple was finally inaugurated this month, in the presences of the swamis, staff, guests and academy students of the Ashram in Orleans. The murti looks both powerful and delicate. The Temple radiates a strong energy of sweetness and protection.
Swami Sitaramananda and several swamis from the Yoga Farm will be spending time at the Yoga Ranch this summer, helping with the teaching of the guest programmes and TTCs.
Dr Kamlesh is presently visiting the European centres, sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda, with much enthusiasm.
The regular yoga retreats and TTC teachers’ training courses continue worldwide. We notice that a good percentage of the participants are now quite young, bringing freshness and a new spirit in the courses. May they turn into disciplined and positive world leaders as Swamiji envisioned within the TRUE WORLD ORDER.
The online “Unite for a Healthy Planet” peace meditation continues every first Sunday of the month, we look forward to sharing these moments of focus on world peace at this very uncertain time on our planet.
May you stay healthy and strong, focusing on a positive vision for the future. As Swami Vishnudevananda said, “negativity is a luxury we cannot afford any more”..
With OM and Prem
Swami Kailasananda on behalf of the Acharyas of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Join us for Sivananda monthly Meditation for a Peaceful Planet on Sunday July 3rd 2022 at 2pm CET. Check our websites for information. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Donations: Your donations and financial support would be very gratefully received by any of the International Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams. Please contact any Sivananda Ashram or Centre on how to proceed.
SHANTHI MANTRAS – Chants of Peace – Shanti Mantra 3 –
Om sahana vavatu Sahanou bhunaktu
Om shantih shantih shantihi
OM, protect us both, teacher and pupil.
Cause both to enjoy the bliss of Liberation .
May we find out the true meaning of the scriptures.
May our learning be brilliant .
May we never quarrel with each other.
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace
With Om and Prem
Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
The more intensely you desire for reaching the Goal, the more rapidly you advance towards it. – Sri Swami Sivananda
To view all 2022 TTC/ATTC/SI courses on the Sivananda website: https://sivananda.org/teachers-training/programme-calendar/
See the full list of other international courses and events: https://www.sivananda.org/
SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Courses are available both Online (TTCOL) and in-person in residence. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location for any TTCOLs.
Samadhi is a spiritual rebirth. It is life eternal. First there is a flash of intuition. then comes perfect illumination. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse II: “Sadhana Pada – On Spiritual Disciplines”
II.48. TATO DVANDVANABHIGHATAH
‘From that (mastery of “asana”[position]), no assaults come from the pairs of opposites’
Commentary: When asanas are mastered, the yogi is not touched by the play of duality. One’s will and concentration are developed to such an extent that heat and cold, pleasure and pain, good and bad and all other worldly influences do not touch them.
As soon as you get up from your bed in the early morning, do Japa and meditation. Then practice Asana and Pranayama. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter XI: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
XI.28. YATHAA NADEENAAM BAHAVO’MBUVEGAAH
TATHAA TAVAAMEE NARALOKAVEERAAH
(Arjuna speaking to Krishna in his cosmic vision)
Just as many torrents of rivers flow towards the ocean, even so these heroes of the world enter the flaming mouths.
COMMENTARY: Arjuna sees all the warriors, whom he did not wish to kill, rushing to death. He knows now that the Lord has already destroyed them, so why should he worry about the inevitable.
XI.29. YATHAA PRADEEPTAM JWALANAM PATANGAA
VISHANTI NAASHAAYA SAMRIDDHAVEGAAH;
TATHAIVA NAASHAAYA VISHANTI LOKAAS
TAVAAPI VAKTRAANI SAMRIDDHAVEGAAH.
As moths hurriedly rush into a blazing fire for (their own) destruction, so also these creatures hurriedly rush into the mouths for (their own) destruction.
Do vigorous Yoga Sadhana. Be sincere. Be patient. Victory shall always be yours. – Sri Swami Sivananda
PRANAYAMA – Pranayama During Meditation
If you do concentration and meditation, Pranayama, comes by itself. The breath becomes slower and slower. We will practice this Pranayama daily unconsciously. When you are reading a sensational storybook or when you are solving a mathematical problem, your mind is really very much absorbed in the subject-matter. If you closely watch your breath on these occasions, you will find that the breath has become very very slow. When you see a tragical story being enacted in the theater or a film-show, when you hear a very sad striking news or some glad tidings, when you shed tears either of joy or sorrow, or burst into laughter, the breath is slackened—Pranayama comes by itself. In those Yogic students who practice Sirshasana, pranayama comes by itself. It is obvious from these examples that when the mind is deeply concentrated on any subject, the respiration slows down or stops. Pranayama is being done automatically. Mind and Prana are intimately connected. If you turn your attention to watch the breath on those occasions, it will regain its normal state. Pranayama comes by itself to those who are deeply absorbed in doing Japa, Dhyana or Brahma-Vichara (enquiry of Atman).
Prana, mind and Virya (seminal energy) are under one Sambandha (connection). If you can control the mind, Prana and Virya are controlled by themselves. If you can control Prana, mind and Virya are controlled by themselves. If you control the Virya by remaining as an Akhanda Brahmachari without emission of even a single drop of semen for 12 years, mind and Prana are controlled by themselves. Just as there is connection between wind and fire (light), so also there is connection between Prana and mind. Wind fans the fire. Prana also fans the mind. If there is no wind, fire or light gets steady. Hatha Yogins approach Brahman by controlling Prana. Raja Yogins approach Brahman by controlling mind.
In this Pranayama you need not close the nostrils. Simply close the eyes if you practice it in a sitting posture. Forget the body and concentrate. If you practice this during walking, just feel minutely the movement of the air that is inhaled and exhaled.
Pranayama While Walking
Walk with head up, shoulders back and with chest expanded. Inhale slowly through both nostrils counting OM mentally 3 times, one count for each step. Then retain the breath till you count 12 OMs. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils till you count 6 OMs. Take the respiratory pause or rest after one Pranayama counting 12 OMs. If you find it difficult to count OM with each step, count OM without having any concern with the steps.
Kapalabhati can also be done during walking. Those who are very busy can practice the above Pranayama during their morning and evening walks. It is like killing two birds with one stone. You will find it very pleasant to practice Pranayama while walking in an open place, when delightful gentle breeze is blowing. You will be invigorated and innervated quickly to a considerable degree. Practice, feel and realize the marked, beneficial influence of this kind of Pranayama. Those who walk briskly, repeating OM mentally or verbally do practice natural Pranayama without any effort.
Pranayama in Savasana
Lie down on the back, quiet at ease, over a blanket. Keep the hands on the ground by the side and legs straight. The heels should be kept together, but the toes can remain a little apart. Relax all the muscles and the nerves. Those who are very weak, can practice Pranayama in this pose while lying on the ground or on a bedstead. Draw the breath slowly without making any noise, through both nostrils. Retain the breath as long as you can do it with comfort. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils. Repeat the process 12 times in the morning and 12 times in the evening. Chant OM mentally during the practice. If you like you can practice the ‘easy comfortable posture’ also. This is a combined exercise of Asana, Pranayama, meditation and rest. It gives rest not only to the body but also for the mind. It gives relief, comfort and ease. This is very suitable for aged people.
The breathing in men and women is very irregular. In exhalation the Prana goes out 16 digits and in inhalation only 12 digits, thus losing 4 digits. But if you inhale for 16 digits as in exhalation then you will have rhythmical breathing. Then the power Kundalini will be roused. By the practice of rhythmical breathing you will enjoy real good rest. You can control the respiratory Centre that is situated in medulla oblongata and other nerves also, because the Centre of respiration has a sort of controlling effect on other nerves. He who has calm nerves, has a calm mind also.
If the units of exhalation and inhalation are the same, you will have rhythmical breathing. If you inhale till you count 6 OMs, exhale also till you count 6 OMs. This is breathing in and out in a measured manner. This will harmonize the whole system. This will harmonize the physical body, mind, Indriyas and will soothe the tired nerves. You will experience full repose and calmness. All the bubbling emotions will subside and the surging impulses will calm down.
There is another variety of modification of rhythmic breathing. Inhale slowly through both nostrils for 4 OMs; retain the breath for 8 OMs (internal Kumbhaka); exhale slowly through both nostrils for 4 OMs; and retain the breath outside (external Kumbhaka) for 8 OMs.
Repeat the above process a number of times according to your strength and capacity. You can gradually increase the duration of inhalation and exhalation after some practice of 8 OMs and the period between breaths to 16 OMs. But never try to increase the duration until you are sure that you have power and strength to do so. You must experience joy and pleasure in doing the same. You should not feel any undue strain. Pay considerable attention to keep up the rhythm. Remember that the rhythm is more important than the length of breath. You must feel the rhythm throughout your whole body. Practice will make you perfect. Patience and perseverance are needed.
The divine light and grace will descend only upon the Sattvic or the pure mind, because only a pure mind can receive it. – Sri Swami Sivananda