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Hatha Yoga Tip

Forward Bend – Paścimottānāsana – Beginner

Swami Vishnudevananda

Bridge improves both the flexibility and strength of your spine. Steps 2-4 also provide an excellent tranining programme for strengthening your wrists. Relax afterwards in Corpse Pose.

This pose can be very meditative. If you put equal emphasis on posture, breathing, and relaxation in your practice, this will balance the stimulation provided by the muscle stretches with your body’s quiet awareness of the pull of gravity. After Forward Bend, practice Inclined Plane as a counterpose, then relax in Corpse Pose.

• Stretches the posterior muscles completely from toes to neck.
• Reduces fat by putting pressure on the abdomen.
• Massages the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
• Alleviates constipation.
• Relaxes the back muscles.
• Helps control diabetes.
• Calms and soothes the entire nervous system.

• This pose requires conscious control to align toes, knees, and neck correctly, and conscious letting go, by allowing gravity to pull the spine into the pose.
Achieving control with detachment is a benefit that can be applied to daily life, as well as to the practice of meditation.

1. Lie stretched out on your back with your palms face down on your thighs and your legs together. Relax your feet.
2. On an inhalation, sit up straight with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your head, neck, and back in a straight line.
3. On another inhalation, raise both arms straight up, stretching them as high as possible.
4. Exhale and bend forwards from the hips. Try to reach your calves or ankles with your hands. Repeat 3-4 times, each time holding the pose for a few breaths more. Come back up on an inhalation.

Discipline should be slow and gradual to avoid kickback from the mind. – Swami Vishnudevananda

Knowledge of the Self or Atma alone will destroy ignorance and fear of death. Aspire. Know the Self and be free. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Spiritual Calendar

JUNE 2023
04 Full Moon
14 Ekadasi
18 New Moon
29 Ekadasi

JULY 2023
03 Full Moon
03 Guru Purnima
13 Ekadasi
14 Swami Sivananda Mahasamadhi
17 New Moon
29 July Ekadasi

You live, because you share the universal life. – Sri Swami Sivananda


The full moon day in the month of Ashad (July-August) is an extremely auspicious and holy day of Guru Purnima. On this day, sacred to the memory of the great sage, Bhagavan Sri Vyasa, Sannyasins settle at some place to study and discourse on the thrice-blessed Brahma Sutras composed by Maharishi Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic, philosophical investigation.
Sri Vyasa has done unforgettable service to humanity for all times by editing the four Vedas, writing the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata. We can only repay the deep debt of gratitude we owe him, by constant study of his works and practice of his teachings imparted for the regeneration of humanity in this iron age. In honour of this divine personage, all spiritual aspirants and devotees perform Vyasa Puja on this day, and disciples worship their spiritual preceptor. Saints, monks and men of God are honoured and entertained with acts of charity by all the householders with deep faith and sincerity. The period Chaturmas (the “four months”) begins from this day; Sannyasins stay at one place during the ensuing four rainy months, engaging in the study of the Brahma Sutras and the practice of meditation.
Mark fully the deep significance of this great day. It heralds the setting in of the eagerly awaited rains. The water drawn up and stored as clouds in the hot summer now manifests in plentiful showers that usher in the advent of fresh life everywhere. Even so, all begin seriously to put into actual practice all the theory and philosophy that have been stored up in them through patient study. Aspirants commence or resolve to intensify with all earnestness, their practical spiritual Sadhana right from this day.
Generate fresh waves of spirituality. Let all that you have read, heard, seen and learnt become transformed, through Sadhana, into a continuous outpouring of universal love, ceaseless loving service, and continuous prayer and worship of the Lord seated in all beings. Live on milk and fruit on this day and practise rigorous Japa and meditation. Study the Brahma Sutras and do Japa of your Guru Mantra, during the four months following the Guru Purnima. You will be highly benefited.
From Hindu Fasts and Festivals by Swami Sivananda