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. Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html
The whole trouble with careless Sadhana is that it tends to become mechanical without making an impression on the life of the aspirant. – Sri Swami Sivananda
NISHKAMA: Desireless; Selfless
Nishkama Karma Yoga – Desire-less action; selfless action; the practice of doing actions without any expectation of the fruits (results, reactions or effects)
In the practice of Nishkama Karma Yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm. There is no transgression also. Even a little of this practice can protect those from great fear of rebirth, of death with its concomitant evils. An ordinary worldly-minded man can hardly hear the inner voice of Atma. He cannot get pure thoughts of Vichara also. Any Sattvic thought emanates from the Sattvic Buddhi. In the case of worldlings, all thoughts emanate from the mind only.
He who does Nishkama Karma Yoga and has purity of mind begins to entertain thoughts of God. Generally the mind raises various sorts of curious, fantastic thoughts. It deludes all. It may pretend to do Vichar. When it comes to practicality, it will do nothing. If there is serious determination in you to concentrate and meditate, and if you put it into actual practice for months steadily and if the longing for the Darshan of God or Self-realization becomes keen and acute, then alone think that all these kinds of thoughts proceed from your Sattvic Buddhi only.
Peace, cheerfulness, contentment, dispassion, fearlessness and an unperturbed state of mind under all conditions indicate that you are advancing in the spiritual path. – Sri Swami Sivananda