Karma: It Is In Your Hands

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Karma, according to the Sanskrit terminology, has two meanings: Any action is called karma and the reaction of the action is also called karma. So a karma will bring a karma—meaning, an action has its own reaction. Cause and effect, action and reaction, they’re inseparable. This is nature’s law. If there is a positive there must be a negative. If there is a  good, there must be a bad. What we sow, we reap. What we do, we must face. If we are facing some difficulties now, and if we do not know why, and we have not done anything good or bad to face such a situation, there is only one explanation: We must have done something before. If I am born blind, why is that? What is the karma? Why should I be blind now? I didn’t commit any crime, I didn’t create any sin, why am I blind, why should I suffer? The only answer is, I did something before, for which I am suffering now, to purge that sin. Otherwise, no child need have any deformity. Nobody need to be poor; everyone would be equal.

If we just come into this life without any previous action, without any karma, why are there all the differences in taste, in temperament, in our different capacities? So it goes without saying, that we were living before. This is the reincarnation theory. Without the reincarnation theory, we can’t even talk about karma; they go hand in hand. We sowed something, and we are reaping now. But, it need not always be that what we are reaping now is what we sowed long before. Even in this very life if we sowed something yesterday, we may reap today, or tomorrow. But, if we don’t see the fruit, or the result in this life, we might be seeing it in another life. It will be waiting for us. Whatever it may be, we can never avoid it. Even after ten births, the reaction will be waiting there for us. So that is why, think well before you act. See that you sow the right seed, so that you will not reap a bitter seed later on.

That’s why I say don’t even bother about your future. Don’t go to an astrologer. The future is in the hands of the present. If I abuse you, I will know what my future will be. You won’t even allow me to get out of this hall [that I’m giving this talk in]! Suppose I use some unwanted, ugly words? All the greatness of the swami, all the praises will go away, you will simply tear me into pieces, that’s all. I know the future. See? So I am the creator and master of my own future. If I take care of the present, I’ll be happy tomorrow.

I never bother about my future. I’m always interested in my present. And I don’t bother about the past; past is past, gone. Do not brood over spilt milk, just let go. And, do not worry about the future; it is in your hands, now. If you take care of the golden present, live the day well, then you have paved a nice tomorrow. That’s why I say, why should I bother about astrology? You might say, that I’m going to become a multimillionaire. If I really believe it, I will start borrowing money today, because I can pay later on. I’ll become a multimillionaire tomorrow. And suppose the astrology fails? Where will I be? Suppose the astrologer says, “You will get into some terrible ailment. Something like cancer or this or that? At the age of 60, you will have a little difficulty with cancer.” I have sowed the seed for the cancer now. “Oh, at the age of 60, I’ll die of cancer!” See? The very thought is enough to sow the seed for cancer, now. Whether good or bad, you start reacting now. So, do not bother about it. Think of the golden present. Everything will be all right. You will be very happy. No worries, no botheration. We are the masters of our karma, we are the owners and makers of our destiny. Nobody is responsible for our pleasure or pain. We should remember that. If that is well understood, we will not blame anybody as the cause for our suffering.

Let us now be completely silent; one whole minute of absolute silence—physical as well as mental. You will really feel the vibration; you will feel that you are fully charged. It’s not that you charge yourself, but that you send out charges, electric impulses, impulses of peace, to run around the whole world. That will certainly happen. So just let us feel that peace and let us contribute that genuine supreme peace to all others, because everybody needs that. It’s only in this way that we can find a better world. So, please try to still your mind, and just be at ease for one minute.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda

http://integralyogamagazine.org/karma-it-is-in-your-hands/

Yoga & Dying

Our thoughts and love go out to our friend and Yoga student Sallie Holgate at the sad loss of her husband Stuart, also our Yoga student, who passed on Saturday. Condolences to Fran, Jane and all the family ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

This below post I wrote nearly 5 years ago but is as relevant now as ever 💜🕉💜

Integral Yoga Centre - SOL Yoga & Holistic Therapy Centre

We lost a dear Yoga student 2 days ago, Val was not afraid to go, she knew there was more waiting for her, our deepest condolences go to her family during this sad time for them. Xx

 

“If I was to die right now would I be unafraid and ready to let go.” 

There’s so much life for me still to live, so much I still want. I’m more afraid of the ones I love dying. But the truth is you never know how long you have in this beautiful life.

I could die tomorrow. I could die tonight. How tragic would it be if I died not living fully & completely.

Life has a fleeting and transient nature, but our minds and spirits operate as if they’ll go on forever. We have a sense of awareness that feels untouchable. The greatest gift my yogapractice has given me…

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21 Benefits of Yoga

21 Benefits of Yoga.

1. Improves your flexibility
2. Builds muscle strength
3. Perfects your posture
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
5. Protects your spine
6. Improves your bone health
7. Increases your blood flow
8. Drains your lymph’s and boosts immunity
9. Ups your heart rate
10. Drops your blood pressure
11. Regulates your adrenal glands
12. Makes you happier
14. Lowers blood sugar
15. Helps you focus
16. Improves your balance
17. Maintains your nervous system
18. Helps you sleep deeper
19. Boosts your immune system functionality
20. Gives you peace of mind
21. Gives you inner strength

So why not join a class and experience for yourself the Amazing benefits of Yoga.

 

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Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)

Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)

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According to BKS Iyengar, Sarvangasana is known as the Mother of yoga postures.
The Mother creates happiness and health in the home—likewise, this posture creates happiness and health in the body.

Here are some of the benefits of practicing this particular pose:

  • It bathes the lymph nodes in fresh lymph by increasing the circulation around the lymphatic system. This nourishes the whole body.
  • Inverting the body from the neck up means that gravity increases the venous blood flow to the heart, brain and eyes. This relaxes the heart and decreases the heart rate, and it brings clarity to the mind and sight.
  • It lengthens the spinal nerves, which relieves tension in the head, neck and shoulders.
  • It is excellent for those suffering from thyroid disorders. Shoulder stand brings balance and regulates the hormone secretion of both the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the neck. This indirectly is very good for flexibilityIt soothes the nervous system.
  • This is an excellent posture for those who suffer from stress, tension, anxiety (high blood pressure, only if it is taught by a competent  yoga teacher) and shortness of temper.
  • It increases the metabolism. It strengthens digestion by returning “agni” (fire) to the abdominal organs—liver, spleen, pancreas and stomach.
  • When done correctly shoulder stand tones the muscles of the gluteus, back, thighs and abdominals. This will benefit your balance and stability.

There are many other benefits of shoulder stand. These are just a few of the main ones.

Women should not practice shoulder stand during menstruation or pregnancy. There are also contraindications for shoulder stands if you have neck pain or injury or high blood pressure, so shoulder stand should only be practiced under the guidance of a competent yoga teacher.

For more information on the benefits of Yoga contact: solyogacentre@hotmail.com

Meditation with a Master

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In any pursuit, the advice of a master is incredibly valuable for advancing one’s craft and avoiding common mistakes. Yoga master Swami Satchidananda shares practical teachings about one of the most important pursuits we may ever undertake—realizing one’s Self through meditation.

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The aim of Yoga is to know the truth, which is one’s Self. This knowledge alone can help us to free ourselves from all turmoil and petty mindedness.

We have a tendency to divide people into thousands of names: I am this, I am that. Oh, he is different from me, she is different from me. We group people by their color, by their country, by their race and by their religion; and we kill each other.

All this unhappiness because we fail to see, to know, that we are above all these things. But if you reach into the depths of your own Self, you will find this contentment. By knowing your true nature, you will also know the truth in others. It is in that truth that we come together.

And it is this goal that is expounded, either directly or indirectly, in all the different religions and philosophies. To contemplate these points or to come to this realization within one’s Self is what you call meditation. This realization is arrived at either directly or indirectly, according to the nature of the individual’s practice.

Technique
The technique of meditation is to keep the mind fully occupied on one thing. When the mind is fully occupied on one thing, it is kept away from many things, and it becomes quiet. Then, you find a kind of calmness, and in that stillness even that one thing will slip away after some time.

It’s something like going to sleep. You set aside all your work; you lie down in bed and you might listen to some soft, gentle music. If you really want to go to sleep, you don’t think of anything else aside from the music and after some time, even the music is forgotten.

Meditation is similar, except that we shouldn’t become unconscious as we do in sleep. So, that process of sticking to one thing, concentrating on one thing, will slowly make you raise above that one thing also. In other words, when you concentrate fully on only one thing, that one thing will become nothing (no-thing). Then, you will realize everything by realizing your true Self.

Concentration should culminate in mediation. Meditation should slowly make you slip into samadhi, which you can call the transcendental level. In samadhi, you transcend the mind and body and enjoy your true nature.

The Process of Meditation
Meditation begins with concentration—trying to focus your mind on any one point. I say any one point, because that point can vary to suit the taste, temperament, habit, and faith of the individual. One approach is that of self-analysis. Watch the mind and ask yourself: Whose thoughts are these? Who is worried? Who is troubled? Who is disturbed? Who am I then? How do I know all these things? My knowing doesn’t seem to become disturbed when I know that I am disturbed.

The process then, is to identify with the knower and not with the disturbances in the mind. This is direct analysis. Or, simply be still and watch. Be quiet and watch what is happening in the mind and body. Sitting and watching your thoughts and breath movements, just become aware of the subtle movements within you.

On the other hand, an indirect means of analysis is to take yourself to be the mind: I am disturbed because I am having all kinds of wants. I want this, I want that. Let me resign from everything. Let me offer everything to humanity or to God. You pray, “God, take away these disturbances; give me happiness, give me peace.” Sit and pray wholeheartedly, realizing the full meaning of every word. This also, is meditation.

Another way is neither asking for anything, nor analyzing but just keeping the mind on one point. This point, or object of meditation, can be either a sacred name, a mystic mantra, the cosmic syllable OM, or Amen, OM Shanti, Hari OM, etc., or it can be a form. As there is no particular form of God, you can approach God through any form you wish. If you concentrate on a physical, concrete form—Jesus, Buddha, Siva, or Krishna—after a time, you can create a mental picture of that form. Or, if you do not want a particular human form through which to worship God, then you can have a visual image of the sun, the moon, the stars. You can see God, you can approach God in any way or form you like, because God is present everywhere and in every form.

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Swami Satchidananda

When you are trying to keep your mind on that point, whether it be an idea, a word or a form, you will often see the mind running here and there. Whenever it runs and you become aware of it, bring the mind gently back to the point. In another few minutes, it might run to another idea; bring it back. This constant effort of bringing the mind back, again and again to the point, is what you call concentration. In Sanskrit it is called dharana. You have not fixed the mind yet; you are trying to fix it. If that fixing of the mind becomes a little longer, then you are approaching meditation. When concentration becomes perfect it is called meditation. But don’t think that you are wasting your time if your mind is not fully controlled. No one has ever achieved meditation right away. I come across many people complaining, “My mind runs here and there; how can I meditation?” That is the process of meditation.

Excerpted from the short book, Meditation, by Swami Satchidananda.

Copied from, with gratitude.

https://www.yogaville.org/2017/12/04/meditation-master-swami-satchidananda/

 

Pranayama: Yogic Breathing Benefits

 

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“Pranayama is control of Breath”. “Prana” is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and “Yama” means control. So Pranayama is “Control of Breath”.

Yogic breathing is a fundamental practice in the study of yoga. As one of the limbs of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path, yogic breathing, or pranayama, is defined as the “control of life force,” and is aimed at increasing vital energy in the body and mind.

For students of yoga, the benefits of yogic breathing are numerous. Students report feeling more calm and centered. They report that it can help mitigate intense emotional feelings, and help them sleep better. For most yoga students, the practice of conscious breathing is foundational to the practice of yoga.

One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind. Patanjali in his text of Yoga Sutras mentioned pranayama as means of attaining higher states of awareness, he mentions the holding of breath as important practice of reaching Samadhi. Hatha Yoga also talks about 8 types of pranayama which will make the body and mind healthy.

Five types of prana are responsible for various pranic activities in the body, they are Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana & Samana. Out of these Prana and Apana are most important. Prana is upward flowing and Apana is downward flowing. Practice of Pranayama achieves the balance in the activities of these pranas, which results in healthy body and mind.

1) Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind – B.K.S. Iyengar

2) The practice of ‘asanas‘ and ‘pranayama’ wards off disease and helps to maintain alertness – Sivananda

3) In pranayama you don’t worry about taking breaths, you focus on exhalation. If you exhale properly you will inhale. The more deeply you exhale the more deeply you will inhale – Frederick Lenz

4) As a fire blazes brightly when the covering of ash over it is scattered by the wind, the divine fire within the body shines in all its majesty when the ashes of desire are scattered by the practice of pranayama – B.K.S. Iyengar

5) Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding – Thich Nhat Hanh

6) The solar breath leads to transcendence; the lunar breath is a form-giving substance. Their union evokes the Eternal – Prana Upanisad

100 Days of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff’

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I first got introduced to Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff In my Yoga class many years ago and it’s remained a firm favourite of mine ever since.

I read out something inspirational from various books at the beginning of each of my Yoga classes and picked up Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff for the first time in awhile a few days ago.

Which has prompted me to do 100 days of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff leading us up to New Years Eve, taking us into 2018 with a new perspective on life.

Richard Carlson (May 16, 1961 – December 13, 2006) the author, psychotherapist and motivational speaker, who rose to fame with the success of his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff (1997), which became one of the fastest-selling books of all time.

I’m grateful for this man, since he gave us a great book, with tremendous advice on how to lead a happier life.

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Here are 3 things that struck me:

  1. Remember that your life isn’t an emergency.
  2. Give others a break, especially when they don’t deserve it.
  3. Don’t procrastinate on relaxing.

Want to calm down? Here we go.

Lesson 1: Remember that your life isn’t an emergency. Your life is not an emergency. It’s a wonderful experience that only you get to live – and you only get one shot at it. So stop treating every day like you’re driving an ambulance, rushing from one stop to the next, trying to please everyone all the time and cater to all needs.

 

Lesson 2: Give others a break, especially when they don’t deserve it. Try to put yourself into other people’s shoes. Take another’s perspective. What would life look like through their eyes right now? Maybe they’ve gotten horrible news in the morning,  or maybe their partner left them that very day. How would you feel? Give others a break when they least deserve it. That’s when they need it the most. It’ll make both of you happier. The best way to treat yourself well is to treat others well.

 

Lesson 3: Don’t procrastinate on relaxing.We procrastinate on so many things, but has it ever occurred to you that relaxing might be one of them?Instead of only relaxing on weekends or holidays, take a break when you actually need to. Had an extra long day at work? Take the next morning off!Your happiness should always take precedence. So when you’re extra stressed, just stop for a second. Breathe, remember what’s truly important.

In a nutshell: Put your little struggles into perspective; by doing this you can gain more enjoyment of other people and life generally.

 

 

 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, published in 1997, The 100 strategies is  simply a collection of ideas for avoiding struggle where possible.

Follow and join us for 100 Days of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff’ starting on Friday 22nd September 2017.

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Simple ways to Keep the Little Things from Overtaking Your Life: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life
by Richard Carlson
Link: http://amzn.eu/eODrK0L

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Whether beginning yoga to gain fitness, strength and flexibility, to help calm a busy mind or recover from an injury , our beginners courses are a wonderful way to start.

Over the course we will break down the fundamentals of a yoga practice including physical postures and movement as well as breathing and some basic meditation techniques.

If you practice regularly and sincerely yoga will change your life. Yoga starts to transform as soon as you begin to practice, in major ways and in subtle ways, and the effects are cumulative over a lifetime. Yoga is healing. Yoga slows the aging process. Yoga strengthens the body, the mind and the spirit, and allows those who practice to face life with a sense of peace and resiliency they may not have previously known.

Yoga is a mind-body practice and the goal is to make that connection, but in doing so, the body is strengthened and opened through a series of postures called asana. The important thing here is to honour the body and start where you are.

6 week Course 30€

Yoga-Poses

Autumn Equinox Yoga Retreat

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Retreat into nature and connect with yourself in the beautiful surroundings of El Cortijo Nacimiento in the Sierra Cabrera, close to Mojacar in the province of Almeria, Spain.

On the Autumn Equinox there is equal day and equal night all over our planet. The turning of the seasonal wheel starts to prepare us for darker evenings, a time to plan for the winter cycle and to balance your body, mind, and spirit.

The retreat will combine the practice of pranayama, yoga asana, meditation, designed to both awaken and ground you, bringing balance and inner peace.

Yoga and meditation will enable you to connect to your inner spirit and enable your practice to draw out the hidden depths of what your heart wants to say.

Practising yoga and meditation in the beauty of Sierra Cabrera will certainly release any stress in your body.

21st-24th September 2017
240€ inclusive

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