October 28, 2009
So, many of you have seen my posts on my other online pages about an amazing experience that I have recently had. I still find myself humbled. I still find myself freed from questioning. I still find myself at even greater peace.
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet an Enlightened Master from India as he gave a talk in Charlotte. This is the first time Nithyananda (Swamiji) had been to North Carolina. He travels the world, educating others about the power of meditation, the healing benefits and the potential that we as human beings have with our minds. An Enlightened Master is someone who has meditated for such a long time, years and years and they have reached a point of deep internal bliss, peace, and an ultimate awareness. They have a super consciousness, are blessed with incredible insight, a sense of knowing what the we as humans seem almost incapable of.
In India, thousands of people will crowd and wait many hours for an opportunity to be near his wonderful energy. I was blessed enough to be in HIS presence with only about 300-400 people in the space.
He talked for nearly two hours, referring to a Yoga Sutra about allowing a peaceful, blissful inner space bloom inside your being by letting go of thoughts of greed, lust, anger and other negative thoughts and feelings that are not needed for your everyday life. His message was that if we are able to let go of just these thoughts for 21 days, we would clear up 90% of our clouded inner space and begin to develop clarity and an inner space of non-conflict.
He spoke clearly, with lighthearted humor and added the occasional “please understand this” to capture attention as he repeated important aspects of his message. He radiated a sense of calmness, a sense of certain knowing, and even as he blinked his eyes, he seemed completely aware that his body was doing that in that moment. He clearly embraces all world religions as sacred and unique. His teaching is that Living Enlightenment in a science.
I listened to his words carefully as they carried this powerful message. I was feeling honored, blessed to be there in the room with him. He sat on an upholstered bench with pillows on a small stage with tapestries hanging behind him. He seemed to travel with a large group of people also wearing robes, who cherish his energy, and work with him to introduce and take care of his affairs.
Upon completion of his message, we are given an opportunity to meet with Nithyananda breifly. Hundreds form lines for thier moment to feel his energy. While waiting in line, I observe people walking away from him in tears, as if a stronger power has taken over them. I see families bringing their disabled children to his feet, to be blessed by his healing energy. It was intense and beautiful.
I begin thinking of what I could possibly ask him. How do I narrow down just one question to ask an Enlightened Master? I thought to myself that many of my questions can be brought back to one, really. I wonder many times why unfortunate things happen to innocent people. I wonder why children get sick, and suffer when they are just so innocent. I wonder why bad things happen to good people, and why it seems sometimes that these good people can put so much positive energy into the universe and yet they can still be “punished”. From a Buddhist viewpoint, this could be answered by saying that we live our karma in this life, based on who we were in our past life (lives). From a Westerner’s viewpoint, this doesn’t seem to be explanation enough at times. So, THAT is what I will ask him.
As I walk up to stand next to him, I bow to honor his presence. I then raise my head to where our eyes met and a deep smile adorned his face. I immediately feel an intense energy that really caught me off gaurd. While I didn’t have any real expectations, this was a surprise to feel this way. It was like for that moment, we were having a dialogue without words. Just intense. He then reaches his hands toward me, one hand on my head, the other behind my neck. As soon as his hands were almost touching my head, his energy was so clear, so strong, like he was an open channel, transferring energy from someplace stronger than what one person could cultivate.
He placed his hands on my head and neck and he rubbed his thumb up my forehead from the point between my eyebrows to my hairline. He then said one word. One word that answered every question that I was going to ask him. I had an immense feeling of confirmation, a feeling of being freed of all questions, a feeling of knowing. I gazed into his eyes once again and said what made sense. “Thank you”.
Upon departing his side, I was still basking in the comfort of his intense energy and found myself so taken back that I had to sit down to process. My entire body felt tingly with energy like I have never experienced before. It was a feeling that I felt the need to sit, observe and cherish.
The one word that he spoke to me was “Lessons”. This answer made me realize that bad things happen to good people because lessons are being taught. They may not be a lesson for the person who experiences these bad things, but surely a lesson for someone surrounding them. These lessons are necessary and I feel now that we should embrace them, honor them and be grateful for them. It has been only four days since meeting Swamiji, but I still feel completely free inside of any question. I feel a lightness, a clarity within myself that I am so grateful for.
I find myself humbled by my experience. I find myself feeling blessed that my path has included him, his energy and his teachings in my life. I find myself knowing even moreso now the importance and strength of meditation and discovering Divine Inner Peace, or Divine Shanti.
For more information about Nithyananda and his message, visit http://www.nithyananda.org
October 23, 2009
Fibromyalgia syndrome can be painful and discouraging for sufferers. I have a great friend who lives with this and she has found that Yoga helps bring relief to her physical pain as well as emotional pain from having physical limitations. Medications, physical therapy, and proper nutrition can sometimes go a long way to easing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, many fibromyalgia sufferers find that these traditional treatments simply don’t provide enough symptom relief. As a result, many patients turn to alternative forms of self-care to help them on the path to recovery. Yoga can help to provide you with some excellent symptom relief while helping you achieve mental, physical, and spiritual balance.
How Can Yoga Help People with Fibromyalgia?
Yoga postures are easy to perform and can be practiced in the comfort of your own home. Yoga is great for beginners, because you do not need to know how to do all of the poses in order to start practicing. Additionally, yoga can be tailored to your own personal needs and stamina levels.
Here are just a few of the specific benefits that yoga can offer fibromyalgia sufferers:
- decreased muscle pain
- increased muscle strength
- greater endurance and stamina
- mood regulation and relief of depression
- improved sleep
- improved concentration
Tips to Keep in Mind when Practicing Yoga
- Listen to your body. Be sure to monitor how your body feels at all stages of your workout. Your muscles should not feel in pain at any point. If you do feel pain, stop, or ease up on your stretch.
- Start slowly. Don’t begin a lengthy yoga routine right away. Begin with just a few minutes a day, and gradually work up to a thirty minute session.
- Stick to certain postures. Some postures are going to be quite challenging and even painful for you to perform. Stick to postures like Downward Dog and Tree while you are battling fibromyalgia.
October 19, 2009
Another Reason to De-Stress
You might equate a stress-related health problem with a minor upset stomach or a tension headache. But physician and Yoga Journal medical editor Timothy McCall warns that stress may also fuel chronic illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. “If you are continually stressed, you leave the door open to a variety of health conditions,” McCall says. Yoga is an effective stress reducer. Here are McCall’s tips for using your practice for that purpose.
Focus on your breath. The ancient yoga masters taught that moving and breathing with awareness quiet the mind. When we stop ruminating and our inner monologue slows, we tend to experience relaxation and a feeling of being centered.
Practice restorative poses and forward bends. Both are thought to calm the nervous system. Use blankets, pillows, and bolsters to support you in the poses.
Be consistent. Long-term, regular practice will encourage a sense of inner peace that will last throughout your day.
Yoga Journal Daily Insight
October 13, 2009
It is October already! I smell fall in the air, my roses and vegetable garden are pushing out their last blooms and fruits of the season and the tips of leaves on the trees are beginning to transform into vibrant bursts of color.
So much to be grateful for. New classes beginning, long Yoga pants are more comfortable, blankets are becoming more cozy, time to get the crock-pot out, guided meditation classes in Concord are so powerful and love fills the universe.
Check out new things on the website- Officially offering private Reflexology sessions now! New gluten-free pumpkin-chocolate chip muffin recipe! Shop Divine Shanti Online Store for inspirational products coming soon! http://www.DivineShantiYoga.com
A new healthy message: Buy Poo Paper to save Elephants in Sri Lanka and Trees everywhere! Paper is now being made from Elephant dung in efforts to find use for them so they are not killed as they compete with the area’s agriculture. It’s acid-free and really wonderful quality. Many websites and some boutiques now selling it in America. Notecards, notepads, all sorts of things made from this amazing, natural product. Did you know? Elephants poo an average of 500 lbs. a day! Think of what kind of crafts you could create with this paper!
Hope to see you in class soon!