Nurturing our Yoga Teachers – Remembering the Seeds of Samadhi



Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right

 

I had a very clear vision of a network . . . and it wasn’t a social network. This vision brought a deep inner relaxation. What was coming to me was, that Yoga Teachers today might start to do what we are here for – to bring a rest and reprieve for our students from the stresses and strains of our modern world.

We are a Tribe.

We have different psychological crises than we did 2,000 – 6,000 years ago. We have different needs of our inner world, to balance our emotions so that we can handle our environment – which means “Balance” . . . our needs for balance are different today from when yoga was codified, or structured, or put into “paths” and systematised by “lineages” by the yoga masters of the past.

My heart was telling me something was not right – and, truth be told, it has been telling me this for quite some time.

My heart is usually right.

A couple of things were troubling me: media is about images and content. Yoga is full of images and content – but that is the surface, as we know. The surface illusion of “Yoga” has taken over, it suits the media . . . and to an extent it has suited us as teachers for a while: coverage of world yoga day recently was vast.

In one way that was heartlifting and positive, and yet . . . ?

The other thing that has been troubling me, for quite some time, is the need to meet the expectations of this vast image of yoga by fitting in: we fit in with community activities, we fit in with expectations of our “image” – we blog for free, we dilute our classes to suit lifestyles: both our students’ and our own. We have to pay big hire fees for our practice spaces, and we can’t always control the noise/light/heat/cold of the environment. Classes are only viable in certain social times: we accommodate by reducing the amount of time spent in pranayama to 5 minutes in an hour and a half class – and the cost has been . . . ?

The cost has been, I consider, to our compassion and our wisdom as teachers.

But mainly at a cost to our authority.

The cost has also been in diluting the yoga teachers experience in nurturing and compassion . . . because what has happened is that in the end, what is a “mind-body-spirit” path to inner life and freedom has become body-oriented with some mind-practice and the spirit has been paid lip-service to. Because most of our yoga teachers today do not spend time and practice in meditation – a reversal has taken place since my time of training when meditation was the primary focus, with philosophy and yogasanas making up our 8-steps to Samadhi.

And the Divine is our source.

But the real cost, as I have been seeing it for a good while now, is that we have surrendered our role of nurturers of the mind to a global industry in “Mindfulness” – and mindfulness does not accept the universal law of three (which is one of the abiding laws of karma) that there will always be polarities between negative and positive, “right and wrong”, “good and bad”, weak and strong – yet we grow spiritually through these because we recognise that the Divine is the source of vitality in our life: Mindfulness has become the new psychotherapy, attempting to cure imbalance with imbalance: a prescription.

Our yoga teachers need nurturing and developing, in our tradition of training the mind to train the soul . . . which is our purpose for being. Remembering the Seeds of our Samadhi is so important for us – and nurturing and growing these seeds.

If we don’t, as teachers: how do we do this for the world?

How else could we reach into our own hearts for balance, and know it is right to do this for our world?

Namaste

Susan Ni Rahilly, at the age of 63, is considered as a Master in India writing on Yoga and Meditation for Times of India, contributing as a Master to their global online community. Susan’s training and experience has been in Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, both Iyengar and Satyananda style, and Zen. She works with deep inner listening in breathwork in practice, and trains teachers.

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Living Simply, Yoga and Balancing Your life . . .

I posted a former blog, Balancing Your Life by Living Simply with Yoga on my Speaking Tree India blog and had the most amazing responses asking for greater clarification of some of the steps to living simply (and to date the blog itself has had over 5900 views and 230-some responses): so the message was clear : simplify the teaching and elaborate on the writing. And I hope this is helpful.

Simple Living is about living consciously and in the moment. Consciousness is about awareness and this “Simple Living” process helps you to raise your awareness of how you’re living your life – and teaches you to live in the magic of life unfolding. An awakening to what is real in life.

As a teacher, I think I have only 3 things to teach: meditate, exercise the body-mind, live simply and with these 3 our health will go a long way.

And here are some of the steps:

Step One:

Meditate. Give yourself time for deep inner nurturing and nourishing.

Making time for our spiritual care is as, if not more, important as making time to eat, sleep, work, socialise. This can begin with 10 minutes a day.

It is the act of creating a “space” in time which is only for the spirit which begins to build an inner structure deep within the bodymind . . . and then this is the basis of our deep nourishing of the self with meditation.

So the simple steps here are: make time, make space. Focus on posture, breathing and silence. Practice regularly.

There are a couple of free downloads I offer, Seeds of Yoga Meditation Parts One and Two, and I would recommend downloading Part One and practising “Sit” and “Breath” to begin: you can download and save to your desktop for regular practice, here.

Step Two:

Go to the “sweetspot” regularly! Listen to meditative music. The Ancient Yogis believed we have a little sac of “Amber Nectar” (the nectar of the Gods) deep within our brains, at the pineal gland. The way to connect with our “sweetspot” is through relaxation and music, raising our vibrations.

There have been many pointers to us from the Ancients in many civilisations that the pineal gland is the point of access for us to our souls and the flow of Consciousness.

In Yoga we understand this as Bindhu Chakra (back of the head, midpoint of the brain). Where we are always receiving the flow of Consciousness . . .  we are in communication with the Divine through our Soul’s connection.

The Ancient Yogis had the beautiful concept of a sac of Amber Nectar here – our own individual nectar of the Gods.

In our Yogasana practice this is why we practice inverted postures, to replenish our Amber Nectar and to reverse the process of our precious “nectar” being burned out by the anger of the solar plexus.

The Ancients believed that, to open ourselves to this sweet nectar of the Gods, we listen to beautiful music and poetry, appreciate beauty in both art and poetry . . . anything that brings us the vibration of the Universe through our senses at a higher level.

One Meditation for this is “No-Mind” meditation through the Chakras, with Unmani Mudra which is the attitude of mindlessness: meaning the state beyond thought, no mind, meditation . . . a simple technique that brings us to a meditative state . . .

Step Three:

Practice Right Diet: Dietary control is very important in living your life with simplicity. We eat those foods which contain the most life force energy and which feed our bodymind emotions and spirits. Traditionally Vegetarianism suits the bodymind of a meditation and Yoga practitioner – but books such as “Eat Right 4 Your Typehave taught us that not everyone can be Vegetarian, Vegan or eat raw food diets. Understanding a little about the Ayurvedic Doshas can also be very illuminating!

Learn what you can about your body and what foods are going to bring you optimum health. Eating little and often suits the body when we are attempting to bring Balance and allow Consciousness to flow.

In the Yoga Diet we try to be aware of the Gunas, and incorporating knowledge of the gunas in our diet for our practice: a Vegetarian (or Vegan) diet is best for practitioners because we try to eat foods which incorporate the most life-force energy and which take the least amount of energy to digest. These are the Sattvic foods which are purest, and promote peace and calm in the bodymind. As the Gunas are qualities of the Universe, these foods are also putting us into harmony and balance.

And now some feedback from the original article: This was one of the comments on the Speaking Tree blog from Sudheindra:

“Being simple has become complex in a mind driven existence which makes every action and thought behind the action complicated. Living has become a chess game for most of us. Calculating every move, excessive caution in every step, a sense of insecurity, fear in relationships have all robbed life of all simplicity which it actually is. Complexity introduces stress & strain and takes away built-in resilience of any system.”

And now, for the heartwarming that this might bring to you, one of the Seekers in India asked:

At some point or other, when a seeker has progressed in practice it is natural for the seeker to ask ” . . . has it happened? What is the sure way to know?”

I replied: . . . the seeker knows because when you wake up in the middle of the night you can feel a calm silence in your heart and when you wake in the morning for the new day, there is a steady happiness present … I sincerely hope you find this.

Sudheindra later posted a PS to his comment, when prompted:

“I wish we can bring back simplicity to life at a collective level to resolve all our problems and conflicts and this can happen only when we make mind an instrument that it is and live from heart. The steps suggested here in this article are the steps to achieve this.”

My Namaskar to you all, and I hope this simplicity will bring you a way to live from the heart.

Namaste, Susan