Tag Archives: Swami Sivananda

Savasana – proper relaxation 

12 Dec

Based on the “Five Points of Yoga” as outlined by Swami Vishnu-Devananda-ji.+

3. Proper Relaxation (Savasana)

Long before the invention of cars, planes, telephones, computers, social media, freeways and other modern triggers of stress, the Rishis (sages or seers) and Yogis of yore devised very powerful techniques of deep relaxation. As a matter of fact, many modern stress-management and relaxation methods borrow heavily from this tradition. By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his/her nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace.

When the body and the mind are constantly overworked, their natural efficiency to perform work diminishes. Modern social life, food, work and even the so-called entertainment, make it difficult for modern people to relax. Many have even forgotten that rest and relaxation are nature’s way of recharging. Even while trying to rest, the average person expends a lot of physical and mental energy through tension. Much of the body’s energy is wasted uselessly.

More of our energy is spent in keeping the muscles in continual readiness for work than in the actual useful work done. In order to regulate and balance the work of the body and mind, it is best to learn to economize the energy produced by our body. This may be done by learning to relax.

It may be remembered that in the course of one day, our body usually produce all the substances and energy necessary for the next day. But it often happens that all these substances and energy may be consumed within a few minutes by bad moods, anger, injury or intense irritation. The process of eruption and repression of violent emotions often grows into a regular habit. The result is disastrous, not only for the body, but also for the mind.

During complete relaxation, there is practically no energy or “Prana” being consumed, although a little is keeping the body in normal condition while the remaining portion is being stored and conserved.

In order to achieve perfect relaxation, three methods are used by yogis: “Physical”, “Mental”, and “Spiritual” relaxation. Relaxation is not complete until the person reaches that stage of spiritual relaxation.

1 – PHYSICAL RELAXATION

We know that every action is the result of thought. Thoughts take form in action, the body reaching to the thought. Just as the mind may send a message to the muscles ordering them to contract, the mind may also send another message to bring the relaxation to the tired muscles.

Physical relaxation first begins with the toes and then moves upward. The autosuggestion passes through the muscles and reaches the eyes and ears at the top. Then, slowly, messages are sent to the kidneys, liver and the other internal organs. This relaxation position is known as Savasana, or the Corpse Pose.

2 – MENTAL RELAXATION

When experiencing mental tension, it is advisable to breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes. Soon the mind will become calm. You may experience a kind of floating sensation.

3 – SPIRITUAL RELAXATION

However one may try to relax the mind, all tensions and worries cannot be completely removed until one reaches spiritual relaxation.

As long as a person identifies with the body and the mind, there will be worries, sorrows, anxieties, fear and anger. These emotions, in turn bring tension. Yogis know that unless a person can withdraw from the body/mind idea and separate himself from the ego-consciousness, there is no way of obtaining complete relaxation.

The yogi identifies himself with the all pervading, all-powerful, all-peaceful and joyful self, or pure consciousness within. He knows that the source of all power, knowledge, peace and strength is in the self, not in the body. We tune to this by asserting the real nature, that is “I am that pure consciousness or self”. This identification with the self completes the process of relaxation.

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Savasana – corpse pose – classic yoga relaxation posture.

 

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Relaxation lying on the abdomen.

 

“The practice of relaxing the muscles of the body will bring rest to the body and to the mind also. The tension of the muscles will be relieved. People who know the science of relaxation do not waste any energy. They can meditate well. Take a few deep breaths and then lie down flat on your back as in Savasana. Roll on to one side and then relax as thoroughly as you can do. Do not strain the muscles. Roll on the other side and relax. This is naturally done by all during sleep. There are various exercises in relaxation, for the particular muscles of a particular part of the body. You can relax the head, the shoulders, the arms, forearms, wrist, etc. Yogins know the science of relaxation thoroughly. When you practise these various relaxation exercises, you must have the mental picture of calmness and strength.”

Sri Swami Sivananda-ji

 

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Savasana in the back yard, December 2017.

Yoga & Meditation Weekend

28 Apr Mount Warning
This year I’m organising and teaching  a weekend retreat again, it has been four years since I offered a yoga retreat last time.
Early morning walk / meditation.

Early morning walk / meditation.

It takes place at the Gunnebah Retreat Centre near Murwillumbah, northern NSW. We have been there before and it’s an ideal location for a yoga weekend, surrounded by most beautiful nature. In the past I used to prepare and cook the meals myself, lot’s of work before and during the retreat for just one weekend. This year the Gunnebah catering team, will provide all our vegetarian meals. So less karma yoga for all of us, no chopping, cooking and doing the dishes. Instead kick back a little. Therefore also the higher cost than in the past.
The Retreat is from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 August 2015.  It is open to newcomers, beginners, if you need to give your yoga practice a fresh boost and experienced yoga students.
The hatha yoga class will be mostly two hours, instead of the usual 90 minutes like in the weekly classes. So more time to go deeper into postures, explain details, more variations and holding postures longer. We practice the silent japa meditation, maybe Tratak (gazing at the flame of a candle) and chant Kirtan (mantra singing), as I bring my harmonium along.
During the lectures we might also cover other topics, than the classic yoga philosophy Vedanta. Wisdom, knowledge, practices, a holistic approach to life, etc. that interest me and I like to share more with you. For example: How the moon influences our bodies, the way it guides the ocean tides. (Saturday 29/08 will be a full moon). The facts and importance of the fascia. Tapping Solution for EFT (emotional freedom technique).  Such interests and similar.
So it will be a very uplifting, inspiring and empowering weekend. Practicing and learning the vast horizon of Yoga, Meditation, Mantras and more. While we are in the middle of beautiful rain forest nature.
For more information please browse through the Retreat section on this website, phone or email me.
Looking forward to hearing and seeing you soon.
Namaste, Maria Prema
Pranayama practice

Pranayama practice

Outdoor eating at Gunnebah Retreat.

Outdoor eating at Gunnebah Retreat.

 

 

 

© Photography Maria Steiner / Ian Grasmeder

Compassion

9 Jan Bromeliad Flower in my garden.

“Compassion to all beings is the expression of spirituality.”

Swami Sivananda

 

Bromeliad Flower in my garden.

Bromeliad Flower in my garden.

be the witness

28 Nov wild flower pot

“You will be always peaceful if you are able to calmly witness the mental modifications.”

Swami Sivananda

wild flower pot

wild flower pot

 

 

© Photography Maria Steiner

use of the mind

27 Oct Jacaranda tree in flower

“A tree can be used either for building a house or for making charcoal by means of fire. So also the mind can either be utilized tor spiritual evolution or reduced into ignorance by the fire of five passions.”

 

Sri Swami Sivananda-ji

 

Jacaranda tree in flower

Jacaranda tree in flower

 

 

© Photography Maria Steiner

Success in Yoga

13 Oct Swami Sivananda
Wise words by Swami Sivananda:

 

Success in Yoga or any other spiritual path requires the annihilation or control of the six enemies, viz., lust, anger, greed, pride, jealousy and hypocrisy.
Sri Swami Sivananda-ji

 

 

Swami Sivananda

Swami Sivananda

 

 

Nirguna Meditation

15 Sep Concentration and Meditation by Swami Sivananda
From the book Concentration and Meditation by Sri Swami Sivananda:

Sit in Padmasana. Repeat OM mentally. Keep the meaning of OM always in the mind. Feel that you are the All-pervading, Infinite Light. Feel that you are the “Suddha-Sat-Chit-Ananda, Vyapaka, Atman, Nitya Suddha Buddha Mukta, eternally free Brahman.” Feel you are Chaitanya. Feel that you are the “Akhanda Paripurna, Ekarasa, Santa, Infinite, Eternal, Unchanging Existence.” Every atom, every molecule, every nerve, vein, artery, should powerfully vibrate with these ideas. Lip repetition of OM will not produce much benefit. It should be through heart, head and soul. Your whole soul should feel that you are the subtle, all-pervading Intelligence. This feeling should be kept up continuously.

Negate the body-idea when you repeat OM mentally. When you chant OM, feel:

  • Infinity I am                OM OM OM

  • All Light I am              OM OM OM

  • All Joy I am                 OM OM OM

  • All Glory I am              OM OM OM

  • All Power I am            OM OM OM

  • All Knowledge I am    OM OM OM

  • All Ananda I am         OM OM OM

Mediitate on the above ideas constantly. Constant effort with zeal and enthusiasm is indispensable. Repeat mentally the above ideas incessantly. You will realise.

SOHAM, I am That I am !!

Concentration and Meditation by Swami Sivananda

Concentration and Meditation by Swami Sivananda

Quote about Forgiveness

30 May

“Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirit.”

Swami Sivananda

practice

19 Nov

“One ounce of practice is worth a tonne of theory.”  Swami Sivananda

Give it a try and experience the effects of yoga for yourself.
Your first yoga class is free!!  Have a look at the times to find a class that suits your schedule. Classes & Cost
Trikonasana

Trikonasana

Meditation

15 Nov
Beautiful wisdom from Swami Sivananda. The following quote is from his book “Concentration and Meditation”. Page 88:

“Just as salt melts in water, so also the Sattvic mind melts in silence, during meditation, in Brahman, its Adhishthana (substratum).”

Please also check my post from 18 September in the blog archive, scroll to bottom of this page.
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