Newsletter - April 2012
Opening the heart during Surya Namaskar. Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course : March 5 - April 1, 2012.
Immerse yourself in the practice of Yoga and gain the skills to teach it to others. Experience a profound transformation. Make the world a better place.
Master Ou Wen Wei
Catherine O'Neill (Durga)
April 12 - 16, 2012
Senior Staff of the Ashram
Manu Dawson, Sita Chaitanya, Grace Van Berkum
The graduation of the fourth Teacher Training Course of this season is near. We always take delight in watching the deep personal transformation that unfolds during this month-long process. It is truly amazing to see the profound change that occurs as students become more and more empowered through these ancient yogic teachings and learn to rest in their own inner peace. If you are interested in deepening your Yoga practice and have a true desire to change your life, we invite you to consider signing up for one of our upcoming Teacher Training Courses. There are still two more TTC sessions this season, or check our website for next year's schedule.
How Yogis Control Anger Without Suppressing It
Swami Swaroopananda will be teaching the "Advanced Raja Yoga Certification III: Vibhuti Pada" Course from April 29-May 9, 2012. Check our website for course details and to register.
What is the practical difference between controlling anger as Swami Sivananda taught and suppressing it in a way that it can continue to affect the person subconsciously?
Answer: The main cause of anger, according to the teachings of Yoga, is obstructed or unfulfilled desires. Let's say that we have desires, and we try to fulfill them, but the desires are obstructed and we cannot fulfill them. This brings anger. The yogic method to control this anger is to meditate on its opposite. What is the opposite of anger? Speak to me. [Audience answers: Joy. Patience. Love. Peace. Compassion.] That's right. So when anger arises, we do not suppress anger, we meditate on its opposite. Likewise, if I am under the impression that a person made me angry, then I meditate that the person cannot make me angry, that it is not possible. Nobody else can make me angry because anger always rises from within. And the only way to overcome anger is to transform it into its opposite, which we can do through this kind of meditation.
By repeating this process, by doing it again and again, we become better and better at it. So in Yoga there is no issue of suppressing anger; instead there is this technique of transforming anger into its opposite, or sublimating anger. We can take this even further by doing the opposite of what we intended to do toward the person who is the object of the anger. Let's say that we direct the anger toward a certain person, and with the anger there comes a certain action. So not only can we think the opposite thought, but we can also do the opposite action. By doing this again and again, the energy of anger is transmuted into the opposite energy, and what was destructive in the beginning becomes constructive and positive.
This is a common yogic practice, a very beneficial practice, and we can do it again and again. In addition, when we sit and meditate, if we suffer from anger we can meditate on its opposite energy. We can invoke the opposite of the energy of anger. If we do this day by day, slowly, slowly the quality is going to change.
The next question relates to Yoga asana practice. Is warrior asana a variation of the triangle? Which of them should be practiced first?
Answer: What you call the warrior asana is a minor asana, while what you call the triangle, Trikonasana, is a major asana. So, naturally, it's better to practice Trikonasana because it is a major asana. Minor asanas are also very good, but still they are minor. If you don't have much time, it's better to practice a major asana. So when you practice the twelve basic postures, at the end you practice Trikonasana, or triangle, and it is a very beneficial posture. If you have to choose between the warrior and Trikonasana, Trikonasana is a higher priority than the warrior.
Chapter 17 verse 23 of the Bhagavad Gita says, "Om Tat Sat. This has been declared to be the triple designation of Brahman." Could you elaborate on the meaning of Om Tat Sat?
Answer: According to the theory of Yoga, creation came through sound, and the sound that encompasses all creation, the sound from which the whole creation emerged, is Om. Tat stands for the Ultimate Reality, or Brahman. Sat stands for Ultimate Truth, the truth that does not change in the past, does not change in the present, does not change in the future. So Om Tat Sat stands for the immutable, absolute reality, which we call Brahman. Therefore it is called the triple indicator of Brahman.
Swami Swaroopananda is the Acharya (spiritual director) of Sivananda Yoga Centers and Ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, in the Middle East, and in the Bahamas, and is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda. This article is from one of his spontaneous question and answer sessions, which he frequently offers at Sivananda centers and ashrams all over the world.
Renown Authority on Re-programming the Mind Visits the Ashram
Joe Dispenza, DC, is one of the scientists featured in the award winning film What the Bleep Do We Know!? He has taught thousands of people how to re-program their thinking. His book, Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind connects the subjects of thought and consciousness with the brain, the mind, and the body. Dr. Dispenza will be offering another program at the Yoga Retreat from January 24-27, 2013. www.drjoedispenza.com
Q. What are the top three things that you enjoy most about the Sivananda Yoga Retreat?
Q. Can you share with us one of your favorite quotes?
Q. Do you have tips for people coming to the ashram?
Ashram News. . .
On the evenings of March 17th and 18th, the ashram was blessed with a sitar performance by Anupama Bhagwat; she was accompanied by Shyam Kane on tablas. This heart-opening classical Indian music took the audience on a collective journey into a meditative state of bliss and harmony.
Anupama Bhagwat is a sitarist who has performed internationally to critical acclaim. She is a leading disciple of the world-renowned Pandit Shri Bimalendu Mukherjee. Her sensitivity and erudition have taken her to the highest echelons of the modern genre, while allowing her to remain true to tradition. www.anupama.org
Shyam Kane has been a tabla player for over thirty years. He trained under the guidance and supervision of great tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussian and performed worldwide. He has accompanied such great artists as Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.