Yesterday was the last conference of 2012.
Here are some notes and thoughts from Sharath's talk:
The name "Yoga" has grown in fame around the world, but the meaning is missing.
What is the meaning of Yoga?
Yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha "Yoga is to still the mind."
Yoga is for self transformation.
Many people have forgotten this, and are caught up in the asana-s only.
"Asana for asana sake is just bending your body."
When you are truly established in the asana practice, there will be no disorders of the mind. You will become totally absorbed in what you are practicing, the senses will withdraw inside, and your concentration will become very one-pointed.
Sharath recalled a great story about a student that asks his teacher, "why have I not gained the experience of Self-Realization" and the teacher one morning takes him to a river and holds his head underneath the water, and the student fights with all his might to come up for air, and when the teacher finally lets him up, the student gasps "why did you do that?"
The Teacher says, "if you want to experience Self-Realization or Enlightenment, the goal of Yoga, you must want it as much as you wanted that breath of air."
As practitioners and seekers, we must want to taste the experience of real yoga within ourselves, as much as a drowning man fights for air - a sincere effort must be made in this direction.
He followed this up by saying that a true student devotes his or her whole self to the practice, and as you go deeper and deeper the knowledge will automatically glow from within you. However, this transformation only comes when we devote ourselves fully to the practice, and do real Sadhana (spiritual practices) for a long time, consistently.
"Yoga is a life-long study."
Every month, every year, you should learn something new, experience something new, and go deeper.
This is what the aim should be.
Sharath also spoke about the six passions of the mind that cover one's true nature.
The six covers are: kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride), matsarya (jealousy). These six covers need to be removed through our sadhana if we are to see and understand Reality as it is.
He said that if you are humble and start to get rid of the ego, then there will be progress in yoga. However, you cannot just read about Yoga, or memorize texts on Yoga - the mastery will come only when you practice and apply the teachings within your daily life. Only then will you gain experiential knowledge.
Sadhana isn't easy though, you must choose one path. It is a discipline; and often you must struggle within yourself to overcome many obstacles. A daily commitment to continue to practice must be there, and the more distracted you are with many things in the world, the more difficult it becomes to reach higher levels of Yoga. You must discipline yourself and limit the distractions in life.
Through the practice of Yoga, you will become more sensitive to things. As you develop a disciplined mind you can start to feel a connection to a higher cosmic consciousness. This process, what is happening within you, cannot be spoken about, the changes are internal, and as the effects grow stronger, maintaining your practice will become more central for you.
Happy Continued Practicing into the New Year Everyone!
We want to give a huge THANKS to Nikki & Sebastian, who taught for the month of December in our morning Mysore Program. It was an incredible month for so many of our students back in Victoria, and I'm sure that everyone looks forward to having you back again some day!
We are also happy to have some time to reconnect with you both here in Mysore now!
Let the fun begin!
As we approach the NEW YEAR... we are taking some time to project our vision of what is to come by finding the one word that spontaneously comes to mind when we think of 2013!
You can play along too...
We'd love to hear what your word for the year past and the year to come are...
The one word that comes to mind for me that would describe last year 2012 is "Intense".
And my word for 2013... well, that's just going to have to wait until tomorrow!
Happy New Year!
We look forward to connecting with you all again soon - Let's make 2013 the best year yet!