These twenty instructions contain the very essence of all Yoga Sadhana, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Yoga will all come to one who follows them whole-heartedly. They are the unfailing keys to quick and effective development and culture of the physical, mental, moral and spiritual self of man.
Marmas are special Ayurvedic energy points on the body similar to acupuncture points. Through manipulating them we can direct our Prana or vital energy for health, wellbeing and personal transformation. Marmas are connected to the Chakras and nadis of Yoga and can be used for balancing both body and mind. The condition of marmas is an important diagnostic tool in Ayurveda. At marma sites toxins, stress and negative emotions get lodged and are held, sometimes for years. Disease is reflected in pain, blockage or swelling these areas even before it may manifest outwardly in the full range of disease symptoms. Relieving pain, blockage or swelling at marma sites is an important therapeutic aid and one of the first stages of many ayurvedic treatments.
We are coming into a very special time of year, with the approach of Autumn and of Navaratri, the Festival of the Divine Mother. This festival provides a sacred space for reflection, worship, chanting of devotional songs and hymns, and readings from Devi Mahatmyam, the epic story of the Divine Mother.
International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
60th Anniversary Celebrations June 30 – July 4, 2017
It has been an amazing 60 years since Swami Vishnudevananda headed west from the Rishikesh Divine Life Society Ashram under the direct guidance of his guru Swami Sivananda. It is a different world from the one in 1957, both by grace of the balancing effects of the Yoga renaissance and in spite of it.
As a small child growing up in the cold winters of Canada, I remember at the first sight of spring, my mother would open up all the windows, clean out the closets & move the furniture to get at all the dust that had accumulated over the long winter. The place felt amazing after that, fresh, clean, new energy. Back then, my family didn’t know much about health or how beneficial an internal spring cleaning would have been. Funny how sometimes we put a great deal of importance on the external, while neglecting what is going on inside.
This Life is an opportunity to work through our karma. Everyone has challenges in life. In fact, character is defined by the way we meet our challenges. The ultimate question is, “To be, or not to be!” in the midst of those challenges. When we need help who do we go to? – A busy person who is skillful in dealing with challenges.
Swami Vishnudevananda set out upon his mission of World Peace with the seemingly simple slogan – “Unity in Diversity”. Yet within this slogan lies not only the essence of the Yoga and Vedanta philosophy, but also a call to action for all who wish to realize Yoga in this life. Philosophy is a powerful tool when it helps us change the attitudes which guide the way we relate to and act in the world.
As we look forward to the celebration of Maha Sivaratri on February 24th, we can gain a lot of inspiration from the study of Lord Siva’s stories and symbolism, through which He teaches us the philosophy and practices to find equanimity in turbulent times and to hold the space for peace in our daily lives.
Om Namah Sivaya,
Srinivasan’s article on the yamas and niyamas, published in the most recent edition of YOGAlife serves as an inspiring summary of the ethical foundations of yoga, and why they are so important in helping us fulfill both our daily duties and highest life goals, to the very best of our abilities.
Here at the Ranch, daily interactions serve as a constant reminder that living with integrity and serving with humility are not only ideals to strive towards, they are a necessary and central part of our practice.