Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Mystical Stones

by Yogeshwari Fountain

i-cant-get-no-satisfaction-rolling-stonesRolling Stone magazine ranked “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” as #2 of the 500 greatest songs of all time.  Why?  It puts words to a profound mystical dilemma:  everyone is hungry for more.  Why? Because, well, no thing truly satisfies.

Trying to satisfy yourself with more food, more information, more relationships, more stuff and more distractions is a fruitless endeavor.  It leads to the same dead end over and over again.

Before I found yoga, I did want more in my life:  more peace, less physical pain, and a deeper understanding of myself. It was only yoga that gave me all of that.  It gave me more than I even knew how to ask for.

Yoga teaches that what we’re truly looking for is inner nourishment, a profound spiritual fulfillment. Yoga’s ancient sages promise  you the experience of the still center of your own being.  When you mistake yoga for an exercise system, you might not notice how it works.  Yoga gives you something that exercise does not. It’s an inner process that unfolds, even while you think you’re trying to perfect your pose.

The sages gave us an integrated system of living, by harnessing your body, breath and mind for the ultimate in spiritual upliftment.

dsc_0616-croppedJnaanam annam — Shiva Sutras 2.9

Inner knowing is the only real nourishment, that which gives full satisfaction.

[rendered by Swami Nirmalananda]

This inner knowing is the experience of your own innermost essence, your own Divinity. No amount of food or other things can fill you in the same way.  The continual pursuit of outer experiences isn’t anything like the satisfaction of discovering the “you” that you are, beneath the surface on which you usually live.

While our consumer culture “can’t get no…” yoga frees you from the neediness that the quest for external satisfaction demands.  I had to do “slow yoga” to find it.  It was Svaroopa® yoga that made that clear to me, giving me poses that are a gateway to the inner knowing of my own Self.

Using well aligned and supported yoga poses to release deep tensions, starting at the tailbone and extending through your whole spine — I’d never felt such blissful peace before.  When your spine decompresses, your mind becomes quiet. But the unexpected surprise was that, the more yoga I do, the more I am interested in studying yogic philosophy, chanting, meditating, and serving others.

yogeshwari-fountain-anjaliThe mystical discovery of my own Divinity has fueled a new way of being and of living in the world.  Now I don’t look for satisfaction; I carry it with me everywhere I go.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo nama.h

To your Inherent Divinity, again and again I bow.

Yoga: The Time is Now!

mangala-head-shotBy Mangala Allen

What better time to begin doing something to enhance your experience of life? Of all the things I have tried in my life, yoga sustains me like nothing else. My yoga practice keeps me steady and even-tempered on the inside as I navigate the busy world around me. Ever since yoga found me, my life has been getting better and better.

Some people are drawn to yoga for help with physical, mental or emotional discomfort. Some are looking for meaning in their life. Whatever you want, yoga gives you more than you could ever imagined. This is because you are more than you think you are. And more than you imagine yourself to be.

Yoga mystical effect is the revealing of your Self to yourself.  It has a way of peeling back the layers of self-doubt and fear to uncover a vibrant, radiant you.  The ancient sages guarantee this by their insights, their teachings and their blessings to us.  But you have to do your part!   Swami Nirmalananda describes this:

Harness the power of your own will – choose to grow and change.

You must make an effort or it will not happen.

The time is now.

Most people think of yoga as the athletic practice of poses. It offers many types of physical practices.  Some are fast or hot, and may twist you into a pretzel. Others are slower and you use props in the poses, like chairs, blocks and blankets. The yoga style I practice and teach is based in spinal decompression, making me able to release and lengthen the muscles attached to my spine. Svaroopa® yoga’s spinal release allows my spine to be supple. It heals what ails me and improves my ability to move through my day and my life with ease.

Yoga’s transformation happens on the physical level, but also through every level. As the poses relieve tensions, aches and pains, you find your mind calm. As your mind becomes calm, you are no longer taunted by the memories and anxieties that have nagged you for so long. You begin to find time in your life to pause and breathe.

Yet yoga promises even more. Yoga promises you will know yourself as the vibrant, radiant being that you really are.  Your essence shines from a deeper level within, drawing you toward meditation.

mangala-meditatingLearning the poses from a teacher makes them easier.  In the same way, the meditation I have learned from Swami Nirmalananda is easy. From the beginning, it is deep and blissful. Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation gives me the experience of my own vibrant radiant me, so I can shine my light into the world. My life is beautiful.

Something happens when you begin to practice yoga. It draws you in and changes you. You look at everything anew. It gives me more and more. My life has been yogified and I bask in the glow.  Step into yoga. The time is now!

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo nama.h

To your Inherent Divinity, again and again I bow.

Yoga is a Mystical Science

swamiji_new3_brighter_headshotBy Swami Nirmalananda

“We’re taking the mysticism out of yoga,” she told me.  I was shocked!  This was 1983 and I had just returned from India.  In my seven years of living and studying with a Realized Being, I experienced the mystical reality promised by the sages.  The yoga teacher who was speaking so authoritatively didn’t know that yoga promises enlightenment.  And she didn’t care.  She was dedicated to athletic mastery of her body, quite appropriately teaching in a gym.  To me, it was like she was saying, “We’re taking the air out of breathing.”

Yoga is a mystical science.  It’s what makes yoga so popular today; it’s what makes yoga work!  If you jog or cycle an hour a day, lift weights or swim, you get strong, healthy and your quality of life improves.  Research studies have proven this over and over.  If you do yoga, you get all this plus you get peace.  Athleticism doesn’t give you peace or make you spiritual, but amazingly yoga does, even athletic styles.  How does this work?  It’s the mysticism, currently hidden under the hype.

This blog is dedicated to unearthing the “mystery,” the root of the word “mysticism.”  This is the hidden power of yoga, that which makes it work.  The paradox is that we yoga practitioners unwittingly conceal the truth of yoga.  Yoga is a mystical science which is a scintillating gem that magnifies the light of consciousness.  As the first President of Yoga Alliance, I led a team of dedicated yogis from different traditions in the process of finding common ground.  We frequently reminded ourselves. “Yoga will survive even our attempt to protect it.”

pretty-happy-face-pinterest-comBecause yoga makes you beautiful, the goal has become beauty.  Except beauty won’t make you happy.  Because yoga makes you healthy, the goal has become health.  Except health doesn’t make you happy.  Because yoga makes you younger, the goal has become perennial youth.  Ponce de Leon is credited with searching for the fountain of youth, but yoga provides it.  Except youth doesn’t make you happy.  All you have to do is ask a young, healthy, beautiful person if they are happy.  And ask if their happiness comes from their youth, health or beauty.  Or look at the beauties in the media spotlight.  Their lives tell you they are not happy.

Does that mean that happiness the goal?  India’s ancient and modern sages agree on this — the answer is, “Yes.  And no.”  If you’re not happy, you’ll do whatever it takes to get happy, even if it is illegal, immoral or fattening.  Without happiness, life isn’t worth living.  Happiness is essential.  It is essential because happiness is your essence.  When you aren’t happy, you aren’t you.

Your essential nature is not merely happiness; it is independently arising, ever-flowing, unparalleled, ever-expanding ecstasy.  Aananda in Sanskrit, it’s what everyone is seeking but no one is finding, simply because they’re looking in the wrong place.  Everyone is looking outside.  Happiness is inside.  More importantly, the Source of Happiness is within you.  That’s the mystery.  We’ll explore it together.

swami-hands-cropped-65OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah

To your Inherent Divinity, again and again I bow.