Here’s what you missed so far :
And presenting before you the next part in the continuation :-
4 – 5:30 PM : We used to have Ashtanga Yoga sessions for an hour and a half. The difference between Hatha Yoga which we practiced every morning and the Ashtanga Yoga which we did in the evening hours was the following :
In Hatha Yoga you practice Asanas in a relaxed manner. Ie). You perform an Asana and then hold on to it for some seconds while breathing at the same time. Whereas Ashtanga Yoga is more of a continuation. You switch quickly from one posture to another with free flowing of you breath.
In short, Hatha Yoga is good to begin with for newbies like us.
5:45 PM – Time for Kirtans.
Being followers of Sanatan Dharma, we used to have Aarti every evening in the Ashram. Yes we do have a temple inside dedicated to Lord Shiva. For someone like me who was not much of a religious person, this gave a good opportunity to learn things from scratch.
Everyone was provided a sheet of Kirtans, in which the hymns were written in English along with their meanings. My god, I was so surprised reading about the meanings of these prayers. I mean all of them had a deeper philosophical/spiritual significance. Plus I loved the divine music of Guitar, Tablas and Harmoniums played everyday by some people 🙂
7:00 PM : Hungry as hell. Time to eat our hearts out 😉
8:00 PM : Time for meditation again. We experienced different types of meditations like : Love and Compassion, Yoga Nidra etc.
The one which I enjoyed the most was Yoga Nidra. A practice which is equivalent to 3-4 hours of sleep just by doing it properly for 30-40 minutes.
9:30 PM : Come back to your room. Try explaining it to your partner how tired or fresh you are feeling by playing with gestures. After all, we are still practicing silence. And then fall flat on your back :p
Those 7 days were the most eventful and refreshing days of my life. Honestly speaking, I was never tired despite of 11 hours of our busy schedule. In all the free times we got, I mostly read. Now I could totally relate to our prime minister Mr. Narendra Modiji’s secret of fitness.
~~The reason behind everything ~~
Starting day 1 onwards we were following Ashram lifestyle. While some of the rules had deeper significance as we realized in the days to come. Some of them we just respected out of traditional values attached to them. Here’s the gist of it :
Why Silence during meals?
Silence during meals helps you to eat mindfully. When we say the art of doing something mindfully, it means doing something with all your heart , body and soul. ie). Giving your 100 % to the task. Silence helps to get rid of unnecessary distractions.
Why flowers are offered to Ganga river?
Flowers, by their very nature are receptive. ie). When you offer flowers to someone, you offer them a part of your soul! And the river Ganga is worshipped as Goddess in India
Why do we join our hands during prayers ?
It has a deep spiritual meaning. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like “Ram Ram,” “Jai Shri Krishna”, “Namo Narayana”, “Jai Siya Ram”, “Om Shanti” etc – indicating the recognition of this divinity. When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.
And we place the palm close to our chest next to our heart. I think it has to do something with one of the Chakras which is present at that position.
Chanting of Mantras/ Mala Japan :
OM NAMO !!!
All the mantras are in Sanskrit and have deep vibrations which have an impact on our chakras. The key is to get your pronunciations right. Apart from this it helps to get your mind focused. Your mind won’t wander aimlessly. It’s the same with “Mala Japa” in which you count the beads of a Mala until all the beads are finished. FYI : There are 108 beads in a Mala.
Why are there 108 beads in a Mala?
Source : iHindustan
If you google about the significance of number 108, you will come across numerous answers but Let me get the ones I liked for you :
1 0 8 :
One represents Eternal Truth/God
Zero represents nothingness or void.
8 represents infinity (just turn the digit by 90 degrees)
So basically when you chant Om 108 times while meditating, each chant gets you one step closer to the truth. Keep trying out what works for you, who knows you might reach that awakening one fine day.
All about Meditation :
Stay tuned with us for the concluding part of the series. Also let us know if you have something more to add to this story.