Anandamaya Kosha is the blissful sheath and belongs to the Causal Body. It is the fifth of the layers that we are exploring and is the cosmic body, spirit, cosmic consciousness, Atman.
All yoga paths lead to bliss!
‘Yoga is alchemy; this ancient teaching is a finely tuned medicine form which leads to a more joyful way of living.’ Wenche Beard.
This is the week of the super-moon, so we’ll begin our practice with salute to the moon. Each round will be followed by the recitation of the seed sounds for the chakras. We’ll do three rounds.
Now let’s work with a forward bend, backward bend and twist. These will prepare us for the mountain sequence. Our balance will be the half-moon, always a challenge but another celebration of our special moon!
Moving back to the mat through the squat, we’ll work with seated forward bend, then wide-legged forward bend, ( this is our challenge pose for this half-term.) Let’s have a big backward stretch after that in the form of Purvottonasana. And we’ll complete the asana practice with cosmic egg balance.
For meditation we’ll silently repeat ‘OM’ on the in-breath and ‘OM’ on the out-breath. This will help us find and dwell in our bliss sheath.
More silent repetition for the relaxation as we say ‘I am bliss’ on the in-breath, and ‘Bliss I am’ on the out-breath.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
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‘Home from OM’ employs the ancient yoga technique of story-telling to put across spiritual teachings, the infinite wisdom. Following the progress of ten occupants of a residential home, we engage with their lives and their pasts. Can living in a yoga community bring grace and fulfillment to their last years? Could this be a way for the elderly to progress instead of diminish? Or will new challenges emerge from the experiment? Carole Kerton has been teaching yoga for forty-one years. She believes in using humour and anecdotes to facilitate learning. Whilst yoga supports all age groups, the elderly in Carole’s classes thrive on their practice.
When you look back over your life, you see that there are times when the lessons come in thick and fast. Some periods are incredibly colourful and rich, both in joyful experiences and sad ones. This was our experience in the early 80’s. We learned then about the agony of sudden bereavement. We learned about extreme, fluctuating emotions. I became the designated emotional ‘washing-machine’ for the entire family. I felt that, in some strange way, all the emotions came to me, and I churned them around and sought to cleanse them. We learned, as we moved to the other side of the globe, about letting go of our security and diving into a new adventure. We learned about culture shock. Our young family clung together through the turbulence and grew strong.
It’s at these times that yoga’s lessons are most valuable. The asanas help to keep you grounded, the meditation calms your mind, the breathing techniques keep you in the moment. You realise the strength of you inner Self.
It seemed to me, as a child, that I was not on a level playing field. My brother was clearly regarded as being more important than me on every level.One of my challenges was to live alongside that and to play out the hand that I had been dealt. I guess when I sat in Spirit World and planned this incarnation, I decided that I needed to learn about human dynamics. I must have had to learn about confusion, and about living the questions. I developed a little world of my own. It was a place where I felt safe and where I could listen to my intuition, teaching from within.
It is said that when we pray we talk to God (or Brahman,) when we meditate we listen to him.
At age seven, I learnt that your body manifests what is happening in your mind and your emotions. My brother was sent away to boarding school and I came out in a rash from head to foot. I found that very interesting, so my curiosity about health and well-being was stimulated. Curiosity is a great foundation for yoga practice.
I also learned about being alone, and I discovered that in quiet time you are never completely alone. I learnt to trust my Inner Self, my Inner Guru or teacher. Yoga was always waiting for me…
Brahman is the friend and the refuge of all…
The Self is hidden in the heart of all creatures..
If the truth of these scriptures are meditated upon by a man in the highest degree devoted to God, and to his Guru as to his God, they will shine forth. They will shine forth indeed!
.That brings us to the end of our study of the upanishads. When you train as a yoga teacher, you immerse yourself in three great works, ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Patanjali’s Sutras’, and ‘The Upanishads’. The ancient teachings guide our steps.
Brahman dwells within man, and within all other beings. He projects the universe, maintains it, and withdraws it into himself.
His eyes are everywhere: his face, his arms, his feet are in every place. Out of himself he has produced the heavens and the earth, and with his arms and his wings he holds them together…
This great being has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet. He envelops the universe. Though transcendent, he is to be meditated upon as resident in the lotus of the heart, at the centre of the body, ten fingers above the navel.