21 October 2018

Morning satsang

Swami Niranjanananda explained how hatha yoga and karma yoga complement each other. The aims of both branches of yoga are the same: purification, balance and lightness of matter and karma.


Hatha Yoga and Karma Yoga: Balance of Ida and Pingala

Asanas help balance the physical systems; they create balance and harmony. They also affect the chemical composition of the body. The chemicals change; it is not only your practice that changes but also the chemicals change in the body.

Hatha yoga changes the levels of endorphins due to the physical activity. Hatha yoga induces and enhances dopamine, the chemical which makes you happy. Dopamine is secreted. Endorphins are affected; oxytocin, which brings happiness due to connecting with others, is also stimulated. Those chemicals which bring happiness, comfort and joy are stimulated with the practice of yogasanas. Therefore, after a good, solid session of yogasanas, you feel buoyant, happy and talkative. Why does this happen? Because the chemical change has taken place. It has made you more extroverted, it has made you more happy, it has made you more connected, it has made you more connected with your body, not only with others. Chemical compositions change with the practice of asanas.

Shatkarmas, asana, pranayama, mudras and bandhas, pratyahara and laya - these six constitute the branches, angas, or components of hatha yoga, for balancing the ida and pingala energies, the pranic shakti which is both gross and subtle.

Yogis realized that without pranic balance, one cannot achieve anything in life. The pranic balance has to be there, for it is the pranic balance which allows the body to become more efficient, more healthy and active. It is the pranic balance which allows the mind to become more creative, positive, optimistic and open. . .

Karma yoga also is a way to harmonize the energies of the body. When you meditate, the body builds up energy, and that prana has to be released, it has to be exhausted. Swami Sivananda used to say that for one hour of meditation, there should be three hours of hard work. For two hours of meditation there has to be six hours of hard work. The energy which you generate in one hour of meditation has to be released, it has to be discharged. That release and that discharge can only happen through karma yoga. For this reason, many people believe karma yoga to be the yoga of action, as the name suggests, yet the actual purpose is to release the energy accumulated in hatha yoga through karma yoga.

Afternoon session – Yogabhava not Bhogabhava

Swami Sivamurti spoke on her personal connection with Sri Swamiji and on the beginnings of Satyananda Yoga in Greece.

Swami Vedantananda described the responsibilities of a yoga teachers.

Rishi Nityabodhananda told stories of the early teaching of Sri Swamiji.

Swami Yogatirtha described yoga bhava and the foundation of the 2nd chapter which is the seriousness, sincerity and commitment of yoga aspirants.

Sannyasi Gyanmudra spoke on her personal experiences during the shivirs she conducted in Kolkata in April.

Evening session – country presentations

Sannyasis Bhaktananda, Chitra and Tulsi presented the yoga work in Hungary.

Swami Mudraroopa spoke on the history and present activities of Satyananda Yoga in Serbia.

Brazil was presented with a colourful slide show by Swami Aghorananda.