Astanga Yoga London

26th of June 2020
26th June 2020

One of the questions that comes up all the time is ‘how much should I push myself’. There is no answer. You can’t measure either how stiff or in pain you are. On a scale of 1-10… is pretty ambiguous. Nor how much effort you put in. It goes with out saying that if you feel good, work hard. But it’s more when you don’t feel your best. So this is what I do. We all know how to do less. So if we start with that just add on a few extra bits. Work on one asana for longer. Do head stand for longer. Do more chants, meditate. That way you don’t feel bad for taking it easy.

The Aditya Hridayam is like the Bhagavad Gita of the Ramayana. Only it’s not a teaching of what to do in a difficult situation. It’s more in the line of bhakti yoga with a good bit of tantra chucked in there. So at first it reads like a poem of praise to the sun god and some mantras to say. Then when you realise that the sun is really our prana and the yoking of the sun’s chariot is pranayama and controlling our senses does it begin to really make sense. It finishes with Rama sipping water as a final blessing. This still happens today. Many times when we have been in India and been invited to a puja the priest at the end comes round with a vessel of water and you are given a sip spooned into your hand. And in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna reminds us that simply a sip of water is enough for a show of devotion. But Agastya finishes by saying, ‘make haste’. Stop dithering, you’ve said the prayer three times as required. Fire your arrow, kill your ego.

And so the arrow is fired it pierces Ravana. Usually its in the navel but some translations have it just beneath the sternum. And some say it was the heart. Anyway he dies and his body is given to his brother Vibhishana. Lakshman wants to celebrate his death. But Rama says that Ravana was a great warrior and full of wisdom. So he should be given full honours.

Of course just like many other famous people, myths surround Ravana and in 2018 they found his body in a cave surrounded by snakes…

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