Posts by Harsha

A Goddess Mandala: Kali, Aghori & Unconditional Love #1/6

By Mira Prabhu, an extremely gifted and insightful yogini and writer.

mira prabhu

image-1During my post-divorce years in Manhattan, I grew close to a band of unusual women ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s. Some were freelancers or regulars at the posh corporate law firm for which I then worked; others I’d bumped into at some cheese-and-wine affair that trendy Manhattanites throw in order to compensate for a crazy work-week; still others I’d encountered through the 12-Step program, whose meetings I attended in order to eradicate the insidious smoking habit slowly but surely draining my life force.

Going to AA to deal with a smoking addiction, you demand incredulously? But AA’s for folks with alcoholic dependency, ain’t it? True, AA was originally designed for the alcoholic, and yet liberal Manhattanites were open to a wider definition of addiction. In those often dark and stuffy spaces where addicts and alcoholics of all ages and backgrounds converged in order to keep each…

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Worries Do Not Belong To You!

The basic tenet of Advaita-Vedanta is that our original nature, the nature of the Self, is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Nityam-Purnum. Sat means Existence. Chit refers to Consciousness. Ananda means Bliss. Nityam mean Eternal. Purnum means whole or complete.

These are not qualities of the Self but its very nature as One monolithic whole. The Self is One without a second, A Mass of Conscious Bliss that is Eternal and Whole. When we experience the Self, we see that the ancient sages were very precise in describing our nature. It is unmistakable and leaves no room for any thought or doubt. Sages teach us that what comes and goes is not our true nature. What is transient has no permanent power or hold on us.

Although we view our personality as made up of mental traits and thoughts, Advaita teaches us that even our mind and thoughts are transient as they are constantly undergoing change. If our identity is based on mental fluctuations, suffering is the natural result.

Sri Ramana, the Sage of Arunachala, taught that through reflection, introspection, and self- inquiry, we can see through our mental conditioning, be free of it, and go beyond it.

Then we see that what comes and goes is not our nature.

Here is a conversation with Sri Ramana and a visitor to illustrate this point.

A visitor said: “I suffer from worries without end; there is no peace for me…” Sri Ramana asked: “Do these worries affect you in sleep?” The visitor admitted that they did not.

Sri Ramana asked him again: “Are you the very same man now, or are you different from him that slept without any worry?”
The visitor said, “Yes, I am the same person.”

Sri Ramana then said: “Then surely those worries do not belong to you. It is your own fault if you assume that they are yours.” (From Maha Yoga by K. Lakshmana Sarma).

Breathe Right to Live Right … with YOGIC Breathing

More on Yogic Breathing.

Shammi's Yogalaya

Flawed breathing and stress are the principal reasons for most of the psychosomatic problems today. This is probably why many people come to me stating that their Doctor has suggested ‘Pranayama’ to deal with their psychological as well as medical issues (mostly triggered by lifestyle).   Pranayama helps optimally manage the Central Nervous System and also the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic branches of Autonomic Nervous System which are closely intertwined with breath.

Traditional yogic scriptures claim that one’s life span is decided by the number of breaths one has taken in one’s lifetime. Hence, More number of Breathes = Shorter life; Less number of Breathes = Longer Life.  Thus, it is imperative to be aware of the flow and the rhythm of your breath as ‘right breathing’ will allow you to lead a fulfilling and stress -free life.

Yogic Breathing does it ALL

Yogic Breathing, involving Sectional Breathing

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Deep & Slow…“Yogic Breathing”

Yogic Breathing.

Shammi's Yogalaya

Conscientious application of these two terms can elevate your normal breathing to  “Yogic Breathing”

One would think ‘Deep’ & ‘Slow’ are synonymous, especially in connection with breathing. I too was under the same impression until I went beyond the face value of these words and felt the application, personally, in the realm of breathing. Deeper understanding of these two words and emulating in your daily life immediately uplifts you onto the path of spiritual journey. Your connection with ‘Self’ begins to feel more pronounced.

For years, I have heard and used these two terms as they are the most commonly used terms in traditional yoga practice. But, how many of us have really felt the essence of these two words? I am sure not many. Otherwise, we would have had a much healthier and evolved population.

“Life and breath are intimately connected”

mk1Shallow Breathing

Many of us have turned…

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DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

From Mira Prabhu residing in Arunachala, “Do you know who I am?”

mira prabhu

cda434014b3bb07e8d7db7d167fa00a2My father taught me a powerful lesson growing up; I watched many a time as he out-intimidated the legion of official and governmental bullies that routinely harass all Indians and make millions of lives miserable. “Do you know who I am” he would roar, and the would-be bully would literally quake with fear and trepidation. And he did this with genuine anger, because this kind of official misbehavior personally offended him. He stood up not just for himself—in his prime, he was a wealthy, powerful, articulate and educated man with immense influence—but for those with lesser resources, and even for the illiterate poor who had no option but to bow down to these horrible apologies for man so that they could get their work done. Since survival was a burning issue for many of these people, and the bullies knew they held the winning card, most often there was no…

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