Lunchtime class: For working mums-to-be! These Thursday
one-hour lunchtime classes are a safe and soothing way for working
mums-with-bumps to to maintain health and prepare for the growth
and change this transitional phase brings. Kavita, a mother
of two, uses gentle postures and props, yogic breathing and
Eastern wisdom to help prepare for the challenges of childbirth.
Executive Lunchtime class: Our signature
one-hour SachYoga lunchtime classes for beginners and general
students are running as usual. An excellent program
for the busy Central executive which helps to replenish lost
energy and refreshes the body and mind through poses
done with props, yogic breathing and meditation. The
session brings about a state of relaxed alertness, increasing
efficiency and productivity at work. Students can get straight
back to work after class.
Vedanta Philosophy Study Group: A
Vedanta study group has started Monday lunchtimes and is led
by Kavita. The text currently being studied is the Tattva
Bodh of Adi Shankaracharya. SachYoga is arranging for visiting
guest teachers to speak at these classes from time to time.
or call 2526 2225 if you would like to register for any
New Teacher: We are delighted to have
Babeth join us this month. Babeth has
studied yoga in the UK in the Sivananda tradition and brings
her own experience and practice into her classes. Babeth
will be teaching the Monday evening and Friday lunchtime SachYoga
classes. To enroll for her classes, please contact Babeth
directly at 97737770.
Bharat Natyam Dance: Sunaina,
an acclaimed, award-winning teacher teaches this Indian classical
dance as it was practiced over 5000 years ago! This ancient
and graceful form of dance is where many yoga poses originate
from! Especially good for young girls, Bharat Natyam builds
strength, balance and flexibility. Sunaina, who
started learning this art from her Guru in India at the age
of three, teaches this class at SachYoga. To enroll
for Sunaina's classes, please call her directly at
Satsang: It is Kavita's ardent
desire to start a satsang group with the yoga community in
Hong Kong . Satsang or group chanting is an amazing and powerful
technique of transforming the negative qualities of the mind
with it's vibrational effect on our energy field. Many yoga
teachers and practitioners who were approached have shown
wholehearted support for this initiative so you will be hearing
from us on a forthcoming chanting session very soon.
Yoga Sentencing by US judge:
An American judge has introduced a new twist to the US
justice system by 'sentencing' a man convicted of spousal
abuse to a yoga course instead of a prison term. Texas Judge
Larry Standley ordered James Lee Cross, a car salesman accused
of slapping his wife, to take a yoga class as part of his
"It's part of anger management," Standley said.
"For people who are into it, it really calms them down."
Prosecutor Lincoln Goodwin agreed to a sentence of probation
with yoga and without jail time because Cross had no significant
criminal history. Cross told the court that his wife was struggling
with a substance abuse problem and that he struck her on New
Year's Eve during an argument about her drinking.
"He was trying to get a hold of her because she has a
problem," Standley said. "I thought this would help
him realize that he only has control over himself."
Charitable Donations: Since its inception in April
2003 and in keeping with our philosophy of service to the
community, SachYoga has been running many classes on a voluntary
donation basis. There is a pay-if-you wish policy for
all first timers attending Kavita's classes with 100% of the
proceeds contributed directly to government registered charities
in Hong Kong and India. We are happy to say that in
2003, our generous students contributed a total of $7,550
towards classes they attended. A big thank-you to all
of them! The amount has been donated 100% among the Chinmaya
Foundation Hong Kong, Aids Concern Hong Kong and
the Tulsi Goverdhan Trust, Param Shakti Peeth and Akshar Educational
Trust in India.
Visiting Masters: SachYoga was honoured to host an
evening with His Holiness Swami Anantacharya of Brindavan,
India. Swamiji delighted us with his humor and wit and
spoke on the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita.
We had a lovely little satsang session courtesy of the divine
Art of Living singers. Watch this space for details
on forthcoming visits by other masters. .....
Upcoming Workshops: Sarah Powers returns to Hong Kong
for a weekend yoga retreat in February 2004. Contact
Babeth for details at 97737770. Anthony Carlisle
returns to Hong Kong in March 2004 for Ashtanga workshops
at SachYoga. Contact Clint at 97476616 for details.
Pariksha: The Tenfold Examination. Dash
– ten; pariksha- examination. An experienced
Ayurvedic physician will use Dashvidha Pariksha to learn
about the patient’s state of health. This consists of
examination of the prakriti (body constitution), vikrti
(pathological state), sara (tissue vitality), samhanana
(physical build), pramana (body measurement), satmya
(adaptability), sattva (psychic constitution), ahara
shakti (digestive capacity),vyayama shakti (capacity
for exercise), and vaya (age).
Supta Baddhakonasana. (Reclining bound- angle pose)
Benefit: A great hip opener, this pose
opens the chest, works the pelvis, pelvic region and hip joints,
keeping the uro-genital system in good health. Especially beneficial
for puberty and menopause, it also corrects a prolapsed uterus.
This pose prevents hernia, tones the kidneys, helps to cure
bleeding piles and regulates blood pressure.
will need: 2 pillows or a firm bolster, a rolled
towel and a yoga belt. The pillows support the back and open
the chest allowing for deep breathing. The towel supports
the neck and head. The belt supports the angle of the legs.
How to: Sit upright, knees wide apart and
soles of the feet joined together. The bolster or pillow is
placed with the short side resting firmly against your buttocks.
Cup your hands around the ankles and bring the joined heels
as close to the perineum as possible. Wear the belt just under
your waist and hip bones and loop it around your feet. Firmly
tighten and adjust the belt. Lower the waist and back on the
bolster by bring your elbows on the floor. Make sure there
is no gap between your spine and the bolster. The spine should
rest on the centre of the bolster or pillows. Place the rolled
towel under the neck. The pillow/bolster should be long enough
to support the weight and length of entire back and neck.
Inhale, bring the arms above the head, bend the elbows and
place each hand just above the opposite elbow. Gently try
to bring the elbows closer to the pillow, moving the shoulder
blades closer to each other but at the same time towards the
buttocks. Relax and extend the groins out towards the knees.
Feel the pelvis open up and gravity assist in the release
of tension in the knees and ankles.
Stay for five minutes, breathing
gently, smoothly and deeply, keeping the mind focused on the
pattern of breath.
Breath - Prana or our vital life- force
“If you can become
master of your breathing you become master of your
emotions.... The unconscious goes on changing your rhythm
of breathing, so if you become aware of this rhythm and its
constant changes, you can become aware of your unconscious
roots, of what the unconscious is doing.”
The New Alchemy
Breathe deeply the whole day,
not forced but slow and deep, whenever you remember, and feel
relaxed, not strained.
Watch your breathe, observe it.
Be with your breath as it enters and leaves your body. If
you can observe your breath it will become deep, silent, rhythmic.
By following the breath you become very very different, because
this constant awareness of the breath will detach you from
your mind. The energy that normally moves into thinking will
move into observation. This is the alchemy of meditation —
to change the energy that moves in thinking into observation...how
not to be a thinker but a witness. But be playful about watching
your breathing, don’t make it work.
Use your breath as an awareness of life
and death simultaneously. When the breath goes out it is associated
with death; when it comes in, with life. With every out breath
you die; with every in breath you are reborn.
“Life and death are not two things, separate,
divided: they are one. And each moment, both are present.
So remember this: when your breath is going out, feel as if
you are dying. Don’t be afraid. If you are afraid, the breath
will be disturbed. Accept it: the outgoing breath is death.
And death is beautiful, it is relaxing.” -Osho.
Om - the sacred symbol.
Om is the eternal and sacred symbol
that represents the sound of all creation. Om symbolizes the
Infinite and thus transcends caste, creed, class and colour.
The Om is especially dear to those who have enjoyed the transformative
and unifying effects of Yoga. It is an ideal symbol in this
time of political, emotional, and physical divisiveness.
Om is at the source of the entire
universe. It is this mystical and primordial vibration that
the ancient Hindus have written about and have mentioned in
all the Upanishads. The sound that is produced from the vibration
is like a deep, hum. Om , also pronounced AUM. This
sound is also called the four-element syllable. The letters
A-U-M are considered the first three elements, and the fourth
element is the silence from which the sound of Om arises,
and back into which it subsides.
The shape and form of the Om symbol is also
representative of the Infinite. Swami Sivananda has given
a beautiful explanation of the Om symbol. In the figure
below, you will note that each curve represents the three
states of an individual's consciousness; the waking, the unconscious,
and the dream states. The dot and semicircle also have significance
and represent the Infinite and Maya (the veil of ignorance
covering our true Self) , respectively:
The curve in
1 above represents the waking state. The curve in 2 represents
deep sleep or the unconscious. The curvein 3 represents the
dream state (which lies between waking and deep sleep. The
dot in 4 represents the Infinite state of consciousness which
illuminates all other states of consciousness. 5. The semicircle
represents Maya (or the veil of the world.). It separates
the Infinite from the other states.
The chart below is compiled by Sachendra, a yoga teacher,
depicting the three qualities of nature.
of Material Nature
madness, illusion, inertia, indolence & sleep
uncontrollable desires & longing, intense endeavor
purity, illumination, happiness & freedom from reactions,
conducive to real knowledge.
hellish worlds & the animal kingdom.
association of fruitive workers on the earthly planets.
powerful men & self-proclaimed, imitation gods.
demigods & the impersonal concept of God.
stale, putrid, decomposed, unclean, cooked more than three
hours before being eaten; remnants of the meals of others;
meat, fish, eggs & liquor.
bitter, sour, salty, pungent, rich, dry or hot; causes
pain, distress & disease.
longevity, purifies one's existence, gives strength, health,
happiness & satisfaction; nourishing sweet, juicy,
fattening & palatable-- milk products, grains, sugar,
fruit & vegetables.
faithlessly, in defiance of scriptural injunctions &
with no spiritual food distributed, no hymns chanted &
no remunerations made to the priest.
proudly, ostentatiously, for the sake of some material
end or benefit (such as elevation to the heavenly kingdom).
as a duty, according to scriptural regulations & with
no expectation of reward.
foolishly by means of obstinate self-torture or to destroy
or injure others.
ostentatiously to gain respect, honor & reverence;
brings only unstable, temporary results.
with faith & without desires for one's benefit; bodily
austerities-- cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy, nonviolence,
offering of respect to the demigods, brahmanas, spiritual
master & superiors like the mother & father; austerities
of speech-- speaking beneficially, truthfully &
inoffensively & with reference to Vedic authorities;
mental austerities-- serenity, simplicity, gravity,
self-control & purity of thought, detaching the mind
from sense gratification.
at an improper time & place, to an unworthy person
like a gambler or contemptuously without respect.
to get something in return with a desire for fruitive
results, or in a grudging mood.
as a duty, at the proper time & place, to a worthy
person & with no expectation of material returns.
of giving up one's prescribed duties because of illusion
of giving up one's prescribed duties because of fear or
because they appear troublesome.
of performing one's prescribed duties because they ought
to be done & abandoning attachment to the fruits of
meager, unrelated to the Absolute Truth; breeds attachment
to one kind of work as all in all; concerned only with
bodily comforts, eating, sleeping, mating & defending
& so resembles the knowledge of animals.
rise to speculative doctrines & theories through which
one sees the body as the self & consciousness as
temporary by-product of the body; rules out the existence
of the eternal, individual soul within.
rise to a vision of one undivided spiritual force within
the bodies of all living beings.
violent, distressing to others; performed in illusion,
without consideration of scriptural injunctions or further
bondage & consequences.
under false egoism & with great effort to satisfy
one's desires to enjoy the fruits of his work; results
under scriptural regulations as a matter of duty, without
attachment & without love of hate; renounces the fruits
scriptural injunctions; materialistic, obstinate, cheating,
lazy, morose, procrastinate & expert in insulting
to the work, the fruits of work, desires to enjoy them;
greedy, always envious, impure, moved by joy and sorrow.
from material attachments, pride & false ego; enthusiastic,
resolute & unwavering in success or in failure.
irreligion to be religion & religion to be irreligion;
strives always in wrong direction
perverse & imperfect, cannot distinguish between religion
& irreligion; truth & untruth; & what should
& should not be done.
discriminates under scriptural direction between what
is to be feared & not be feared, & what is liberating
& what is binding.
go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness
upon securing the fruits of religion, economic development
& sense gratification.
unbreakable, sustained with steadfastness by yoga, which
control the activities of the mind, life & senses.
to self-realization, delusion from beginning to end, comes
about from sleep, laziness & illusion.
from contact of the senses with their objects, seems like
nectar at first, but poison at the end; epitomized by
to poison in the beginning but nectar at the end because
it involves control of the mind & senses; it awakens
one to self-realization.
betting off, slaughter house
(will take a birth as a man in this mode )
(will take a birth as a man in this mode )
(will take a birth as a man in this mode )
order & position on universal form of the Lord
(including Padma Purana & Vishnu Purana)
Yoga- qualities of the practitioner
with personal motives by someone who is envious, proud,
violent & angry & who is a separatist*
thinking he is the best
of the Deities by a separatist with motive for material
enjoyment, fame & opulence.
of the Lord, offering the results of one's activities
in order to free oneself from karmic reaction
A separatist is one who sees his interest as separate
from that of the Supreme Lord, or a devotee whose service
is mixed with the modes of passion & ignorance, regarding
the Lord as an order supplier for his personal desires.
Devotional service according to the three modes thus can
issue of our newsletter will feature a selection from the Bhagavad
Gita, an ancient epic work of literature written by Sage Veda
Vyasa; embodying the spiritual philosophy of Sanatana Dharma
The second chapter of the
Bhagavad Gita is entitled “Sankhya Yoga” or the Yoga of
Knowledge. Sankhya means the logic of thought in a philosophy.
The symphony of the Bhagavad Gita has many themes but the
central ones are three: Gyana, Bhakti and Karma. Light.
Love. And Life. In the second chapter, we get an exhaustive
summary of the entire philosophical content of the Gita and
as such, this chapter can be viewed as an epitome of the entire
Lord Krishna advising a despondent Prince Arjuna who
does not wish to fight his kith and kin on the battlefield
“Dehinosminyatha Dehe Kaumaram Yauvanam
Jara, Tatha Dehantarapraptirdhirastatra Na Muhyati.”Selection
# 2. Chapter II Verse 13.
JUST AS IN THIS BODY THE (EMBODIED) SPIRIT
PASSES INTO CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND OLD AGE, SO ALSO THE SPIRIT
PASSES ON TO A NEW BODY; THE FIRM MAN DOES NOT GRIEVE THIS.
COMMENTARY: We have a memory of
our childhood and youth even when we are in our old age.
For this to happen, the memory and the memorizer must both
be the same entity, only then can the faculty of memory function.
In the process of life, childhood dies away and youth appears,
and youth must die before old age can manifest itself.
We know that neither the childhood nor the youth are with
an old man and yet he can recall his early days. It
thus becomes evident that “SOMETHING” in us is constant in
all the different stages of our growth and so the same entity
remembers the experiences of the past.
Applying this logic, youth may be considered
as a birth when the childhood has met with its death.
So too, old age is born only when the youth is dead.
And yet, we do not grieve these changes and in fact, enjoy
the experience of growth and change as the body moves from
innocent childhood to adulthood and maturity in old age.
This verse asserts in clear terms the
truth of the Reincarnation Principle. The Masters of
all ages have accepted, expressly or tacitly the logical conclusions
of the Reincarnation Theory. Very often, to an uninitiated
student of Vedanta, this theory appears utterly staggering
and beyond comprehension. Christ Himself has proclaimed to
his disciples that “John, the Baptist, was Elijah.”
Solomon’s BOOK OF WISDOM says: “To be born in sound body with
sound limbs is a reward of the virtues of past lives.” And
the famous declaration of the learned Prophet of Islam who
said: “I died out of the stone and became a plant; I died
out of the plant and became an animal; I died out of the animal
and became a man. Why then should I fear to die? When did
I grow less by dying? I shall die out of man and shall
become an angel!!”
Krishna declares in the Gita that the embodied
Spirit comes to identify Itself with various forms, which
temporarily gain a limited but determined set of experiences.
It is only clear philosophical thinking which can guide our
intellect to an understanding of the continuity from the beginningless
past-through the present-to the endless future. The
Spirit remaining the same, it gets seemingly conditioned by
the embodied ego and experiences through the ego the self-ordained
Krishna explains to Arjuna that wise men
do not worry when they leave one body for the purpose of taking
another one. We do not moan the death of our childhood following
which alone can we experience youth, assured in the knowledge
that though our childhood has ended, there is a continuity
of existence of the same one and only, and that the child
has become a youth. So too, at the moment of death,
it is merely the embodied ego of the dead body leaving its
previous garb (body), and depending on the vasanas (mental
impressions and conditionings) it has accumulated during its
embodiment, it seeks identification with another garb in which
it can express itself and seek its perfect fulfillment.
Swami Chinmayananda's "The Holy Geeta".
Vedanta: “Ved” means knowledge and
“anta” means the end. Vedanta literally means
the end of the Vedas (the four beginningless books
of knowledge). Vedantic texts are also known as Upanishads
and contain words which reveal the Eternal Truth. Vedanta is
a valid means of knowledge that provides direct experience of
one’s innate state of Perfection. The reason Vedanta
can provide direct knowledge of the Eternal Truth is because
Vedanta concerns the “attainment of that which is already
attained” like looking for your keys all over and finding them
in your pocket. It is the study of Vedanta that
gives rise to direct perception and knowledge of the Self or
Atman. The Bhagavad Gita written by
Sage Vyasa is a Vedantic text of this ultimate Knowledge
that can lead to Self-Realization.
Vedas are divided into 4 sections; the last being
the Gyana Kanda or the Knowledge Section. The Vedas
contain knowledge directly revealed by the Paramatma
or Supreme Self and this knowledge was transmitted from Guru
(teacher) to Shishya (pupil) since time immemorial.
The knowledge was transmitted to qualified students worthy
of receiving it.
Vedanta has only one end: direct
knowledge and experience of the Atman or Self. As
the Gyana Kanda is the end of the Vedas, it is called
Vedanta. The knowledge of Vedanta is not a means
for some other end, it is the end in itself.
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