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5 Yoga Revelations from the Heart of India


I had the good fortune to recently spend a month in the chaos and grace that is India.

We took a group of yogis on a Hanuman Adventure to Rishikesh, where we immersed in the wisdom of the land and sat with many master teachers, including Anand Mehrotra, founder of Sattva Yoga Academy.

As we journeyed to temples, meditated in caves, dipped in the Ganga, and absorbed the rich wisdom teachings, I felt an extraordinary shift in my consciousness begin to occur. The big transformation happened on the banks of the holy river. Here are some of my insights:
1 – Grace is always available.

Beneath the surface of the fluctuating mind is a constant, ever-present ocean of grace. When you stay on the surface, you only experience the chaos. You get easily agitated by the commotion, the honk of horns, the cow pooh in your path. You resist and fear the unknown, wanting to control what is happening around you. You suffer.

In every moment, no matter what is happening on the surface, you can inquire deeper. Simply drop into your breath. Notice the beauty in the reflection on the water and in the eyes of those you see. Settle into the rhythm of your heart and soften into the flow of being. Experience the miracle of life happening in each moment. Here… Grace is here.

Grace is always available. Our task is simply to make ourselves available to Grace.


2 – Trust the natural flow.

Nature is ultra intelligent. Not only are the rivers and mountains and birds and bacteria a part of this natural intelligence, but so are you and I. The life thriving on this planet is a miracle of natural intelligence happening every single moment.

Nature’s got this.

You or I attempting to assert our “will” upon her is silly…futile. A much better choice is to harmonize with her divine flow. Don’t force yourself against the current. Surrender into the natural intelligence guiding you. Don’t try to control it, or mold it to the desire of your ego-personality. Get silent. Listen from deep within the silence. Be patient. Wait for it. When the knowing comes, trust and flow.
3 – Over-efforting is way over-rated.

In our culture, over-efforting is a way of life. Everyone is constantly trying to make something of themselves to avoid being a “nobody”. Being way too busy is normal and the status quo is constantly feeling “not enough”.

Whoa, nelly. Who agreed to that one?

Instead of encouraging us to be “somebody”, the essence of yoga really teaches us to let go into nobody — to merge our isolated, individual ego-personalities into union with pure consciousness. We understand that we are all sparks of the same brilliant light. We are all meant to shine, just as we are. We are born into this life innately enough. The journey is to remember that.


4 – It is all one big, happy paradox.

There is one, infinite and indivisible, AND there are many. They are both true. You are spirit AND you are human. They are both true. This universe is infinite and limitless AND from the perspective of the human nervous system, time is limited. They are both true.

We can embody and experience our infinite, divine nature AND live an ordinary human life, taking care of the kids and washing the dishes.

It is not one or the other. It is both and.

Open your mind to the understanding that paradox is the nature of life. Release the rigidity of “right” and “wrong”. Get curious about what you think you know. Open yourself to all possibilities.
5 – The mind will never go away.

Even if you achieve “expert meditator status” you will still have thoughts. You will still experience the monkey mind. Fears will come and go. You will sometimes feel irritated.

Something Anand Mehrotra said resonates so deeply for me: “Enlightenment is not the end, it is the beginning of life.”


You simply awaken to the paradox. You understand that the monkey mind is not everything. You get better at letting the thoughts pass right on through without sticking. When the ego rears its fantastical head, you ignore it and look towards grace.

As I integrate back into the rhythm of life here in Colorado, preparing for our annual yogi reUnion at Hanuman Festival this June and the launch of our new online Hanuman Academy, the course with Anand Mehrotra, I am so grateful for these revelations. Yoga is an ever-expanding journey. No matter if you are new to yoga or have practiced for decades, there is always something to understand and embody at a deeper level.

This June 15-18, 2017 in Boulder, CO we gather for Hanuman Festival, our conscious and heartfelt national gathering, to study with master teachers and grow in powerful ways. Featuring Seane Corn, Rod Stryker, Amy Ippoliti, Sianna Sharman and so many others. Experience the power of nourishing community to uplift and inspire your highest potential and wellbeing.

And next March I will be back in Rishikesh for another epic Hanuman Adventure, and until then and forever more I choose to live yoga each and every moment, on and off the mat. Jai Hanuman!


The post 5 Yoga Revelations from the Heart of India appeared first on Yoga Digest and then at YogaDo, 5 Yoga Revelations.


Sattvic Living: Cultivating Daily Devotional and Self Care Rituals

Sattva Yoga Academy, Rishikesh

Cultivating daily rituals is an important part of living a conscious life. It is something we discuss and practice in great depth during Sattva Yoga Teachers Training and Immersions. These rituals include devotional and self care rituals. Daily meditation is a time where we open ourselves to receive grace as we are deepening in our spiritual connection, transcending and experiencing spaciousness and expansion of consciousness. During this sacred time we often times make contact with a deep state of gratitude that can only be experienced through the heart, and cannot be explained or comprehended by the mind. When we carry this state of gratitude into our day, we experience life in its brilliance. Each morning at The Sattva Retreat we rise just before the sun peeks through the mountaintops and gather with Anand Mehrotra, the founder of Sattva Yoga, at the river for our morning Sadhana. It is my favorite time of day. Hearing the sounds of running water, the bells of the donkeys as they pass by and various species of birds chirping while meditating brings forth an experience of true bliss and graciousness.


In addition to daily meditation and devotional rituals, self-care rituals are equally necessary as our bodies serve as vessels, a home for the soul, for the divine to work through us. Therefore, It is so important to nourish our bodies, fostering a healthy environment physically, which begins from within so that we are able to carry out our dharma to our highest potentiality.

Here in India Ayurveda is a way of living, it means life science and is an ancient healing system dating back 1,000’s of years. As the sister science of yoga, the goal of Ayurveda is to align the body with the natural rhythms of nature as much as possible. Because in reality we are nature, nothing separates us from the tree, the ocean or the sky than matter itself. So aligning our bodies with nature¹s cycles is the key in creating balance and living our most abundant life… one full of vitality!

Ayurvedic principles suggest performing morning self care rituals in support of bringing the mind and body into a state of harmony. I have been practicing these rituals for quite some time and oftentimes recommend them to individuals who are seeking a more balanced lifestyle. If you at times feel ungrounded or out of balance, try this simple routine for 40 days to experience deeper alignment and vitality. We are lucky here at The Sattva Retreat to have a full- service Ayurvedic spa, where I love getting treatments when I feel my body needs a “re-charge”. However, this routine is easy for you to do at home or when you are traveling..

Morning routine:

Rise: with the sun or between the hours of 5 and 6am. Wakeup with nature and this is the most sattvic time of the day. Sattva means peace, stillness,
quiet. After 7:30 am rajas kick in. Rajas are movement and energy, (think traffic begins, people are outside moving, and sounds become loud) our minds
automatically align to that part of nature. By spending the first hours of our day in a peaceful state of consciousness we are open to receive, happier and clearer throughout the day. Wash your face, brush your teeth and scrape your tongue upon rising.

Meditate: Sitin lotus positionor on a chair in a quiet spaceand meditates for at least 30.minutes.This is sacred time for your soul. After you meditate light some candles, do some chanting, listen to soft music…anything to set a devotional mood, or Bhava, for your day.

Movement: Do at least 10 minutes of Asana, Pranayama or Kriyas to activate the Prana (life energy) in the body. It also will ground you into your body before you begin moving through the day. Oftentimes when we wake up in the morning we are not 100% in our bodies because we are transitioning from dream into a waking state.

Oil massage: Give yourself a massage with sesame oil, rubbing it on the body in circular motions beginning at the neck and shoulders. After waiting for 5 minutes, enjoy a nourishing shower connecting to the element of water. The oil calms the nervous system as well as removes excess vata (energy, air element within us, which causes mind chatter). You will feel more clear in your consciousness and calm all day.

Drink Hot water with lemon: Do this before eating or drinking coffee,
this alkalizes the body as well as gets the digestive system moving along.

Food: Food is Prana, life energy therefore we must be conscious of what we put in our mouths as it is our fuel. Alive, nourishing, colorful Sattvic foods from nature versus processed foods. If you ask your body what it needs it always will tell you. Just listen…Eat intuitively, balancing your meals with cooked vegetables and whole grains.

Throughout your day remember to take moments, or as I call them “sacred pauses” to connect with nature. Go outside breathe in some fresh air, filling the body with new prana. Nature always provides connection, serenity and healing. It is a space where I oftentimes find that the “answers” I am seeking are revealed.

It is my hope that after reading this you are inspired to incorporate these rituals in support of your wellbeing, leading you to experience a more conscious, abundant way of living, bringing you into deeper alignment with your true nature…sat chit ananda!


Sources : Sattva Yoga Academy Rishikesh Blog and Expperiance.

5 Things May Crash Your Immune System and You Get Sick

Immune system is a system of body’s protection against infection and illness. It protects your body from the germs (bacteria and viruses) and parasites. It is your friend that protects you from the infection. It creates, stores, and distributes the white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses in the body. It is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to protect you against illness and keep healthy. But there are many thing matters for your immune system. The things given below can affect your immune system and you get sick.

  • No Exercise: – Workouts are very beneficial for your body and make you strong. The exercise has no direct link to immune system but have effect on the body health. There are lots of benefits of exercises, it maintains your body weights, lowers blood pressures and can protect you from many diseases. Many workouts or yoga exercises have a deep impact on the body. Some people join the yoga teachers training by yoga master and gym centers to get the health benefits.

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  • Stress: – Stress is a reaction that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. It is your body’s way of responding to any kind of situation. A stress can crash the immune system and sometimes time in stress harbor feelings of frustration or resentment and anger. These can degrade and wear out your immune system and you may get sick, or are subject to disease.Getting enough sleep can reduce stress and have a positive impact on the immune system. So enough sleep to get the body back into fighting shape is the key. Stressful moment can make you unhealthy easily and weaken your immune system. The enough sleep may vary by person like most adults need 7-8 hours a night. Teens need 9-10 hours and school-aged kids need at least 10 hours and preschoolers need 11-12 hours whereas new born baby need 16-18 hours sleep.

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  • Antibiotics: – The antibiotics have a bad effect on the body with the good effect. Over 80% of immunity in the body resides in the intestinal tract in the body and built by the healthy ‘friendly’ bacteria balance. The antibiotics change the immune system and kill all bacteria, not just bad bacteria. Since the good bacteria also killed by the antibiotics the ability of the body to produce appropriate immune cells is altered.

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  • Lifestyle Changes: – The life style of a person also affects the immune system. Doing exercises or yoga and sleep well and enough can help your immune system to work at high level. A good outlook is also may be helpful for your immune system. Live with positive attitude and healthy. One study shows that the immune system kept pace with thoughts. When people feel better the immune system work better and when people feel worry, their immune system slow.

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  • Bad Food habits: – Food habits are very important for our immune system. Many studies prove that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables get sick less.Fruits and veggies keep your immune system strong and make you healthy and strong. So eat fruits and vegetables to keep your body away from infection. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables help your immune system fight viruses and bacteria. While dairy products indirectly weaken your immune system because the dairy products (including yogurt, butter, whey protein and cheese) create congestion by generating a lot of mucous. So if you have already a cold and cough than these products is only going to make it worse! So reduce dairy products intake as a whole during this season.

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Well these are five things you can avoid to be healthy and your immune system is optimal at all time.

Sadhana and obstacles

Sadhana means to “tune in”, and is the fundamental everyday practice that we as yogi and yogini commit to reach Liberation or Mokṣha.
Each one of us, as individual and unique human beings, needs peculiar ways to adjust ourselves in behaves, ego, alignment of bodies (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual) in order to permit to the energy, prana, to flow naturally and lead us to liberate, heal, let go, clean and transcend obstacles to personal evolution in the process of expanding the consciousness.
Sadhana is constituted by a sequence of yoga, meditation, and rituals, given form the yoga master, yoga teacher or Guru.
Why do we need instructions?
It is really important to find someone that can lead us in this process because it is very challenging to see oneself from “out side” and correct and see what is really needed for evolutionary work and liberation, at least at the beginning.
But it’s also true that knowing when the beginners-state ends is also quite complicate… but this is another kind of story!

I found the best way to stay committed to Sadhana for me to work with mental tricks that mind will make to seduce me in procrastinate the practices and sabotage my personal evolution.
There are so many mind-tricks and everyday there is a new one like: “Today you are tired, maybe you need to sleep more!!” Or “You don’t need this practice, you already got it, you can go faster and skip it!” Or “Is better if you check email first, and then you can have your Sadhana”. Or “Is not good for you to make everyday the same thing, it’s boring!” or again.. “Maybe you need an energetic walk, instead of seating for thirty minutes in silence!”
The movement of the mind is endless, as endless are the stories that can make up to take us out of focus to practice. The more we have knowledge, and intelligence, the more this stories will be really well made up and appear real!
There is very hard tendency in human being’s nature to NOT change and also to keep the conservation of the present state: change requires a lot of energy, more than keeping things the way they are… or complaining because they are not changing.
So the first thing we have to be really aware of is the commitment to that change.
Are we really ready to let go all the old habits?
Are we really ready to achieve a newer and better state in life?
Once we have established this straight commitment, and are decided to change, we can deal with obstacles.
When a tendency to procrastinate comes, we can observe it as part of the Sadhana and say to it: “I know you are only a voice in my mind, and this is not real.” We can play with it! Don’t ever take that voice seriously, but instead set alarm even earlier in the morning, and make an action that is opposite to the tendency of sabotage.
One powerful key is to take actions!
Be very aware that yoga is all about practice, and any other decision for not to practice is opposite of this principle.
One other thing that can be very helpful is to share part of Sadhana with some other yogi or yogini, as practice yoga together or meditation especially at the beginning can be very helpful.
As more we go further with Sadhana, the gift we receive is that it will become part of our life, Sadhana itself will be our life and naturally flowing with all activities of the day and gradually will make deep and powerful changes.
Habits can be also being built as positive habits, so once our body will be happy with what is happening, it will be easier to maintain the new habits.
So one last suggestion is to focus on the intention that made you the first time to step on the top of you mat or sit on your meditation cushion, which will keep the willingness to proceed strong and still.
Take few moments everyday to connect to that initial motivation, and you will see the difference in the practice instantly.
May you have you an intense, passionate, and powerful Sadhana !
And…never forget to smile, and play with the obstacles: they are part of this beautiful life…
Have a uplifting and energetic day“.

With love,

Source:- Sattva Yoga Academy blog.