Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 103 "You Can Liberate Yourself"
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You Can Liberate Yourself     
 “You can liberate or bind yourself. Nobody else can bind you or liberate you. If you learn to lead a simple life you will have more time to think of something higher—to make your life noble, peaceful and useful.

“God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”  —Sri Swami Satchidananda
(photo: Zinal, Switzerland, early 1980s)

When You Feel That Your Heart Has Closed
By Swami Satchidananda

Find out why your heart has closed and understand what you gain by that. Is there any real benefit by being like that? Look at the pros and cons, the advantages and the disadvantages. You will see a lot of disadvantages in being closed. When you close your heart, it’s like putting a fence around your house. You are literally putting yourself in a prison. You don’t let others come in, and you can’t go out. When you think about all these things, you begin to open up. Think of how nice it will be if you open up. And don’t think you can do everything just by your capacity alone. Know that there is a Higher Power—grace will help you. But you have to sincerely ask for it. Unless you ask, you won’t get it. By asking, you are opening yourself. And it’s not that God is waiting for you to ask, or that God is miserly; no. The process of asking itself is an opening. You cannot ask without opening. So open your heart and even if you can’t open your heart to people, open your heart to God. Then, you will know how to open your heart to people, also. Pray sincerely, trust in a Higher Power. Many, many things are wrought by prayers than the world dreams of.  So, let’s believe in sincere prayer; it’s a great thing to achieve. It’s a very simple thing also, if we have a good heart, an innocent heart.

A beloved spiritual luminary and spiritual brother of Swami Satchidananda, Thavathiru Santhalinga Ramasamy Adigalar—the 97 year-old Pontiff of Perur Adheenam in Coimbatore, India—entered Mahasamadhi on August 31, 2018. His successor, His Holiness Kailai Punithar Dr. Santhalinga Marudhachala Adigalar (formerly known as Swami Marudhachala), was just sworn in as Pontiff of the Holy Kailash Meikandaar Perur Aadheenam, ensuring that the holy lineage remains unbroken. Read more about Swami Satchidananda’s spiritual experiences at the Perur Temple, including childhood stories; his long association with the Pontiff and the Temple; and read the letter sent by Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville memorializing Thavathiru Santhalinga Ramasamy Adigalar. Read here.

Our spiritual dilemmas often revolve around deciding how to act in a difficult situation, when none of the choices feel quite right. A variation of this occurs when we struggle to distinguish between a higher, or divine, will and the will of our ego-mind.  This can be especially difficult when the voice of the ego-mind, well aware of the teachings we embrace, disguises itself in convincing spiritual reasoning. Maybe for this reason, we chose to practice non-action in the midst of action for the month of September. This paradoxical concept implies that the ego-mind, the voice in us that we normally identify with, becomes silent and inactive so that our choices are guided solely by a higher source, the spiritual consciousness, or conscience at the heart of our being. Then one could say that the little ego, “me,” is not acting even while the body-mind is performing actions. To fully experience this requires a very evolved state of being—a complete freedom from personal desires. However, we can all take some steps right now to grow in our ability to act (or not act) this way.  MORE

In this short video, Laura Plumb, a Yoga teacher and Ayurveda consultant, talks about the essence of  Yoga practice. While Yoga, for many, is a way to keep fit, it is essentially a path to opening to oneness.

Understanding Yogic Concepts of Health and Disease
By Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Yoga is a spiritual science for the integrated and holistic development of our physical, mental and moral-spiritual aspects of being. The philosophy of Yoga is practical and applicable in our day-to-day living. Yoga has been documented to normalize physiological function and recent advances in the field of research have shown that it has sound scientific basis. Yoga understands health and well-being as a dynamic continuum of human nature and not a mere ‘state’ to be attained and maintained. The lowest point on the continuum with the lowest speed of vibration is that of death whereas the highest point with the highest vibration is that of immortality. In between these two extremes lie the states of normal health and disease....The process of human evolution passes through numerous forms on the journey from the lowest to the highest. This journey is very well brought out in a verse from the Shivapuranam of Dravidian culture that describes the evolutionary journey from the non-moving state of rocks, grass, small plants and trees to the moving state of worms, various animals, birds and snakes up to the human state and finally ending at the divine state of sages and celestial beings (Sivapuranam verse 30).  MORE

Integral Yoga teachers and therapists Taravati Tania Turcinovic and Srimati Nicole Leo-Randazzo, from the Integral Yoga Institute of New York and its Wellness Spa, are featured on the cover (front center) of the summer issue of Yoga Therapy Today, a publication of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. This issue’s feature article makes a strong case for Yoga therapists to develop their knowledge of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to help clients perceive their own patterns more clearly. It also includes a fresh look at Ayurvedic assessment tools, timely consideration of how therapists may be inadvertently shaming others, and suggestions for deeply engaging with the nervous system’s signals.

Before journeying into devotional music and kirtan, Donna De Lory toured the world as Madonna’s back-up singer and dancer for two decades. She has done extensive recording work with such artists as Bette Midler, Leonard Cohen, Belinda Carlisle, Carly Simon and Selena; lent her voice to film soundtracks; and released numerous mantra and devotional music albums. In our Guru Poornima issue, we featured the music track "Guru Om," from Donna's album "Sanctuary," which opens with Swami Satchidananda speaking about the inner guru. Donna has a new album, "Here in Heaven," and she's generously sharing a free download from this new album with our Integral Yoga Magazine readers. For more information, visit her website.

The European Union of Yoga was founded in 1971, and in 1973 Swami Satchidananda was invited to be the special guest speaker during their first annual conference in Zinal, Switzerland. This tradition continued for 15 years, when each September, Swamiji would give many talks at the conference and, prior to it, conduct an Integral Yoga retreat. The European Union is comprised of Yoga federations from the various countries in Europe and this conference continues to this day, now held in August. At this year's conference, Integral Yoga was represented by Integral Yoga Finland's Sari Sharmini Penttilä. Sharmini was invited to teach an Integral Yoga Hatha class each morning. Sharmini also packed 100 little booklets of Gems of Wisdom, that Nalanie Chellaram had given her, to share with people. Sharmini: "It was such a great honor to be in Zinal and to share the morning classes of Integral Yoga. We could feel our Gurudev Sri Swami Satchidananda´s loving and joyful presence there very clearly."

Integral Yoga Publications is happy to announce that it is continuing to add to the online multilingual offerings of Swami Satchidananda's teachings. There are now German, Portuguese, French and Spanish translations available of several titles and these are free to read and to download via the elegant and easy-to-use website and mobile app!

Our Swamis teach by example. For example, Mataji is so widely loved not only because of her compassion, but also because of the way she really listens to you. When she listens, the universe narrows down to her eyes on yours. When the conversation is completed you feel heard. I am one of hundreds—if not thousands—who have improved their own listening skills because of her example.

No wonder Sri Gurudev designated her as the head receptionist at the Connecticut Ashram and later, in Virginia, as head of Guest Services for 30+ years! “We only get one chance to make a good first impression,” Sri Gurudev declared. And great listening is a powerful quality for making that good first impression. (Story: Jeff Ananda Kamen; photos: Swamis–Bill Geoghegan; Mataji & Padma Habib–Ananda)
Inspirational Meme of the Week
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