This weekend I attended an Isha Hata Yoga program to learn the powerful spiritual process of Surya Kriya.
The heart of yoga
I have deep respect for the beautiful flexibility and the many physical benefits of maintaining a yoga practice.I believe that the physical aspects of yoga frees us by allowing our body to reach our natural, light, flexible, strong, powerful, pain free state.
I love that yoga enables us to not be trapped by our body because if I want to sit a certain way on the ground, and I cannot because my ankles twist and my legs burn – in that way I am trapped. If I want to sink into a deep split, or allow my wrists to carry me the same way my ankles do and I can’t, in that way, I am trapped by my body. So by practicing yoga, I move my body in ways that bring me back to my natural state.
Despite this, I always had a feeling that the heart of yoga was more than the physical benefits of it. I always had a sense that yoga was a tool for something more. I have been searching for ways to use yoga as part of my spiritual practice, a way to energize my subtle body and not just my physical body.
Isha Hata Yoga has given me a direction.
I was so excited to hear that this course was becoming available in Ireland for the first time, and I knew I had to go. I was a little bit worried about making the trip on my own, but my husband told me that I should take it as an adventure, and so I did.
I spent the night back in Galway with my princess friend Abi. She picked me up from the bus station and made me dinner with hot water and lime back at her apartment. We took some silly pictures and got into bed, where Abi kept me up waaaaay past my bedtime with her sweet conversation :D.
The next day, I began my journey to a quaint, grey skied town called Castleisland. I watched the sunrise from the bus.
The energy of the sun has great influence on us. It acts on us every day. If the sun is taken away, we would not be able to survive for long.
When we are able to align with the sun, we will naturally fill up with vitality, good health, and energy.
All our physical processes and capabilities start to open up and align. Surya Kriya is a method of activating the energy of the sun within us, we begin to stabilize our body and mind.
From Surya kRIYA to Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar is a yoga sequence that is known by many. I, too, would practice this daily as part of my morning routine, to honour the gorgeous solar energy that warms my life.
Surya Namaskar is a mostly physical process to honour the subtle nature of the sun, whereas Sura Kriya is a spiritual process that moves you towards a certain direction. Surya Kriya is a powerful and potent yogic practice that must be taught carefully and learned with involvement and awareness. Surya Namaskar is a sequence derived from Surya Kriya, but that is available to all.
The course was conducted over two 3 hour sessions. Before the first session, I spent 30 minutes in meditation in my room and I had the most peculiar experience where I was able to feel a strange sensation in the space between my eyes. I had never experienced this before, though I had always longed to! Every day, I sit in meditation and focus on this spot and wish to feel something. Sometimes I found it hard to even imagine my “third eye”, I just felt as though nothing was there. Eventually, I just stopped thinking about it.
But then, it happened! The only way to describe the sensation was as though there was a finger pressed against it, slowly pulsating. I sat with the feeling, unsure of what it means for me, but I am open, and I am ready.
The course itself was indescribable. It is something you have to experience for yourself. As I have said before, your spiritual awakening is a private and personal experience – You can listen to others about their experiences, but ultimately you must have your own.
Making time for spirituality
I am ready to incorporate Surya Kriya into my daily practice. It was recommended to complete Surya Kriya twice a day for 40 days, and if that is not feasible, then once a day for 6 months. I am going to try for the 40 days.
I will wait till the 1st of October to begin, as I am just 2 days away from completing my 30 day yoga challenge!
It certainly is getting more and more difficult incorporate my spiritual practice in my day. Up till now I have spent 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening towards yoga and meditation, and even that has not always been easy – but it has been doable. There were some evenings when I would only get home at 10:00pm from the hospital and go straight to my mat.
Changing this to around 45 minutes morning and evening will be challenging, especially when I sometimes feel guilty that I should be studying instead.
I guess these are some of the challenges that a person faces when trying to spiritually orient your life without living in an ashram.
How about you? I would love to hear about how you incorporate your spiritual practices into your day, especially when you have other responsibilities like school, work and family.
Life can be so magical sometimes. I am left with a feeling of awe. I have been so dedicated to my spiritual journey for the last month or so, and I was shown the next step to take. I was given everything I needed.
It teaches me – your spiritual journey begins now, today, exactly as you are. Be dedicated and pour your heart into your life, do what you need to do right now, and the next step will be shown to you.
It was such a wonderful experience and I have been blessed with an opportunity to deepen my spiritual practice. If this calls to your heart, find a Isha course near you, and have an adventure!