Namaste from Pondicherry, India
Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!
This week at the Ashram we are practicing Santosha (Cleanliness) and are undergoing a cleanse combined with a 3 day fast (water only) to cleanse the body. We are at the same time practicing what is called Eka Dasi, which is a cleansing of the nervous system. Santosha is the first of the Niyamas in the second limb of Ashtanga Yoga. Cleanliness means a lot of things, including how we present ourselves, being showered, clean clothes, etc. but it is also important to cleanse our insides, including our mind, body and emotions.
The internal cleanse that we completed on Monday of the Gastrointestinal Tract is called Shanka Prankshala, and it cleans us from mouth to anus. We drink salt water and move the water through our digestive system with a series of Yoga Kriyas (movements of the body). As the salt water moves through the digestive tract, it cleanses out all he garbage that we have accumulated. There is quite a lot of it! Especially if we eat a lot of processed food, junk food, fast food – so pretty much the Western Diet. The salt then acts as a healing agent after the fact because the process is rough on the system. This is why we only drink water for the 3 days of the process so that the system can heal. On average, it takes 20 glasses of salt water before needing to use the bathroom. Eventually what happens as the practice continues is that what you put in the mouth comes out exactly the same on the other end. That is when you are done! It took me 16 glasses of water to complete the process. I take impeccable care of my body and have a high level of awareness, so it required me a little less than the average!!
We are simultaneously cleansing the nervous system with a practice called Eka Dasi. This simply means eleven in Sanskrit because the practice lasts 11 days. It is a Yantra practice based in numbers and is directly related to the 3 primary nerves in the body, the Ida Nadi on the left side, the Pingala Nadi on the right side and the Sushumna Nadi that runs within the spine. Our cells carry all of the negative energy of past traumas in our life and previous lifetimes and effect our subconscious, which in turn effects our conscious behavior without us even realizing it. How can we reach our highest good if we don’t cleanse not just our body but our mind and emotions as well!!!
These are both beautiful practices that I will be bring back to the community!
In this week’s lesson, we discuss Dharma. This is a big topic. Dharma means our responsibility as a human being, to the world. You see, humans are not meant to be takers, of anything. We are born as pure love and born to give, to help each other as humanity achieve our greatest good. Societal conditioning causes us to do exactly the opposite of our natural state of being!! But there is both good Karma and bad Karma, and it swings the pendulum back and forth. I fear and see that we are in a time where bad Karma appears to be dominant as seen by all the greed, drama and negativity in society. But what can we do as individuals? We are only responsible for ourselves. Our own Dharma. Be the best that you can be, each day. Practice Yamas and Niyamas (more on these in the coming weeks). Be kind, compassionate and loving, even if it is hard to do. Smile at strangers. Reach out your hand to help another human without any expectation of anything in return. Practice helping people anonymously, it is the most beautiful feeling, and practice Yoga, make it a routine in your life as much as you can. As you continue on your spiritual path (this means as you continue your Yoga practice), your Dharma will become clearer and clearer to you. Spiritual growth is hard, so don’t give up! Don’t quit Yoga before the miracle happens!!!!
My Dharma is to carry you this message and many more. I was born to do this. I send each and every one of you my love, understanding and compassion as you continue your Yogic journey.
Enjoy, keep practicing, keep evolving and so much more to come!! As always if you have any questions, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I answer all emails!!!!
In Unity and Love,