Vishwaguruji in London, October 2018
For the second time this year, the yoga aspirants of Sri Swami Madhavanandaji Ashram in London were fortunate to host and participate in a Weekend Yoga Seminar with the founder of the Yoga in Daily Life System, Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, from 12-14 October 2018.
Participants from around the UK and abroad joined with local yoga practitioners to receive practical guidance and inspiration for integrating the wisdom of yogic principles into the activities of daily life.
Introducing the topic for the seminar – The Yogic Way of Healthy Life – in the Friday evening lecture, Vishwaguruji acknowledged that when the term ‘health’ is mentioned, most people think of the health of the body. However, he pointed out that the body is only temporary and that taking care that we are mentally, spiritually and socially healthy, will reflect in our physical health. In other words, physical health is determined by how we use our mind – our behavior, thoughts and emotions, dietary choices and activities (respectively: achar, vichar, ahar and vihar), including how we relate to others in these matters, will all affect the health of our body.
Vishwaguruji emphasized that harboring strong negative emotions such as anger, hatred and jealousy, will lead to illness in the body. Such emotions can sometimes be hidden within us like a dormant virus and if we neglect to remain aware and wise in our choices, they can manifest from within and create many problems in our life. As examples, he said that anger can lead to stomach ulcers, and hatred "destroys our heart" and can lead to heart disease.
During the Saturday sessions, Vishwaguruji reminded seminar participants and those watching via live webcast, of the importance to monitor our own inner and outer environment and the company that we keep – sanga. To be in satsang is to be nourished by the positive influences of truth, reality, kindness, compassion, generosity, love and joy. In order to be healthy, we must avoid the strong negative influences of a kusang environment, such as bad habits, criticism, intoxication, distraction, violence, cruelty and indulgence of desires.
Practicing the techniques of Yoga in Daily Life – asanas (postures), pranayama (breath exercises), yoga nidra (deep relaxation), hatha yoga kriyas (cleansing techniques) and meditation – provides the means to develop better understanding of our mind and body, enabling us to make positive moment-by-moment choices in our lives, that will improve and maintain good health.
In the Sunday morning session, Vishwaguruji highlighted some simple yet profound techniques, which he recommended for everyone to include in their daily routine, in order to cleanse, refresh and awaken energy in the body and mind:
- Soon after rising, wash the face and hands with cold water.
- In the morning, drink a large glass of hot water, sipping it like tea; and drink enough water throughout the day – if suffering from migraines/headaches, drink 3 liters of water a day.
- Begin meals with a fresh organic salad of mostly leaves and always dress it with a little cold pressed organic oil (eg. olive, sesame, pumpkin oil) to aid the body's absorption of nutrients.
- After meals, sit in vajrasana for at least 5 minutes, with toes flat and with toes tucked under (virasana variation). [See YouTube video extract – for instructions and benefits.]
- In the morning, practice tadasana – standing and walking on the toes for some minutes with hands clasped above the head. [See YouTube video extract – for instructions and benefits.]
- Practice the Bari Khatu Pranam sequence several times every day.