Hello everyone! I hope you're all well and staying safe and content in your homes. Today, we will begin Lesson Two in our Kriya Yoga program, courtesy of our textbook "A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya." Yay, something to do, haha! ;)
I have to say, I am proud of us for completing Lesson 1 and for also not rushing it. We really took our time with it, and I think that the benefits can be deeply felt. For example, I can now sit in lotus pose comfortably for about 5 minutes. That, for me, is such an improvement compared to how uncomfortable it used to feel to hold just 30 seconds. In addition, I feel more present. I think this last benefit is the most valuable, honestly.
So let's just give ourselves a pat on the back for learning the following since beginning this journey in March:
With those matters explored, experienced, and then mastered, let's move on!
Lesson Two Syllabus
I'm looking particularly forward to Topic 7 and 8 ;) What about you? Which topic is the most intriguing to you, and why? Let me know! In the meantime, let's begin! Wishing you a happy yoga journey ~ Ashley ❤
A Quick Reminder: What are Shatkarmas?
Yogic science gives as much importance to specific cleansing processes as it does to asanas or pranayama. It is believed that without the regular cleansing of our body and system, then we will not gain the maximum benefits possible from our yoga practice. Basically, the idea is that when the body is free from impurities and pain, then the mind will also function properly.
Body cleansing is gained through the practice of shatkarmas, or the six purificatory techniques. They are essential from the point of view of physical and mental health, and these simple techniques are also highly valuable in healing internal disorders.
There are six main groups of shatkarmas or yogic cleansers as follows:
Each of these groups contains more than one practice such as jala neti, vaman dhauti (or junkal kriya), moola shodhana etc., which will be described at various stages throughout our journey into Kriya Yoga. They are all excellent practices which are designed to purify the whole body and bring about first-class health. They also bring clarity and harmony to the mind. I suggest you try some of them. :)
HERE WE GO!
Notes - Hatha Yoga: Danta Dhauti
Danta Dhauti, one of the shatkarmas, consists of a series of simple practices which clean various organs in regions of the head. These practices are danta moola dhauti (cleaning of the teeth and gums), jihva moola dauti (cleaning of the tongue), kapal randhra dhauti (washing of the skull), karna dhauti (cleaning the ears) and chakshu dahuti (washing the eyes).
These practices, as well as jala neti, are concerned either directly or indirectly with the main senses of the body -- hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting. As such, they are important in enabling us to gain the best possible perception of the world around us. Remember, our sensory perception is dependent on the state of the associated organs. Therefore the following practices, though perhaps seeming rather trivial and simple, are a valuable aid in being able to communicate with and relate to the outside world.
Dinacharya - The use of Jala Neti is one of the key ingredients in a healthy dinacharya (daily routine) practice. A large part of this blog post is referenced from my most favorite yoga book of all time, “A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya,” written by my teacher, Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
With his guidance, we will cover the following common questions about Jala Neti:
Tongue Cleaner Recommendation
Personally, I'm a fan of the copper ones.
If you'd like to learn more about this little guy, consider reading this article from Banyan Botanicals. There's even a video to show you how to use it.
Asanas: An Introduction
Health of Mind and Body
The influence of asanas on one's mental outlook
Asanas as a step to higher awareness
Saraswati, Satyananda. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Yoga Publications Trust, 2013.