The Hatha Yogi Journals, Week 2: Steady Rising
These past two weeks, our Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainees have explored many new opportunities: Darshan with Sadhguru, attending Pancha Bhuta Aradhana at Dhyanalinga, and continuing to learn new hatha yoga practices in the morning and evening. Below are a few sharings from the trainees:
My Darshan Experience
Silver clouds drifted along the edge of the Velliangiri mountains as a gentle breeze carrying tiny yellow leaves showered upon us; there was stillness yet palpable excitement in the air that evening. A small gathering of meditators and yogis sat cross-legged in the garden, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their guru.
I thought of Sadhguru’s words, “Don’t go searching for a Guru. When the pain of ignorance within you becomes a scream, a Guru will come in search of you.” I was sitting there only because Sadhguru heard my silent screams and I gravitated towards his light. The sound of the drums and chants bounced off the walls of Chandrakund and I could feel the dampness in my eyes turning into an uncontrollable flow of tears. Sadhguru’s presence arrives before he does, which is an endless ocean-like energy that engulfs everything. Submerged in it and in my own tears, when I finally opened my eyes, he was seated just before me, unmoving but so vibrant. Astounded by his beauty and grace, I was unable to move, speak or even cry and was left gaping. His face, unearthing itself from the ever-growing beard of wisdom, shines just as bright as his penetrating eyes. Every cell in his body radiates so much exuberant energy that you could start a fire by just looking at him intently enough.
Love for a guru is like no other; there is immense faith, trust and a deep sense of devotion without which no real knowledge can be imparted. I have been blessed to have Sadhguru as my guru, for my path is already paved and all that is needed is my willingness to bring perfection to my sadhana.
Life at Hatha Yoga School: The First Chapter
When I announced that I was leaving my home in Memphis, Tennessee for an ashram across the world, many friends and family thought that I’d be falling off the face of the earth. But I actually fell into the lap of the master. We recently had the opportunity to sit with Sadhguru for a Darshan in front of the Chandrakund in the ashram, and many of us Hatha Yoga trainees sat transfixed by the master’s words and presence.
Heath from Atlanta is fascinated by Sadhguru’s talks, as his answers are never predictable, always better than we can anticipate, and both entertaining and enlightening at the same time. Though he has watched nearly every video of Sadhguru speaking that Youtube has to offer, Heath had a new question for Sadhguru and the honor of asking him personally: “What is one question that Sadhguru’s been waiting to be asked?”
In his typical quick-witted manner, Sadhguru responded without a moment’s hesitation, “How to offer myself? That is what I’ve been waiting for.” Heath was thrilled with this, as he feels he can demonstrate the kind of commitment that Sadhguru asked for through the Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. Just by being here and imbibing the essence of Isha in all that we do, from waking at 4 AM, starting the day with Guru Pooja, to our 8 hours of asanas daily, Bhakti Sadhana, to growing accustomed to a vegetarian diet of positive-pranic foods, slowly we are becoming the Hatha Yogis that we need to be in order to spread Isha Hatha Yoga to as many as possible in the world.
Practicing these tools for self-mastery among others would be beneficial for people living everywhere, which is why we are all so excited to get to share what we are learning with the world at large. But for right now, the role of being a student is extremely fulfilling. An enormous part of that fulfillment is due to living and learning in a consecrated space. Energized spaces are our classrooms, fields are our playground, and yoga mats are our vessels to a dimension beyond any we’ve ever known before.
We had the tremendous privilege of attending the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana process in Dhyanalinga to optimize our system before we delve deeper into our Hatha Yoga training. Sadhguru says, “Sitting here, if you are aware of how the water, air, earth and fire in your body are functioning, suddenly you live your life with so much ease, people will start thinking you are superhuman. But this is not about being superhuman – this is about realizing that being human is super.”
Sadhguru has shed light on this powerful spiritual process of Pancha Bhuta Aradhana. It stabilizes body and mind and is particularly beneficial for those suffering from physical ailments, a weak constitution, psychological instabilities, disturbed sleep and a constant sense of fear. The process is also supportive for the fulfillment of one’s ambitions.
Josh from Australia felt that the overall experience of the process really resonated with him. The energy in Dhyanalinga was higher than he had felt there on previous visits. The amount of tranquility present in the ashram leaves him wondering if he’s really even in India, which is notoriously chaotic elsewhere.
Dennis from Holland describes the experience as really intense, initially because there were so many people in Dhyanalinga. As the process started building, there were dancers twirling around the lingam with fire torches that raised not only our body temperature, but our heartbeats also. Dennis says the chanting became so powerful, his body started shaking. Afterwards he noticed that his breathing was deeper, and his day was made with the sweet sesame ball prasadam.
After Pancha Bhuta Aradhana, Sravani from Tanuku went to her favorite spot, a pillar across from Dhyanalinga. She started meditating and found that she couldn’t open her eyes. It began raining, and she still couldn’t move. Moreover, she did not want to. When she finally came out of her meditative state, she went straight to the Patanjali statue and did a pradakshina, circling the noble figure of the father of modern yoga and thanking him for allowing her the opportunity to embark on her Hatha Yoga School journey and hopefully touch other lives as her own life has been touched.
Is it me I’m looking for?
When I look at you,
I feel it is so even more.
You’re finding you too.
We have both hit the floor
Now we desire only to soar.
Found that our body is our ship
Can’t swim from the shore.
That is why we took a trip
To explore what’s in store.
Once in the ocean, you can’t slip
Or ever go back to before.
Steady rising to the peak
Of our own existence.
It’s what we yogis seek.
Welcoming pain without a wince,
This journey’s not for the meek.
We have not been the same since.
Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.