The Making of a Hata Yogi: A Day of Reflection
The Isha Hata Yoga Teacher Training Program is an endeavor to bring back classical yoga in its purest form and to train teachers who can impart this phenomenally powerful science. The second training program began on 22nd July 2013, and in this series, we will be following the participants through their exciting 21-week journey.
In Week Five of the program, as the full moon came around again, the group had a day of Silence.
The beginning of this intense journey into the realms of Hata Yoga began on the auspicious Guru Purnima and already, a month has gone by! As the moon waxed to its luminous peak on 20th August, it was designated a day for reflection, an opportunity for quiet contemplation: the participants were to have a full day of Silence.
Silence is held very sacred at Isha. Sadhguru says, “The English word ‘silence’ doesn’t really say much. In the Sanskrit language there are many words for silence. ‘Maun’ and ‘nishabd’ are two significant words. Maun means silence as we generally know it – you don’t speak; it is an attempt to create nishabd. Nishabd means ‘that which is not sound’ – beyond body, mind and all creation. Beyond sound does not mean absence of sound, but transcending sound.”
“Sound is of the surface, silence is of the core. The core is a total absence of sound. Absence of sound means absence of reverberation, life, death, creation; absence of creation in one’s experience leads to an enormous presence of the source of creation. So, a space which is beyond creation, a dimension which is beyond life and death, is what is referred to as silence or nishabd. One cannot do this. One can only become this.”
So the participants spent the entire day in Silence, devoting themselves to their sadhana and taking dips in the Theerthakunds. As dusk fell, they witnessed the grand spectacle of the Purnima Maha Arati and many took the opportunity to absorb the stillness at the temples up to midnight. At dinner time that evening, the mandapam was so quiet, no passerby would have believed that over 80 persons were eating there.
The Purnima Sadhana left the group in the throes of intense emotion, which resulted in an outpouring of poetry.
A participant, who prefers to stay unknown, writes:
Waves of thought
How can I surf you and not get lost
Drowning I was in a drop of rain
Clouds of madness drove me insane
“Quiet,” I said, “Quiet, I'll be.”
Save me, Silence
Set me free.
Jean Sebastien, from Canada, indulges in a haiku:
The silence is on,
The moon is full,
Slow down and recharge
And Leonor Crisostomo, from Italy, shares her feelings in this beautiful poem:
Silence is a space
where I found I can rest, even if I am walking
a space between me, myself and the intangible infinity
Silence is a sound
a full sound
a primordial sound
it fills the air within and around me
Silence is the wind
the breeze which takes away the morning fog of my mind
the storm which powerfully blows on the emotions within me
a sudden blast of dry wind which shakes my thoughts
Silence is emptiness
a fulfilling emptiness
in it, on a Pournami day, I found myself.
There I met two ancient friends:
gratitude and a sense of belonging.
The group has also been enjoying the scenic surroundings of the ashram. Earlier in the week, they went on a walk to the neighboring village of Madakadu and the beautiful lake there. They walked with clouds and breeze for company, wading through the waters of two cool streams, noting the amazing biodiversity of the Velliangiri Hills. On the way, they sank their teeth into juicy sugarcanes growing in the fields and took photos of colorful bugs. It was a beautiful experience: “I feel like flying and dancing,” one participant said. Some decided to take off their shoes and walk barefoot to intensify the experience. As they stood by the tranquil lake, it seemed like a week of reflection, one way or the other.
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.