By Deena Rotches
It just works! While I meditate every morning, I am not a person who can wake up at 4 am and immediately sit for meditation. Without first doing my asana practice, including Lunge, I would just be meditating on my aches and pains. Doing my asana practice settles me into my Self, with a quieter mind. Then I can effectively meditate on my Self, the focus of Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation.
My dedication to daily yoga and meditation practice comes from having herniated three spinal discs 20 years ago. I never want to do that again. It’s either continue my daily asana practice or be in pain. So I start my day by at least releasing lower spine tension and compression. That means I do a tailbone pose, a sacrum pose and Lunge, which opens my spine through the waist area. But if I could do only one pose, I would do Lunge.
I discovered that Lunge was “the one” a decade ago, returning home from a long drive to visit my mother. My total drive time was about four hours. If I went to bed without doing a Lunge, I wouldn’t get any sleep. If I did a Lunge, I was OK. I learned to release my tailbone, sacrum and spinal waist area all at once by doing Lunge very slowly.
In Deeper Classes, I learned to go into the Lunge, come back all the way and then go in halfway to get a more thorough spinal release. And I learned other Deeper self-adjustments from my teacher who had gone to ATT. For these powerful, advanced self-adjustments, you have to have a teacher trained in them. I have also been fortunate to receive such adjustments from Swami Nirmalananda herself in immersions at Lokananda in Downingtown.
After my recent Shaktipat Retreat with Swamiji, another student remarked on how faithfully I adhere to daily, 4 am yoga routine. I explained to her that it prepares me for the Sri Guru Gita chant and opens me to my Self. Consequently, I now experience a sense of my Self, beyond thought, that I never expected. This has been the blessing of my life, as I sense the Light expanding. Even in the midst of constant news about crises in our country and worldwide, I feel profound expansion within our Grace-full community. The world needs our presence, as we clear and cultivate it through our practices.