By Swami Nirmalananda
I was coming down with a cold. A few days earlier, I’d noticed an itchy feeling at the back of my throat and in my sinuses. I ignored it because I had a group of students arriving for a month-long training. Lots to do! The day before the training began, my sinuses began to fill. My head was heavy and my brain thick. How could I possibly lead the immersion?
My options were clear: go to bed, take lots of drugs and push through, or immerse myself in Consciousness. The first options would take me days, during which I’d feel awful. Consciousness would heal me in an hour or two, depending on how deeply I could dive inside.
Meditation would do it but not quickly, because my mind would be trying to distract me with the task list. So I decided to immerse myself in Sanskrit, the language of the Gods. It would put my mind on a different track, a Divine Track, while deepening my inner grounding into the inner source it named.
I chanted a Puranic text, one with ever-changing Sanskrit words, one I knew from my early days of training. The chanting book I used has Sanskrit lettering — no English letters! Not being very good at the Devanagari, I caught myself cheating within the first few lines. I’d figure out the first word or two and then chant the rest of the line from memory. It wasn’t creating any healing for me. I decided I would not let the sound come out of my mouth unless my eyes saw the Sanskrit letter, my mind took it in and figured out the sound. Only then did I voice it.
The next 5 or 10 verses were very slow. Then my sinuses began to clear. I kept going. My head opened up, my fever went down. It took about 20 minutes. I lingered, resting in a deepening meditative state. Not only was I healed, I was ready to go, roaring into a whole month of teaching others how to rest in Consciousness. Delicious!
Healing comes from the inside out. It’s not yoga’s exercise that makes it work. It’s not even pumping prana that heals you. It’s not even Sanskrit. You can easily understand this; when you have the flu, does vigorous exercise get you over it? No. It only exhausts you. When you have a migraine, you can’t get over it by doing pranayama.
Pushing yourself is the opposite of settling into Consciousness. It is when you look inward, deeper than your mind, that you discover what you are truly made of — Consciousness-Itself. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali calls this “svaroopa,” your own Self. This is the focus of Svaroopa® Yoga. This is why Svaroopa® Yoga Therapy works so fast – it’s all about the healing power of Consciousness.
You already know this. When you are being authentic, coming from center, overflowing with energy, love and understanding, you don’t get sick. Why? Because your Divine Essence is shining through. Your body expresses it in radiant health and boundless energy along with youthfulness and beauty. It is the experience of Consciousness that makes this happen.
Research has proven this to be true. Herb Benson proved that meditation lowers high blood pressure; Jon Kabat-Zinn proved it helps cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases. But the sages knew it long ago. Krishnamacharya’s discovery of the Yoga Karunta gives a 12th century source that says yoga is about healing, health and longevity. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, usually dated at 300+ AD, states that the poses are to prepare you for meditation.
All of this is true. How wonderful! It means that yoga can give you what you want. But if all you are looking for is beauty, youth, health and vitality, you’re still missing out on something. What’s that? Your own “Self.”