By Carolyn (Karuna) Beaver
Ujjayi breaths, a Lunge or a few repetitions of mantra always help me hit my reset button. These DIY (do it yourself) practices never fail. In her January Teachings, Sadguru Nirmalananda offers us another. It’s the first DIY “quick fix” in a year-long series.
The practice she offers is called “level up,” like reaching a higher level in a video game. I was excited to see this one. It’s something I already do in meditation. Shortly after I settle into my seat, I often notice that I am leaning more weight into my right side than my left. When I even out my weight, it automatically sends me deeper into my seat. When that happens, I don’t feel as if I’m holding myself up. My spine is weightless, strong and lengthened. It provides the “up vibe” that our Sadguru describes. It propels me deeper into meditation.
In a New Year’s half-day Svaroopa® yoga workshop, I tried this out while standing. We did the Tadasana variation of leaning weight first into one foot and leg, then the other. Then we allowed our weight to be even through the bones of both legs and feet. As I stood evenly in my bones, I felt their solid support. I then noticed the support offered to my spine. Like the seated quick fix, my spine felt energized and elongated. I’d reached a higher level, in the pose and in my Self.
This is DIY yoga. More importantly, it’s “deepen it yourself” yoga. For years, Sadguru Nirmalananda has encouraged us to practice yoga’s many ways of deepening into who and what we really are, the One Self, Consciousness-Itself. The familiar phrase “do more yoga” rings in my ears. To ring in the new year, she’s also encouraging us to do “less” yoga, simply more often.
A quick fix can change everything. It can hit your reset button, bringing you back to who you really are: Shiva. Sadguru Nirmalananda says, “It’s easier to get back to your Self if you haven’t gone too far away.” That’s what makes doing less yoga more often so effective.
Quick fixes do make you feel better. And, of course you want to feel better, but it’s only because you don’t already feel better! When you go chasing after worldly things, you’ll get worldly satisfaction, sometimes not even consistently. The only place to find true fulfilment is inside, not outside.
What if your steady state was a higher state, based in your own inherent bliss and joy? It can be. Swamiji lives from this state consistently. She learned to find it inside from her Guru, Baba Muktananda. And we are learning it from Her. You’ll find the bliss of your own Being, svaroopa, by looking inward, over and over and over again. Do less yoga, more often, until over and over again becomes forever.