By Kristine (Dhairyavati) Freeman, SVA Board Member
I was stunned by an inner visual of my heart frozen in a block of ice. Swami Nirmalananda (then Rama Berch) had asked us to travel inward, down from our heads and into our hearts. This was many years ago in Swamiji’s ”Heart Openers” workshop at a yoga retreat center. Later, I realized that I had traveled through some tough times at a young age. At that time, I had been unable to experience my experience while I was experiencing it. The block of ice was actually a gift. It preserved my heart for the future. Swamiji’s workshop was the beginning of opening my heart and living from my heart.
Though I couldn’t feel my heart, I could feel layers and layers of muscular pain in my body. Practicing Svaroopa® yoga began the process of unraveling my body’s muscular tension. As my body began to open, I noticed the yoga defrosting my heart as well. When I was able to add Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation to my daily practice, the process accelerated. I had more and more experiences of my Divine Self within. I felt grounded and supported by the inner vastness, the undercurrent of quiet joy. I began to take that feeling into my life.
No matter which of yoga’s many practices you choose, yoga’s goal is the experiential knowing of your own Self. It’s an inside undertaking, an insight job, propelled by your practices. The Shiva Sutras, a primary text in the Svaroopa® Sciences philosophy, describes the process this way:
aasanastha.h sukha.m h.rde nimajjati — “Siva Sutras, 3.16
Firmly seated in the heart, the yogi will be easily steeped in pure bliss.
(translated by Swami Nirmalananda)
“Firmly seated in the heart” doesn’t refer to your physical heart or your emotional heart, but the heart of who you really are. Swami Nirmalananda describes it, “It’s what yoga does for you – immerses you in the heart of your own beingness. This is the essential part of every human being, that core essence that yoga names ‘svaroopa.’”
When you open your heart, you naturally want to give from the bottomless depth of your being. You want to contribute. It works the other way too. Swamiji says that when you open your wallet, even a little bit, you open your heart. Giving and sharing are a mark of personal, and yogic, growth. You grow by caring. You grow by contributing.
Please join me in participating in our Spring Fundraiser: With All Your Heart. Giving back to the source of the gift is the ancient yoga practice of dakshina. Yet we are offering you a completely modern way to engage in it. Make your donation online in our Enrollment System or on our Facebook page.
Do more yoga. Open your heart. Grow by caring. Contribute today!