August 1987. I visited the Aliyar Temple of Consciousness for the first time in my life. It is a serene atmosphere with no noise, and you can hear your own breath. The temple was built by Yogiraj Sri. Vethathiri Maharishi in the 1980s. He had been staying there since then. I had gone there for the Simplified Kundalini Yoga master’s course.
Ever since my first visit, I had been to the Aliyar Temple of Consciousness several times for meditation retreats, to conduct courses, and to do my service as the IT Director.
Here are four meditation retreat practices I tried at home to remain peaceful.
- Exercise in the morning before breakfast
- Twice a Day Kundalini Meditation
- Kayakalpa Yoga
- Introspection in Silence
I want to share my experience in these four practices.
I am writing this note after doing my morning exercises and meditation. I don’t like to miss them. I don’t remember missing them for too many days in the past 34 years since I learnt them.
I finish my Kayakalpa yoga along with my morning exercise routine. I have cultivated a habit of doing my evening Kayakalpa yoga before my dinner.
I have begun to do my regular introspection daily. I used to dedicate Sundays for silence introspection for many months some years ago. Due to professional and family reasons, I have switched to a daily introspection routine.
I love these four practices. Why?
Because I get the following benefits.
You see, I have a tall six-foot frame. I sit on my computer chair for 8 to 10 hours a day. You can imagine how difficult it can be to maintain my posture.
Helps to remove my neck and shoulder pain from sitting in front of the computer all day long.
Gives me flexibility
Over the years, my neck, lower back and hips have become stiff. I love the hand and leg exercises as they keep me flexible.
I had primary complex diseases when I was around 9 years old. My lungs had become weak. But, neuromuscular breathing exercises have strengthened it. Today, I speak in 10-12 classes in SKY Yoga over two to three days without a break and I don’t feel tired. You know how much lung power you require to speak for 18 to 24 hours over three days. Breathing helps to clear my respiratory system and promotes better oxygenation.
If you had met me 35 years ago, you would have called me chicken-brained. Exercises increase my concentration powers. Meditation intensifies my concentration. I never miss my breathing and Makarasana exercises particularly. It enhances my memory and learning abilities.
Strengthens my backbone
Makarasana exercise strengthens my backbone and muscles. It prevents injuries and reduces pain. It helps to develop stronger bones and ligaments.
Acupressure and deep relaxation reduce stress. It helps to calm down my nerves and relaxes my mind. Meditation and regular introspection, particularly the eradication of worries process help to remain free of stress.
I used to get stressed for two main reasons:
- Time pressure
- Financial pressure
With regular introspection practices, I now plan and act. Problems exist even today. But, worries are no more. I systematically work towards eliminating the reasons for my stress. It is a disease that I am free of thanks to the practices I learned in Aliyar through Swamiji.
Improves blood circulation
It helps to prevent diseases and maintain the proper functioning of organs.
It helps to eliminate waste products from my body. I feel my inner organs are clean because it removes toxins from my body effortlessly. My bowel movements are regular.
During my college days, my memory had gone for a toss due to certain bad habits such as smoking. Kayakalpa yoga strengthened my vital energy and increased my memory.
Aliyar meditation and silence retreats are a treat. It showed me that happiness is a state of well-being characterized by joy, service, contentment, love, compassion, hope, gratitude, peace and wisdom.
I learned to find happiness inside me. I used to put happiness outside of myself, in the results of my actions, in other people’s appreciation of my work, in salary increases, in job promotions, in celebrity status, etc. I was vulnerable. I got hurt. I felt sad each time I got disappointed.
Aliyar retreats showed me that true happiness is Karma yoga.
Made me Smarter
I have seen that regular SKY Yoga practices improve cognitive functions such as attention, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity, and abstract thinking.
These improvements translate into higher academic success rates and enhanced job performance.
I attribute my high productivity to these practices.
At Aliyar, Swamiji taught us to introspect on ‘Who Am I.’
Am I the body? I have a body but I am not just the body.
Am I the mind? I have a mind but I am not just a mind.
Am I the ego? I have a soul but I am not just an ego. The ego is a smoke screen my mind creates to relate to the world. It is an illusion.
Am I the soul? I have a soul. Jeeva Atma is entangled in my body. There is a divine force that powers this Atma. Magnetism embodies my physical and mental being. It is the same magnetism that envelopes and binds the entire universe. There it is Parama Atma.
Am I God? I have a divine being and I am God in a personified manner. I have impurities. God is without contamination. I have imprints. God is pure. When my mind reaches stillness and my genetic centre is purified, I become one with God. I am the divine force. With this awareness, I realize the heaven inside. There is bliss.
I become aware of my inner strength and abilities. It makes me feel confident.
The list is endless, actually.
I will stop here and ask you one question.
Have you been to the Aliyar Temple of Consciousness and attended any meditation retreats or silence retreats? Let me know your experience.
I would love to listen to you.
Remember I am here to help you succeed.
Be Blessed by the Divine!
Krish Murali Eswar.