Thursday, March 8, 2012

Conference #6 - Yoga is a Mystery

I made it back to Mysore just in time for conference on Sunday. I had spent a relaxing weekend at a beautiful homestay called Palace Estates in Coorg – coffee country!! I’ve always wanted to go so this trip I made sure I did. And it was worth the 4hr drive over super bad roads! The plantation itself was gorgeous. The hosts were lovely. And the general atmosphere was so relaxed. I spent most of the weekend sleeping! LOL! I did venture out to see the waterfall on the property and the palace down the hill from the coffee plants. That was enough of an adventure for me! On the way back we took the nice road (why did we not take this road on the way?) and made it home in 2.5hrs, stopping to buy Coorg coffee on the way, of course! Anyway, conference…

Sharath was super tired. Looked like he was going to fall asleep in his chair when he sat down. So he asked us what we wanted to know. As usual the room was silent, all eyes on him or downcast. LOL! Everyone always has something to say (myself included) until put on the spot. The lovely Elyse from Canada took charge and started us off by asking the following….

Q: Can you speak to us about each of the series and how they affect the body? The subtle body?
A: There are 2,3,5,600 asana’s divided into 3 parts: Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced series. The first is called Yoga Chikitsa or Chikitsa Vibhaga, contains 30-32 asana's in a sequence designed to cure disease's and build strength. Whatever we do we must follow shastra. Yoga is a science and must be followed in a certain way. Asana is the foundation. It's not about external strength, otherwise weight training would suffice. We need internal strength. When we start asana practice we should start slowly, not like instant dosa! Proper dosa takes 2 days to make. Now you can make in 20mins! Like students going to their first class and expecting to do handstand!
The body controls the mind. The mind controls the breath. Once we understand the breath we can control the mind. Once Primary is perfected we move on to Intermediate series or Nadi Shodana. But don't be in such a rush! Primary is beautiful! It is a healer. I practiced only Primary for 3yrs when I hurt my back teaching too much. Don't let your ego get in your way.
Intermediate series purifies the Nervous system. (It also has some good poses for healing.) The Chakras that run through the central line of the body are like branches connecting the 72000 nadis." From my experience (Emma) intermediate can be a tough one. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. It can do a number on you! Especially when you get into the deeper backbends. Damn!! My suggestion is to lock yourself in your room and let the tears, anger, and frustration come up! Journal, journal, journal. We all go through it and it can be really tough, especially on those around you. Sometimes you don't even know you are experiencing it. But this is the job of this series. It finds all our old hurts, our old trauma's and brings them to the surface where we can finally let them go. Just like Primary finds all our old physical injuries and asks us to experience the pain again so that we can fully heal. Knowing is half the battle :)
Advance series or Sthira Bhaga builds more strength and flexibilty. (I remember Guruji saying, "Primary most important. That is why it's first. Intermediate is cleansing. Advanced just for demonstration.") Doing advanced series brings much body pain. Each new asana brings a new pain LOL! Doing any of this too fast will cause injury. Injury is hard to come back from fully. Students want more poses so will go and find a teacher who gives out poses freely. This is not correct. Yoga is not just about the body or physical strength. It is about mental strength.

Q: Can you speak of Shankaracharya and his connection to Ashtanga yoga? (Asked by Clayton Horton)
A: He was a Guru of the Advaita Vedanta tradition. He was not directly linked to Ashtanga. It's that yoga is misunderstood. Most people only follow the Yoga Sutra's but the Upanishads and the Vedas are very important too. The YS only has 3-4 lines about asana. It does not tell you HOW to practice. It's also a very confusing book so you need a good translation. You need to learn about Sandhana, about doing the asana's in a proper way. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika talks about Sthira, to be stable. How can you experience yoga if you are not stable? That is why Drishti is so important. When we use Drishti our mind is more focused. Practice Trataka to help you develop your focus. It's also great for your eye sight!

Q: Is Kriya part of Ashtanga yoga?
A: Kriya is part of the Yama's and Niyama's (the do's and don't of yoga). In the West and in Asia Ashtanga is seen only as a physical practice. All 8 Pilars of the practice need to be strong, not just asana. This will lead you to Samadhi. Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi...When Dhyana grows stronger you can experience Samadhi. Some of you will come back from your experience. Some of you will not. You will come back if you have a desire that is unfulfilled - like wanting a gulab jamun!

Yoga is a mystery. It cannot be properly explained, only experienced within you. The first 4 limbs of yoga (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranyama) are external exercises. The last 4 limbs (Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi) are internal exercises. All of these need to be practiced for the house of yoga to be strong. If only one pilar is strong the house will fall. We know so little - we only know about 10%. Yoga has become a commodity. Our only aim should be to reach higher levels in our practice (NOT JUST MORE ASANA!!) Detachment comes slowly. We are like children still. If you give one child a chocolate another child will cry that they didn't get one. That is what I see when I give one student an asana or authorization. The other student cries that they did not get it. The same with teachers. "How many students do you have?" Who cares!! I would rather have 10 good students than 5000 bad ones.

You all should be practicing Japa mala. Sit quietly every day for 15 minutes and do Japa. Pick a deity, pick a mantra, pick an image (I chant to Ganesha and Green Tara). Doing Japa will help you to reduce your ego. If you can reduce your ego, many good things will happen. That is why I get so angry with all of you when I hear you talking outside before practice. You lose focus and prana! SHHHHHH!

The final question of conference Sharath asked us...
Q: How many of you drink coffee?
My hand went up proudly!! But only about 40 others put up their hands. He shock his head and said...."Not many of you. Not enough. Mysore has very famous coffee! You should all drink before conference (everyone was tired). LOL! These are words Guruji gave to me. I will give to you....

No fear, no fun.
No chapti, no strength.
No pain, no gain.
No coffee, no prana!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Conference #5

My favorite conference to date!! So many things were clarified today. It was super loud as Sharath walked into the shala. Immediately silence fell and all eyes were on him. We began w a mantra as we always do to set the tone. He spoke of the Bhagadvad Gita, how Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he must become a yogi and that the yogi is supreme. He quoted a line from the text that explains the difference between a “tapaswi” a man who lives a disciplined life, and a yogi, who is more than disciplined, who does not get distracted by life, who doesn’t expect anything for his actions. A yogi seeks “jnana” or knowledge. But it’s not just knowledge from books – anyone can read and get knowledge that way. It’s about knowledge from books and from practice. About applying what we read and practicing. We are seekers on this path. We are all seekers on the path of yoga. But be careful! Don’t go looking for yoga! It’s within you! Don’t chase it – you will never catch it. On this path you must practice “dhira” you must be brave. We must realize our inner beauty, our soul. Our daily practice is internal, not external. Yoga is union. It is about joining the individual soul with the supreme soul, joining jivatma with Bramha. “Chitta vritti nirodaha” refers to the state of mind not the body. The idea of yoga today is all external exercise. For your practice to be Yoga you must have dedication and devotion. Why am I practicing? You must know this.

We moved on to questions pretty quickly as he was tired and was supposed to leave early for a family function. He ended up staying for the full hour. I am so happy he did!! Read on to find out why….

Q: Why, in your opinion, has yoga (in its physical form) spread so quickly around the world?
A: It’s attractive. It has been turned into a business that “makes you more beautiful”. But it’s also the platform for spiritual practice. The experience of yoga is unique to each individual. Even though we all practice the same asana’s in Ashtanga Yoga, our experience of the practice, is different.

Q: How do you approach the practice to make it more spiritual?
A: "Don’t focus on the asana’s. Focus on the yama’s and niyama’s to make it more spiritual."
Sharath then asked us to answer the question “ What is spirituality?” The first answer he said was too shallow. The next person quoted the Yoga Sutra’s….”Don’t quote the Yoga Sutra’s to me! I can quote many of the texts. I want to know what you believe spirituality to be.” He was reiterating the point that we are seekers on “jnana”. To really understand not just quote books, to speak from experience and personal understanding. “Spirituality is about changing oneself, to go deeper into our experience. Once we correct ourselves we always then go out to change the world and make them act like us. If we change ourselves inside, if we follow the yama’s and niyama’s, our world will change without force. Once we develop the Y’s and N’s in ourselves, then we become spiritual beings."

Q: Can you demonstrate the difference between Ujayii pranayama and “breathe freely with sound”?
A: "No. I just had my breakfast. LOL! Ujayii pranayama is not the breath used during practice. We just use breath with sound. That was something that got confused years ago when Guruji was asked. His English wasn’t that good and sometime he just said yes." (It’s funny because I was there for that conference when Guruji was asked about the diff between Ujayii pranayama and Ujayii breath. To me it was clear that there was a diff between the two. And I just had a conversation poolside with Annie Grover Pace who spoke to Guruji extensively about the diff between the two….)

The next question was asked starting with “In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga…” Sharath stopped the student and said, “Don’t call it Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It’s just Ashtanga Yoga. When you call it Vinyasa you make it less than it is, only focusing on one limb. Is there vinyasa in Yama’s? Is there vinyasa in Niyama’s? No. So it is just Ashtanga Yoga.” Again, while speaking with Annie she said that it should be about clarification. There are those out there that practice yoga with Baba Hari Das and call it Ashtanga Yoga. So people are just trying to be clear.

Q: Emotional release during practice?
A: You have a long way to go! Emotion will come. If the breath is not correct, if the asana is uncomfortable, if the mind is not focused. Let it out! It’s good. If you keep it in you will have “Chanchara” monkey mind.

Q: Can you be more specific about bhakti/karma/jnana yoga all happening within Ashtanga yoga?
A: Karma – your actions will change, you will do things without expectation.
Bhakti – you have to have dedication and devotion.
Jnana - Daily practice will teach you about YOU. You will learn about YOU.

Q: What about when you have children? Do you devote less time to your practice?
A: Always devote time to your children. They are our teachers. We think we are teaching them but they are really teaching us. They are like God. They are pure, innocent. If you can become childlike you will become a yogi. But no, don’t devote less time to your practice. Give the child to your husband/wife and take 2hrs to practice!

Until next time!!

Conference #4

Today’s conference started w questions….

Q: When can we start to practice Pranayama?
A: The 8 kumbhaka’s can only be done when you have mastered asana – so at least Intermediate series. Kapalabhati is ok and can be done after utplutihi. You can also do simple Pranayama’s like Surya Beda (inhale left nostril block right side, exhale right nostril block left side 5X – good for colds). And Nadi Beda (inhale right nostril block left, exhale left nostril block right 5X). Pranayama is necessary for proper circulation. That is why Vinyasa is so important in our practice. Asana without the breath is just gymnastics. Concentrate/focus the mind and be present, especially if fear comes up in the practice i.e. back bending. In the HYP it tells us we only have 26600 breaths to take in one lifetime. By doing Pranayama, controlling the breath, we can reduce the # of breaths that we take thus lengthening our life! If you are a woman you will already have a longer lifespan as women are stronger mentally – lol!
Pranayama purifies the body & nervous systems like a vacuum cleaner. It helps us to detox bringing fresh oxygen to the tissues and cells. Digestive power will increase (in pascimottanasana) if done correctly.

We moved on from questions to Sharath just addressing general issues regarding the practice. One thing he speaks of almost every week is incorrect usage of handstand. “Ekam inhale, dve exhale, trini inhale handstand – not correct! So many students doing this. Many teachers teaching this. Putting video’s on Youtube and Facebook. Just jump back. This lifting is gymnastics, not yoga. The breath is not there so the vinyasa is incorrect.” Every week he addresses this issue and every week the same people continue to lift up into a half handstand while jumping forward and back. I guess he’ll keep saying it until people start to listen.

Bandha’s are so important in our practice. Mula bandha should be practiced all the time! It is what will help you control your mind. He who does mula bandha all the time will become a Raja Yogi. In Utplutihi contract your anus and pay no attention to my (Sharath’s) count! LOL! Just hold for as long as you can. Contract the anus in all of the asana’s. There are 3 bandha’s: mula or root lock your anus, udiyana or upward flying lock just below the navel, and jalandara chin/throat lock. This third one is only done during pranayama to stop the breath. It is not done during asana.

Food: "What we eat is so important as it affects us, it affects our mind." He spoke of vegetarianism in a very tactful way. At first he said, “Why eat a chicken when you can eat your own dog? Your own child? Much tastier!” Then he pointed out that it was part of his culture to be vegetarian but he recognized that it was not always possible for people from other cultures to follow a strict vegetarian diet. It’s my (EMMA) personal view to know where your food comes from. Make kinder choices, free range eggs, organic products. If you do eat meat/poultry/fish, know its source, what it was fed, where it lived, how it died. Factory farmed animals live a miserable existence and die a miserable death. Make educated choices and you will be on the right path. Krishnanmacharya said all aspects of this practice must happen organically. Not because someone told you you have to be/do/act in a particular way to be a yogi. Just start to be more aware.

Authorization: It is Sharath’s duty to Authorize students who are ready to teach. It is the new teacher’s Karma what is done with the certificate. Authorization doesn’t matter if you cannot answer the question “What is Yoga?” Understand this practice, go to it’s core, that’s what should be developing. Focus on that. Non attachment to the outcome is what you should be working towards. Whatever else comes is secondary. If you are too attached to anything you will miss out on the good things in life – enjoy your life!! Be in nature. Yoga happens naturally when you spend time away from the noise of the city. The mind automatically becomes still. When the mind is clear each practice will be blissful. Leave your bad thoughts outside the practice room along with your shoes ;) Don’t expect any of this to happen over night. It takes time to develop this attitude. You will eventually get to a point in your practice where nothing else matters.

He then told a story about a Sannyasin & Samsara.
There is a Sannyasin who lives alone by the river. He has a daily routine as part of his sadhana. He does his own laundry, he cooks his own food. Everyday he washes his clothes in the river. He leaves then to dry on a large rock beside his hut. But the rats start to eat his clothes leaving them full of holes. So he goes to town and gets a cat to kill the rats. But he has to feed the cat milk. So he goes and gets a cow to feed the cat. Now he needs someone to take care of the cow. His day is so full with taking care of the animals on top of his usual chores that his sadhana is suffering. So he gets married so that his wife can take care of everything! He created so many problems by trying to solve one when the answer was simple. Change location…

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Conference - Theme HYP

Conference #3 began with a simple prayer:

Let our ears listen,
Let us have good vision
Let us have clear speech
Let us have good health.

Then Sharath began by asking the question:

Why is it important to start asana practice w Surya Namaskar?
1. before we start we must pray to the Sun god – without the Sun nothing can grow. The sun gives us energy and gives the planet life
2. to warm up the body

The theme today was the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the importance of how and where we practice. “It is important to practice in the early morning for many reasons – the earth’s energy is quiet, better air quality, no distractions, calm mind (do not interact w pp before your practice as it changes your energy).
It is very important where we practice and how we practice. We should practice inside. Practicing outside looks very pretty but the wind will take the prana/energy we are trying to build up during the practice and leave us feeling depleted. When we practice inside it’s like a pressure cooker – all the prana is saved within us.
We should practice on a mat! (I’ve seen a number of people practicing without a mat and their reasoning has been that traditionally a mat was not used and they are trying to be “traditional”) No mats were used back in the day – tiger or deer skin was used to separate us from the earth. The earth will drain your energy. Your mat contains your energy.
There must be limited ventilation i.e. no fans or AC and you must practice on the ground floor.

Be mindful of all aspects of your practice. The energy you bring into it is the energy you take out of it. “Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha” – control your mind.

Sadhana - practice Jnana - knowledge Ajnana - ignorance

A Guru is the dispeller of darkness, remover of ignorance, doesn’t pamper of coddle, makes you realize what is correct, what is true.

In Eastern philosophy the student is taught to surrender to the Guru. In Western philosophy the student is taught to challenge the teacher. “I know more than you.” For Sharath he loves seeing all students from all walks of life. The Western attitude reminds him of his son’s behavior. LOL! His son is 4yrs old…

It is important to be bonded to the practice through the Guru. That is not to say you should be attached to your teacher but to learn from a person vs a book or a DVD. A person can keep you on the path. It is a slow process. Let it happen. Conference with Sharath wouldn’t have been possible 15yrs ago bc he did not have the experience or the knowledge to share the way he does today. Allow the process to happen. The body has to change – the muscles have to lengthen and strengthen in a different way to any other activity. Other activities make you tight. Yoga loosens you up. Certain changes will happen day by day, year by year. You need PATIENCE for this to happen. Your body will change when your mind changes. “No stiff body, only stiff mind.” Guruji
Sukha and Dukkha are both necessary parts of life. The only tool we have to keep us stable is yoga.

"Yoga is like a Land Rover – it can take you anywhere and handle any terrain." (I swear sometimes Sharath is the biggest kid!! And I absolutely adore him.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Conference - Theme "Be Yourself!"

Another week has come and gone. This time I did NOT spend my Sunday at the hospital! Yay! Come to think of it, I actually can't remember what I did... But hey! Whatever it was it didn't involve blood tests or scans! My practice week dealing with my knee was actually really good. Injuries are great teachers if you are willing to listen. This one seemed to be telling me to slow I did and my knee has been great!
Sharath has been in great form. Still teaching led class while reading the newspaper - I swear to God! I wish we were able to take pics in the shala! During the Sun Salutaltion's he is sitting on the stage reading the newspaper while calling out the poses. He's actually always reading it. Taking little breaks during Mysore practice to have some chai or a bite to eat and read the paper. Can you blame him tho? The man gets out of bed at 1am to practice. Then teaches us from 430am until almost noon these days. He needs these little breaks to keep himself sane - lol!
Sunday's conference was early, at 10am vs the usual 4pm. I actually prefer it like this as it frees up the rest of the day. I've noticed that the conference topics seem to be themed. I'm not sure if he comes up with the theme before he arrives or if it just happens as he speaks. WHatever the case, the themes have been fantastic! Last week seemed to be about energy and how to produce and keep energy positive. This week it was about being yourself! He spoke a lot about Guruji and Krishnamacharya aka KM and their contributions to modern yoga. Again, here are some notes that I took while he spoke...

Sharath: "If you study yoga but don't do yoga, books are worth nothing. 99% practice 1% theory.
- experience yoga within you
- develop yourself with your yoga practice
- when we recognize yoga within us the changes will start to happen
- Guruji and KM were great guru's bc they practiced and studied - they did it all
- asana is the foundation of spiritual practice
- yoga is not 'doing' it's 'happening'
- eventually yoga becomes part of your daily routine, it becomes necessary
- back in the day there were so many yoga was only for Sadhus, women were not allowed to practice, etc. Guruji and KM worked hard to change that. They worked hard and studied hard to develop yoga so that we could all practice it today.
*Guruji's first student was his wife, Amma*
- the relationship between Guruji and KM was very strong, like father and son.

Story.... "One day KM was giving a lecture while some of his students were demonstrating asana. He told Guruji to take kapotasana
which he did without hesitation. While he was in the pose KM used him as a podium, as in he stood on top of Guruji's ribcage to continue his lecture. There was a sharp blade of grass poking into G's shoulder. When KM stood on him the blade punctured his skin and went inside. It was very painful but G said nothing so as not to interrupt his teacher. When KM was finished the lecture he stepped down and G exited the pose. Blood went everywhere! Instead of getting upset, G smeared the wound w some mud to stop the bleeding. Til the day he died he had a scar on his shoulder."

- Yoga becomes spiritual thru devotion
- all "yoga' is practiced in Ashtanga yoga "In the west people always say, Oh, I do Hatha yoga. I do Bakhti (devotion) yoga." Hatha yoga is just the physical aspect of yoga. Hatha yoga is Surya (Sun) Nadi and Chandra (Moon) Nadi
- when it is only physical - competing or comparing - no spiritual practice is there

- BE YOURSELF. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don't imitate anyone. Find your own way. When you discover your path then you will become what it is that you strive for.

"If you mimic Buddha, you will not become Buddha but a carbon copy of Buddha. Find the path, discover 'the way', then you will become a Buddha."
- NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF. Find balance and develop your practice.
- if your teacher is too easy on you, you will never develop a respect for the practice

Story... "There was a devoted student, who everyday did 'seva'. He was very eager to become enlightened. But after some time he began to develop doubt. He was doing everything his Guru was doing but he still wasn't enlightened. One day he asked his Guru why he wasn't yet enlightened. The Guru told him he would give him the answer after his bath. He brought him to a pond where he got in, sat down and invited the student to join him. When the student sat down the Guru grabbed him by the head and held him under water. When he released the student from near drowning he asked him if he understood the lesson. That struggle for breath, that desperation, is how we must struggle daily! The practice is challenging but the rewards are great! Many hurdles are there, it will be difficult. You just keep going...."

- energy comes to you from your teacher
- people come here (Mysore) with so much ego! Only when you are humble can you learn. Acknowledge that you know nothing and you will learn so much!

At the end of his talk he gave time for us to ask questions. Here are a few that were asked...

Q: Is it ok to use a wall to learn inversions? You always tell us not to use props. Is a wall a prop?
A: Learning using a wall, nothing wrong in that. Better than using props. Whole life you will use a block and never reach the floor! Using a wall, no problem. You don't want student to fall and when you have many students you don't have time to help everyone."

Q: How do you manage to maintain your spiritual practice when you have so many students, as well as family, two children?
A: Marriage and children teach you much more about spiritual practice than anything else. I started to assist Guruji when I was 19yrs old. I did many hrs of asana, purely physical aerobics. After some time, Guruji taught me philosophy. That's when the practice became spiritual. When I got married and had kids, it got more spiritual! Family is important. This is a family too. The Ashtanga family. We must support one another. Everyone is spiritual! Maybe you just don't know it yet. Work at it. Study, practice, and develop it. Allow the process to happen. It's like a flower. Plant a seed, nourish it. The plant will grow and the flower will blossom. Spiritual practice is the same. Sometimes we don't know who or what we are. Only thru our practice can we learn. If you don't try, you will never know your limitations. "

"Life many times will teach you what to do."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Conference was amazing. The place was jam packed with people but you could have heard a pin drop once he started to speak.

He spoke of the first 2 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga - the Yamas and Niyamas.

The Yamas: How you treat others, are as follows:

Ahimsa -- Non-violence.
Satya -- Truthfulness.
Asteya -- Non-stealing.
Brahmacarya -- Sexual responsibility.
Aparigraha -- Abstention from greed.

Niyamas: How you treat yourself

Sauca -- Cleanliness.
Santosa -- Contentment.
Tapas -- Austerity. Deep commitment to our yoga practice.
Svadhyaya -- Self-study.
Isvara pranidhana -- Surrender of the self to God.

The following are from the notes I took during conference.

Sharath began by saying "the practice of Asana must include the practice of Yama and Niyama. Yoga is the transformation that happens within us. The reason we do Asana is to purify the body and mind. This changes how we react, how we behave, our attitude. If we have an aggressive practice we are probably an aggressive person off the mat which builds ego which goes against yoga. If yoga is not practiced with a calm mind, it is only physical. If you don't understand why you do practice - sankalpa or intention - there is no point to the practice. You must be present. If the mind is negative when you practice, then negative energy will come of your practice. Chanting is important to bring positive energy to the practice. Injury is getting rid of bad karma (action- what we do comes back to us. Ask the question, "Would I do this to myself?" If the answer is no then don't do it... )."

He then went into an explanation of the Yamas...

"Ahimsa: non violence to self & others - to be aware of our thoughts and deeds as violence can happen unknowingly ie thinking bad thoughts about someone

Satya: to be true to ourselves and others

Bhramacarya: being true to your partner and your partner being true to you.

He said that our practice should be private, not about being in the limelight.


Sauca: cleanliness - Internal - of thoughts, actions, internal body, nervous system
- External - clothes, external body, mat, home

Santosha: contentment - to be happy.

Asteya: non-stealing. Greed brings unhappiness

Tapas: posterity - to follow a strict life, to follow a certain discipline in our life/routine i.e. 6am practice, food at regular times. If you want to do sadhana - practice - you must give up many things. Be careful where you go, who you associate with, who you meet, what you read, what you surround yourself with... Positive energy can be lost very easily if the mind is not stable, or if actions are done without thought.

Svadhyaya: self study - to discover yourself through guidance from your guru. Our mother is our first teacher. We learn from her by watching as a small child. The same way we learn from our Guru/teacher. We learn by their example. Discover the spirituality in your practice. Choose an "ishta devata" - diety that resonates with you - like Ganesha, Tara, Jesus, Buddha, etc...

Ishvara Pranidana: surrendering to the Divine. When you practice with a focus on your diety, you become God. God is within you. With practice and devotion you can discover that.

He ended the conference by saying "Without a Guru's blessing it is impossible for transformation to happen.""

Be well
E xo