‘The secret of longevity* To eat half, to walk double and to laugh triple’
Have you ever thought about the relevance of your age while in a deep state of relaxation? When you are enjoying the calmness and well-being of a good relaxation it does not matter whether you are in your twenties or your eighties. In both cases you feel just as peaceful and content. Yet, as soon as you return to your habitual mental state you become trapped in time, the past and future dominate your attention and you accumulate time in your psyche and the cells of your body.
The aim of yoga is to live in a state of relaxed awareness; relaxed because through relaxation we can get in touch with our sense of being, beyond time and space, and aware because through awareness we become conscious of being. So the yogi at all times keeps a state of presence by being (1) relaxed and (2) mindful of all movements, internal and external. This is how he or she is able to conserve, store or direct energy resulting in a slowing down of the aging process. And even when her physical body grows old her awareness of her timeless being can shine through her outer form.
The benefit of this practice affects the physical body by strengthening, among others, our immune system. Most illnesses appear when our energy body is discordant whether through blockages or imbalances of energy/prana in thousands of psychic channels. In Yoga we know that wherever we put our attention there the energy flows. So when we are present and focused on whatever we are doing, thinking or saying we are able to utilize vast amounts of energy with a maximum of efficiency. At the same time our mental and emotional health is also strengthened as awareness is the first step towards healing from lower frequency states such as fear, anxiety or depression.
But beyond our concern with the physical or emotional body a constant practice of relaxed awareness is what puts us in contact with our inner being, changeless through time. This is the timeless realm where God dwells. And when we forget to access that inner Guru or we need to boost our moment-to-moment practice of mindfulness take a few minutes and do the following exercise:
Close your eyes, lie down on your back if you can. Ground yourself by focusing on the different parts of your body starting with the feet, the legs, the abdomen, the chest, the head and so on. Stay 10 sec. in each part feeling the energy inside those parts. Be intensely present. Don’t be concerned with thoughts and return your attention to the body. If you find it hard to be in touch with the inner energy, focus on your breath. Conscious breathing will gradually put you in touch with a sensation of expansion and luminosity.
Thus become identified with your ageless inner being, the immortal Self that Swami Sivananda exhorts us to discover:
“You are not the body! You are not the mind! You are Satchitananda, (existence, knowledge and bliss absolute) and immortality is your birthright!”