Blog

Abhyāsa

The Power of Practice

By Manorama

A primary principle in expanding your yogic development is Abhyāsa. In Sanskrit, the word Abhyāsa means practice. Yoga teachers remind their students again and again “To stay with it,” “Get on the mat” or “Open the books” and spend time honing yogic discipline through practice. The teacher knows it is through practice that the student will make progress and steady growth in the development of Yogic wisdom.

In Abhyāsa there is a joining of two elements, Abhi + Āsa. On a sound harmonic level when the i in Abhi meets with the Ā in Āsa, the result is a sandhi, (harmonic sound blend), that allows you to express the word with fluidity and ease. Thus, transforming the i to y, making Abhy + Āsa become Abhyāsa. The word Abhyāsa itself is made up of two elements, Abhi which is an intensifying prefix, and Āsa, which signifies seat or the present. Thus, to engage Abhyāsa on an etymological level means to focus on being in the present or to intently take the seat.

The primary āsana or seat in Yoga is the seat of beingness or Sattva. Through Abhyāsa, intense focus on yogic practice and teachings, you experience real inner tranquility and inner space. At this point, you are able to access sattva. And not only access it, you are able to be a place where beingness can settle within yourself. Sustained contact with sattva means a lasting transformative connection with the highest Self. Put in laywoman’s terms, regular Abhyāsa, practice, leads to the experience of sattva, wisdom, tranquility and inner peace.

Continue Reading
  • Objects Carry Stories

    Objects Carry Stories by Manorama   Objects carry stories that are sealed in the boundaries of their forms. These earrings were my mother’s. After she had passed, one day, as my siblings and I were cleaning out her house, I found them in her dresser in her bedroom. I’d rummaged through that old dresser a

    Continue Reading
  • The Mystery of Svāhā

    The Mystery of Svāhā by Manorama   Offer it up to the gods through the sacred fire. Where does svāhā come from and how is it used? Svāhā is used during vedik fire ceremonies. When you perform a vedik fire ceremony, nothing can enter that fire unless it has first been offered with the utterance,

    Continue Reading
  • Align with Shri

    In Yoga, you often see the Sanskrit word Śrī placed in front of a respected person’s name. For example, Śrī Brahmānanda Sarasvatī or Śrī Swāmī Satchidānanda. Śrī is pronounced ‘Shrī’ and is an honorific word meaning respected one or illustrious one. You can tack the word Śrī on to the front of a person’s name

    Continue Reading
  • The Strength of the Goddess

    In the Devi-Mahatmyam, the Devī, goddess, is called into being by the gods for the protection of the world. Her birth is unique, in that each god directs light from his core to single meeting place and at that point she manifests. She is said to be incredibly beautiful, kind, fierce, loving, generous, protective and

    Continue Reading