I'm now halfway through my Raja Yoga training and have done a lot of meditation. Having ethical disciple allows meditation to move from concentration to a more blissful state. Meditation in my day to day life is becoming easier. Now I can just accept the beautiful elevated feeling that I experience without any expectation of achievement. Day to day activities have been simplified and are much easier to appreciate, no matter how small.
15 years ago I was admitted to A&E under extreme duress with a fatal condition. I was fortunate to recover and have been looked after over the years by an amazing haematologist who was an integral part of an amazing team of people around me when my son arrived into this world, Maxwell will always be my miracle boy. Physically I recovered relatively quickly but mentally the event stayed with me. I practiced a death meditation today which is a tool that can be used to combat the fear of death. Over time, the fear of death diminishes because the inevitable isn't a shock anymore. You are left with a feeling of calmness and happiness, it no longer matters that the memories of a traumatic event are still there.
My Raja training has allowed me to understand what the mind is about and how we can bring quietness in the crazy times. It's so important to understand that if we are emotionally better, we are physically better.
Before I signed up for my Raja Yoga training, I decided to reconnect with one of my mentors from my Hatha Yoga training. We've kept in touch over the years, most recently when I sought advice from her about some charity work I've been involved in. I've learned so much in the last 12 months about the internal structure of charitable organisations and how best I can go about helping communities. She has been a guiding light during my charity work and during my Raja Yoga training. It was suggested I should consider taking a spiritual name on completion of my training for which I feel very humbled.
I feel very connected with the group, over the next few days we will continue to work from the body outside, we will use our breath and we will mediate.
My Raja Yoga training has begun. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provides a non-sectarian source of spirituality. It's for people moving into a new consciousness. There is certainly no promise of health or happiness and while I find myself questioning the translations, I am, however, gaining a deeper understanding of my yoga practice and the path of concentration and meditation. I'm using my mental energy much more efficiently and enjoying every moment of my training.
I'm incredibly humbled that the centre where I practice and where I'm attending my Raja Yoga training course is an Integral Yoga Centre. The centre was inaugurated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, the author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (the book I'm studying) and founder of Integral Yoga. I'm passionate about the teachings of Integral Yoga because it integrates body, mind and spirit by combining physical and natural energy practices aswell as philosophical approaches to life in order to develop the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of individuals. The system includes the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation as a way to develop physical and mental stillness in order to access inner peace and joy, which Swami Satchidananda believed was a person's true nature.
I practice this style of yoga with sport clients who are looking to improve their performance, with physio rehabilitation clients, as part of wellness programmes within the workplace and with clients who deal with daily physical and or emotional pain, all to very positive outcomes. I'm very lucky that Sri Swami Satchidananda passed on his knowledge to Nalanie Chellaram, an incredible lady who now runs the centre and has been leading the Raja Yoga training.
Nalanie is a modern spiritual teacher, a true Soul Doctor dedicated to selfless service. She was born in 1954 into the distinguished Indian family the Harilela's. She grew up in the presence of a close family friend, who unbeknown at the time, was to have a deep and lasting influence in her life. The frequent visitor and friend was Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie travels the world to spread a message of wisdom, compassion and love, based on the philosophy of Yoga. In March 2008, Nalanie received an Honour in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second New Years Honour's List. She was recognised for her 'Services to Humanity' and in 2009 set up an association called 'Service in Satchidananda', a nonprofit international collective of charities established in honour of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie continues to devote her time working at the centre and all over the world to enrich the lives of others based on her great Guru's core teachings of selfless service.
When I arrived at my new home, I searched for somewhere that I could practice my style of yoga and find unity with other yogis. It took some time but once I found the Integral Yoga Centre I feel truly blessed that I have found a place that I can go to and find unity with likeminded people. I feel blessed to have found this incredible woman and am beginning to understand the aim of Raja Yoga is to make the mind clean and calm, only then can you experience the Peace and Joy that is your true nature.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Shanti's approach to wellbeing is wholesome. She takes you on a journey to awaken the body's natural healing potential. You will leave feel centred and blissfull".