Question: Ma’am, What is the ‘Inner fire’ that you refer to in the classes?
As we age, we tend to sag in our abdomen, especially women face this struggle. This is because the area becomes so lethargic that even our food does not digest well. This lethargy needs to be replaced with the digestive fire. Just 3 minutes of Suryanamaskar every day, the simple traditional asanas that we do in class and eating light and early dinners help us ignite the fire within and maintain our body weight.
Lethargy and dullness are a trait of Tamasic nature. We must convert this into something more positive. Exhaling a bit more in our asanas help us with it. When we use our breath in asana practise, we systematically open the muscles and nerves, and this is where you also start conecting to the deeper aspects of Asana practice.
Any action needs fire, zest, and Tapas. The sun will slowly increase in power as we move towards December. In this time, we must move from inactivity towards activity to increase our digestive capacity through balanced movements. We must use the energy we create through our asana practise judiciously throughout the day to remain energetic and active. Usually we just exhaust it in our excitement within the first few hours.
Bhagwat gita mentions the importance of action. It says that the way we perform actions is very important. Our actions from the past should teach us and we must move ahead with better actions. And if you doubt the present action you lose a good karma.
When we reminisce about a moment of eating ice-cream, it is not just the taste of the ice-cream that we remember, but also how we felt at that moment, our view that time, the person we were with, the conversation we had, the music. It is a combination of all the 5 senses that make up that imprint in our memory and we remember the ice cream place fondly.
Similarly, when you do parsvakonasana in low energy the senses conceive this low vitality and we repeat the asana with same dullness even when we are in high spirits the next time as it is the habit of mind to collect impressions. Our mind must be developed to choose intelligently the present high energy condition while doing asanas and not rely on the impressions of the past dull and lethargic moment to progress in our practise.
The fire we generate through our asana practise should travel from our abdomen to the chest and invigorate us, or else it’s a failure of Yog. We immediately consume all the energy we generate in Yog in all the wrong ways. This fire must further go up as the day progresses and not get depleted within the first hour of its generation.
In Ayurveda, there is a mention of Sadhaka pitta, the fire generated through Sadhana is maintained and used to perform worthy actions. To do any auspicious practice you need a mind that has that ability to use this fire judiciously. Sadhana is all about how you maintain this fire. Sadhana is to maintain your body and the energy created so that you come back on mat regularly to create this energy again.
Lots of love, Rajeshree