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REAL YOGA
Swami Harinanda

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YOGA AND SICKNESS

Hello subscribername,

Sometimes you will hear such odd things as "a Master never gets ill." Or "if you are Master of this life then sickness cannot touch you."

None of this is true. What is true is that most Yogis, and particularly those that have been living the Yogic life for a long time are less sick than most people because they are breathing correctly, they eat a well balanced diet - not too heavy, and they exercise well enough for whatever age they may be. More than that though, because they are balanced, they do everything with a certain harmony. There is almost a simple childlike behaviour pattern in their life style.

So why, one might ask, does one become ill when one does everything as right as possible?

There is a very interesting self check method of discerning your illnesses and accidents. When I was very young, well 30, I was walking through my living room and kicked, by accident, a table and broke my toe.

I had just met the famous London Homeopath Dr. Chandra Sharma and when I took my toe into him to see, the first thing he asked me was "Why were you kicking yourself?"

"I wasn't, I just stumbled over a table."

"No, No! you were kicking yourself. Now think over the past week. Did someone pull the wool over your eyes? Did someone take you for a ride? Did you want to say something to someone and held back?"

Well sure enough, that is exactly what had happened. I had wanted to stand up for myself in an argument and didn't, and I was literally kicking myself for not saying what I should have said.

With this small revelation I began to investigate the reasons behind every occurrence that happened to me - and to others that were close to me for that matter. It doesn't matter so much that you can figure out about your loved ones, but it does matter that you can trace your stiff neck to being stubborn and bull headed, perhaps even just the day before.

People with sore shoulders or the top of their back, subconsciously feel they are carrying the weight of "their" world on their shoulders. Their partner is not doing his or her share.

Others who have problems with the lumbar region of the back, just "won't bend". They are rigid in their thinking.

Sore aching knees are a sign of pride. They have to learn to bend their knee in humility a bit.

Sore with aching fingers from arthritis are pointing the finger too much at others.

Constipation is usually not letting go of old ideas - hanging on to the past and fear of the new.

We know what the usual ones, such as headaches are from - tensions, worry and being afraid to be "who you are" - hiding.

Of course there are physical reasons for illness and there are also genetic reasons, but you would be surprised just how many, and especially accidents, come from an unsettled mind.

I have a friend who is so busy all the time that he never rests and never seems to stop and relax - yet he is always hurting his legs - sprains, breaks, etc. His nature trying to tell him to slow down.

In later years I found a book, written by Louise L. Hay, called You Can Heal
Your Life
, and in it she lists hundreds of ailments and what they connect to. It will surprise you just how much you can learn from this little book about illness both major and minor and what one can do about them.

Of course you have to be brutally honest with yourself. For instance, when you wake up with a stiff neck, it is hard to admit that you have been bull headed or stubborn with a loved one. None of us like to think of ourselves in the negative. It is easier to say we slept in a draft, or that we twisted our neck in our sleep. But you see, had we not been so bullish or stubborn, we would have been balanced enough not to have let the pillow twist our neck for us, or allow a breeze to blow on our neck.

You will notice also people with feet problems are not "moving ahead". They are stuck, for whatever reason, and really do want to get ahead, but subconsciously will not admit to themselves the reasons why they have become stuck in their environment.

Naturally one can take this to the extreme, and not being an extremist I look for other causes, YET when one knows that everything begins in mind, it is hard not to give it its due, first and foremost above all other reasons. If you cannot find the reason for your asthma, which is due usually to a person allowing other to suffocate them, then go to a doctor. Remember you have to be brutally honest with yourself - realize that you are perfect and whole and have the same right to this earth as everyone else. Do not become a victim. Sometimes these illnesses point the way for us.

I write this because a Yogi who is balanced and well, can sit still and silent for long periods. Illness makes it difficult for us. Tensions cause us to fidget. And being still and silent is what Real Yoga is about.

Namaste.

Swami

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