Yoga Retreat Sri Lanka

Yoga Retreat Sri LankaYoga Retreat Sri Lanka

Planning to attend a yoga retreat Sri Lanka? This post might provide a few fresh ideas on yoga in Sri Lanka.

In modern times known as an era of information Yoga is everywhere – it is popularized in social media, propagated among the young and old, the weak and strong, the poor and rich. Almost every town and city will have a yoga studio or school where you can get yoga guidance for money. You do not need to search far and wide to attend a yoga class -google search will quickly provide directions of the nearest yoga center to your location. Don’t get confused by a variety of Yoga styles, trends and brands. Yoga became a part of the market that inevitably leads to versatility with the essential goal of selling. And yoga (union, oneness) turns into multiplicity, competition and opposition. Yoga in Sri Lanka

One of such products in the market that is growing in demand and popularity is yoga holidays when you travel to another place, country or continent to experience different environment,  surroundings, culture, food, climate, people and all of the above seasoned with the yoga gravy. Let us look at what yoga travel has to offer to customers and what has made it such an attractive product in the market. Yoga in Sri Lanka

And to be more precise let us take yoga journeys to the island of Sri Lanka and enumerate names with discriptions as well as reasons for a great variety of Yoga Retreats and Centers that have sprung up in recent times.

  1. Nature of Sri Lanka promotes quietude of the mind and links you towards your own nature.
  2. Water element manifested in the Indian Ocean, innumerable lakes and life-sustaining rivers purifies both thoughts and bodies. Yoga in Sri Lanka
  3. Earth element manifested in magnificent mountains and eye-catching scenery and landscapes.
  4. Fire element expressed in 365 days of summer with a climate that keeps your body warm and open for transformation.
  5. Air element boosts your creativity and adaptability giving new insight and point of view to contemplate over your life perspectives.
  6. Either element promotes meditative state of the mind. Many people arrive to Sri Lanka to learn more about spiritually and meditation as a means to establish connection between human world and spiritual world.
  7. Inhabitants of the island are more than friendly and open, eager to help and chat. English is quite well understood by locals and smiling is a never ending way of communication here.
  8. The island is of medium size though astonishes with diversity of wilf-life, vegetation, terrain and even climate.
  9. Buddhism with all its virtues and ideals is still in the air and that can be the reason why the island bears the name Sri Lanka – Sacred Land.
  10. Ayurveda is an intrinsic part of Sri Lankan nature that naturally sprung up from itself. Ayurvedic education on the island is the most comprehensive and offers theory and all conditions to put it into practice. The climate of Sri Lanka gives life to a great variety of herbs and plants with ayurvedic properties and healing powers.
  11. All the year round fresh fruits and vegetables are available on the island. Coconuts are in abundance here and there is almost no meal without scraped coconuts or coconut milk.

Let us look at some yoga Retreats and Centers in Sri Lanka which are constantly growing in numbers and diversity.

List of Yoga Retreat Sri Lanka

VILLA MY WAY

Villa My Way – quite a new Yoga Retreat Sri Lanka is located in Ahangama. The property overlooks the rain forest, just 10 min to the white beach of Indian ocean and 30min from Historical Galle Fort, organizes free yoga classes twice a day.

Yoga Retreat Villa My Way also includes a spa centre and offers massage treatments. It provides Ayurveda Doctor’s Consultation. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool and a restaurant on site. You can play darts at the property, and free use of bicycles is available.

This Yoga Retreat serves breakfasts and dinners.

DOOWA YOGA

DOOWA YOGA is a yoga retreat Sri Lanka, located in Kandy, which provides resources and facilities to learn and practice the yoga of the great Eastern traditions. Accommodation is not available. You will need to find a closeby place to stay. The yoga retreat offers Drop-in classes as well as 7-14 days courses. 100 hours yoga teacher training is also conducted from time to time at the yoga center.

NIAGAMA HOUSE

The yoga retreat Niyagama House was completed in 2012 by the German architect and yoga teacher Elke de Silva and her Sri Lankan husband Chaminda. It is situated on the highest point of an active tea plantation, nine kilometers inland from the coastal city of Galle. 7 generous rooms and 2 double suites are equipped with high quality furniture and luxurious bathrooms. There is 18 meter chlorin free pool. Niyagama House and pool area is non-smoking – with a “secret” smoking spot just behind the pool. They do not serve alcohol – but you can bring your own and enjoy it where ever you want to. All of the above adds up to the relaxing purpose of this yoga retreat Sri Lanka.

PLANTATION VILLA

Another ayurveda and yoga retreat Sri Lanka, Plantation Villa situated in a rural village called Nehinna, in Kalutara, 120km away from the International Airport and 80 km from the capital city of Colombo.

The yoga retreat centre has 8 rooms overlooking the lush gardens which are decorated in colonial style. The property itself is a 30 acre plantation of Rubber, Coconut, Cinnamon and Black Pepper located at quite a distance from Kalutara town as well as the beach. Plantation Villa is more an ayurvedic retreat than a truly yoga center that offers an authentic ayurveda treatments, food and care.

Words of Indian Saints Part #21

paramahansa-yoganandaManu is the universal lawgiver; not alone for Hindu society, but for the world. All systems of wise social regulations and even justice are patterned after Manu.

He has outlined the duties of a king. “He should shower amenities like Indra (lord of the gods); collect taxes gently and imperceptibly as the sun obtains vapor from water; enter into the life of his subjects as the wind goes everywhere; mete out even justice to all like Yama (god of death); bind transgressors in a noose like Varuna (Vedic deity of sky and wind); please all like the moon, burn up vicious enemies like the god of fire; and support all like the earth goddess.

“In war a king should not fight with poisonous or fiery weapons nor kill weak or unready or weaponless foes or men who are in fear or who pray for protection or who run away. War should be resorted to only as a last resort. Results are always doubtful in war.”

The origin of the caste system, formulated by the great legislator Manu, was admirable. He saw clearly that men are distinguished by natural evolution into four great classes: those capable of offering service to society through their bodily labor (Sudras); those who serve through mentality, skill, agriculture, trade, commerce, business life in general (Vaisyas); those whose talents are administrative, executive, and protective-rulers and warriors (Kshatriyas); those of contemplative nature, spiritually inspired and inspiring (Brahmins). “Neither birth nor sacraments nor study nor ancestry can decide whether a person is twice-born (i.e., a Brahmin);” the Mahabharata declares, “character and conduct only can decide.” Manu instructed society to show respect to its members insofar as they possessed wisdom, virtue, age, kinship or, lastly, wealth. Riches in Vedic India were always despised if they were hoarded or unavailable for charitable purposes. Ungenerous men of great wealth were assigned a low rank in society.

Inclusion in one of these four castes originally depended not on a man’s birth but on his natural capacities as demonstrated by the goal in life he elected to achieve. This goal could be (1) kama, desire, activity of the life of the senses (Sudra stage), (2) artha, gain, fulfilling but controlling the desires (Vaisya stage), (3) dharma, self-discipline, the life of responsibility and right action (Kshatriya stage), (4) moksha, liberation, the life of spirituality and religious teaching (Brahmin stage). These four castes render service to humanity by (1) body, (2) mind, (3) will power, (4) Spirit.

“These four stages have their correspondence in the eternal gunas or qualities of nature, tamas, rajas, and sattva: obstruction, activity, and expansion; or, mass, energy, and intelligence. The four natural castes are marked by the gunas as (1) tamas (ignorance), (2) tamas- rajas (mixture of ignorance and activity), (3) rajas-sattva (mixture of right activity and enlightenment), (4) sattva (enlightenment). Thus has nature marked every man with his caste, by the predominance in himself of one, or the mixture of two, of the gunas. Of course every human being has all three gunas in varying proportions. The guru will be able rightly to determine a man’s caste or evolutionary status.

“To a certain extent, all races and nations observe in practice, if not in theory, the features of caste. Where there is great license or so-called liberty, particularly in intermarriage between extremes in the natural castes, the race dwindles away and becomes extinct. The Purana Samhita compares the offspring of such unions to barren hybrids, like the mule which is incapable of propagation of its own species. Artificial species are eventually exterminated. History offers abundant proof of numerous great races which no longer have any living representatives. The caste system of India is credited by her most profound thinkers with being the check or preventive against license which has preserved the purity of the race and brought it safely through millenniums of vicissitudes, while other races have vanished in oblivion.”

Serious evils arose when the caste system became hardened through the centuries into a hereditary halter. Social reformers like Gandhi and the members of very numerous societies in India today are making slow but sure progress in restoring the ancient values of caste, based solely on natural qualification and not on birth. Every nation on earth has its own distinctive misery-producing karma to deal with and remove; India, too, with her versatile and invulnerable spirit, shall prove herself equal to the task of caste-reformation.

“Do not do what you want, and then you may do what you like” – a guide to soul freedom through mastery of the ego told by Sadasiva.

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

Words of Indian Saints Part #19

paramahansa-yoganandaMarconi, the great inventor, made the following admission of scientific inadequacy before the finalities: “The inability of science to solve life is absolute. This fact would be truly frightening were it not for faith. The mystery of life is certainly the most persistent problem ever placed before the thought of man.”

“‘Woman,’ he said, ‘seek divine wealth, not the paltry tinsel of earth. After acquiring inward treasure, you will find that outward supply is always forthcoming.’

“The Son of God is the Christ or Divine Consciousness in man. No mortal can glorify God. The only honor that man can pay his Creator is to seek Him; man cannot glorify an Abstraction that he does not know. The ‘glory’ or nimbus around the head of the saints is a symbolic witness of their capacity to render divine homage.”

Though the human race and its works disappear tracelessly by time or bomb, the sun does not falter in its course; the stars keep their invariable vigil. Cosmic law cannot be stayed or changed, and man would do well to put himself in harmony with it. If the cosmos is against might, if the sun wars not with the planets but retires at dueful time to give the stars their little sway, what avails our mailed fist? Shall any peace indeed come out of it? Not cruelty but good will arms the universal sinews; a humanity at peace will know the endless fruits of victory, sweeter to the taste than any nurtured on the soil of blood.

Though India’s civilization is ancient above any other, few historians have noted that her feat of national survival is by no means an accident, but a logical incident in the devotion to eternal verities which India has offered through her best men in every generation. By sheer continuity of being, by intransitivity before the ages-can dusty scholars truly tell us how many?-India has given the worthiest answer of any people to the challenge of time.

The Upanishads have minutely classified every stage of spiritual advancement. A siddha (“perfected being”) has progressed from the state of a jivanmukta (“freed while living”) to that of a paramukta (“supremely free”-full power over death); the latter has completely escaped from the mayic thralldom and its reincarnational round. The paramukta therefore seldom returns to a physical body; if he does, he is an avatar, a divinely appointed medium of supernal blessings on the world.

“‘The substance of a dream is held in materialization by the subconscious thought of the dreamer. When that cohesive thought is withdrawn in wakefulness, the dream and its elements dissolve. A man closes his eyes and erects a dream-creation which, on awakening, he effortlessly dematerializes. He follows the divine archetypal pattern. Similarly, when he awakens in cosmic consciousness, he will effortlessly dematerialize the illusions of the cosmic dream.

The karmic law requires that every human wish find ultimate fulfillment. Desire is thus the chain which binds man to the reincarnational wheel.

“Always remember that you belong to no one, and no one belongs to you. Reflect that some day you will suddenly have to leave everything in this world-so make the acquaintanceship of God now,” the great guru told his disciples. “Prepare yourself for the coming astral journey of death by daily riding in the balloon of God-perception. Through delusion you are perceiving yourself as a bundle of flesh and bones, which at best is a nest of troubles. Meditate unceasingly, that you may quickly behold yourself as the Infinite Essence, free from every form of misery. Cease being a prisoner of the body; using the secret key of Kriya, learn to escape into Spirit.”

The great guru taught his disciples to avoid theoretical discussion of the scriptures. “He only is wise who devotes himself to realizing, not reading only, the ancient revelations,” he said. “Seek truth in meditation, not in moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond.”-Persian Proverb. “Solve all your problems through meditation. Exchange unprofitable religious speculations for actual God-contact. Clear your mind of dogmatic theological debris; let in the fresh, healing waters of direct perception. Attune yourself to the active inner Guidance; the Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life. Though man’s ingenuity for getting himself into trouble appears to be endless, the Infinite Succor is no less resourceful.”

“We know that man is usually helpless against the insurgent sway of evil passions, but these are rendered powerless and man finds no motive in their indulgence when there dawns on him a consciousness of superior and lasting bliss through Kriya. Here the give-up, the negation of the lower passions, synchronizes with a take-up, the assertion of a beatitude. Without such a course, hundreds of moral maxims which run in mere negatives are useless to us.

“Our eagerness for worldly activity kills in us the sense of spiritual awe. We cannot comprehend the Great Life behind all names and forms, just because science brings home to us how we can use the powers of nature; this familiarity has bred a contempt for her ultimate secrets. Our relation with nature is one of practical business. We tease her, so to speak, to know how she can be used to serve our purposes; we make use of her energies, whose Source yet remains unknown. In science our relation with nature is one that exists between a man and his servant, or in a philosophical sense she is like a captive in the witness box. We cross-examine her, challenge her, and minutely weigh her evidence in human scales which cannot measure her hidden values. On the other hand, when the self is in communion with a higher power, nature automatically obeys, without stress or strain, the will of man. This effortless command over nature is called ‘miraculous’ by the uncomprehending materialist.

For the faults of the many, judge not the whole. Everything on earth is of mixed character, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant which seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched.

In his youth Kabir was approached by two disciples who wanted minute intellectual guidance along the mystic path. The master responded simply: “Path presupposes distance; If He be near, no path needest thou at all. Verily it maketh me smile To hear of a fish in water athirst!”

“Forget you were born a Hindu, and don’t be an American. Take the best of them both,” Master said in his calm way of wisdom. “Be your true self, a child of God. Seek and incorporate into your being the best qualities of all your brothers, scattered over the earth in various races.”

“Lord, he who remembers Thee as the Sole Giver will never lack the sweetness of friendship among mortals.”

A passage in Eusebius relates an interesting encounter between Socrates and a Hindu sage. The passage runs: “Aristoxenus, the musician, tells the following story about the Indians. One of these men met Socrates at Athens, and asked him what was the scope of his philosophy. ‘An inquiry into human phenomena,’ replied Socrates. At this the Indian burst out laughing. ‘How can a man inquire into human phenomena,’ he said, ‘when he is ignorant of divine ones?'” The Aristoxenus mentioned was a pupil of Aristotle, and a noted writer on harmonics. His date is 330 B.C.

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

The Subconscious Mind #1

Satguru-Sivaya-Subramuniyaswami-26The Form of the Subconscious

Everything that has once passed through your conscious mind in the form of experience is resident right now within your subconscious. The life, the biological evolution of your  forefathers, is all registered in the molecular strands of your subconscious, capable of being recalled into memory. The life, the biological evolution of your forefathers, is all registered in the molecular strands of your subconscious, capable of being recalled into memory.

The subconscious mind, like the conscious mind, has a form of its own. It is given form, shape and momentum by the nature of your experiences in life and the way you react to them. Most people are not happy with the form of their subconscious mind. They are still reacting to early experiences, early environments. Some people go to great expense in trying to change the form of their subconscious through therapy or travel, but because there is no absolution in either, in time they generally manage to recreate their subconscious in the same old form. Childhood experiences do have a profound influence on  one’s make-up in this life, but these influences are by no means binding. Any attitude, any personality conflict or block in the subconscious can be demagnetized and resolved.

How do we change the form of the subconscious? We purify it by resolving in understanding those experiences which have created it. How do we resolve those experiences through understanding? We bring them up into the light and face them without reaction. By resolving our reactive experiences in understanding, the subconscious becomes more and more transparent to our own view and, therefore, necessarily undergoes positive change. To be able to objectively observe one’s own experiences without reaction is one of the powers acquired through the performance of sâdhana.

The subconscious mind may appear to be a very complex state of mind, as anything is when we do not understand it. Through daily sâdhana you will learn how to clear the subconscious of its unnatural states of confusion and how to keep it clear, transparent. 

Your mind being at rest and no longer disturbed, intuition can flow through it unhampered. Your best answers often come after you have removed the searchlight of your conscious mind’s focus for a time. This is the superconscious working through the subconscious, making it subsuperconscious. You have now unfolded the key to living an intuitive and productive life. People who live positive lives have clear goals well impressed in the subconscious mind. They often draw upon their subsuperconscious mind, though they may call it by another name—perception, insight, intuition, instinct or sixth sense.

The subconscious mind performs many, many functions for us. In fact, it would be impossible to do without it. But think of some of the uses of the subconscious—the skills which your memory bank acquires, such as typing, driving, playing musical instruments or speaking a language. As soon as any learning process becomes subconscious, the conscious mind is free to direct its attention to new areas of learning. Even all the processes of the physical body are governed by the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is a storehouse, a reflection of all previous conscious mind experiences. The power of our decisions creates our reactions of tomorrow. When tomorrow’s reactions happen, they program the subconscious. We have to be careful that our programming is just right, so that the channels to superconsciousness begin to open through the subconscious.

Facing Old Memories

When man finally turns inward, sits down and asks “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?” what is the first thing he discovers? The subconscious mind, of course. Do not be afraid of the subconscious. It is useless to be afraid of the past.

When you begin to meditate, you become keen and perceptive enough to begin to see within yourself. Occasionally, you will see into the subconscious area and begin emotionally to relive the past. This means that many of the predominantly strong memory and reactionary patterns of the past loom up before you, one after another, and you may begin to react to them all over again, emotionally and even physically. These are not real experiences. It is only a layer of the subconscious exposing itself to your inner vision, indicating that reprogramming is needed. Handle each layer dynamically. Welcome the thoughts and accompanying feelings in a hospitable way. Do not fear them or regret them, and certainly do not criticize yourself for having them. The reaction will subside, but the memory will linger as an education upon which you can formulate decisions for the future, thus avoiding the same problem.

On the path to enlightenment, you have to face everything that has gone into the subconscious, not only in this life, but what has been registered in past lives. Until you do, you will never attain Self Realization. Your final obstacle will be that last subconscious area that you were afraid to face, looming up before you in the form of worries, fears and repressions that you will wish to push away, hide from, so that neither you nor anyone else can see them.

To hear of the Self is a great blessing, indeed, but to desire to realize the Self means that in this and your past lives you have gone through all of the experiences that this Earth consciousness has to offer. You have died all of the deaths and had all of the emotional experiences. You have had the good of the world and the bad of the world, and the mixed good and bad of the world through all of your many lives before you come to the life where you say, “I want to realize the Self in this life.” Now you begin to tie up all the loose ends of past experiences that have not been fulfilled or resolved, because those loose ends are what bring you back to birth.

Excerpts from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The Ideal of Education

Rabindranath Tagore“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake!”

RABINDRANATH TAGORE