Yoga and running

Yoga and running!
Many years back, there was a young ascetic aged 16 whom I met in a cave called ‘nadumalai guhai’ in Thiruvannamalai. He was wanting to begin with the plunge into himself, a state called ‘nishthi’, a process of inward journey that could take months or years till he attained enlightenment. A process where he would throw himself into the divine forgetting hunger, thirst and the body.

His guru Ayya advised him to at first walk through every important sacred shrine of India by foot before he could sit down to go into penance. On this journey, he would not stay in any place for more than a week, begging for his daily food and his walk would be over 6000 miles, criss- crossing the entire terrain of India and coming back to Thiruvannamalai.

Could remember how eager he was to begin this pilgrimage with all his youthful enthusiasm!

After 4 years,he was returning back from his pilgrimage having gone up the Himalayas, the borders of Assam and the many sacred spiritual centers in wilderness of the vast expanse of India. I was fortunate to meet him by accident in SriKalahsthi temple as he was in the last lap of his journey back to Thiruvannamalai. He was now a mature Saddhu who had been graced by the sacred energy of all the shrines he had walked to, bare foot. He was graced by the wisdom and teachings of all the divine beings he had met up with in his journey and the sacred experience of the pilgrimage. I was so happy to meet him again, just before he could take his plunge into the silent solitary depth to find the Absolute.

I asked him what the deeper meaning behind this extensive pilgrimage meant to him and he said-
“We have all evolved from the lower forms of life as insects to animals and as monkey to human. The lower chakras have more of animal nature and as the chakras ascend, we have more attribute of the divine entity we truly are.
Our foot and our legs are imprints of karma from the beginning of our evolution starting as insects.
When we walk and use our feet, we are gradually wearing out the karmic imprints. All pilgrimages especially when done by walking erases our karma. It is for this reason that most sacred shrines are located up above on the mountain or hill tops so to enable the seeker to climb and use the feet and in this process wash away karma.”

If we consider our daily run/walk a pilgrimage; a journey within ourselves, it is yoga.

While walking or running, awaken the kundalini fire by inhaling to fill our belly with the prana and lock (mulabandha) the muladhara with a gentle retaining of breath.
Allow our conciousness to feel our energy being generated from the area just above the navel.
Feel the legs lighten as the energy field changes from gross to subtle.
Fine tune your breath with a mantra chant as each exhale is guided upwards to the third eye.
As breath, mantra and the conscious awakening of chakras synchronizes, enjoy the essence of lightness that generates joy.
Burn karma as you nurture the body!
This transition from gross to subtle energy as we walk or run enfolds a magic metabolism, the infinite energy and joyful release of past as toxins, thought baggage and karmic residues.
The Siddhars would call their body’s first transition as the ‘body of stone’, ‘kal-deha’.
Enjoy your yoga that transforms your body as ‘love-formed‘!


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