Here’s some more of the spiritual mumbo jumbo we were involved in at the yoga retreat.
Fire Ceremony – Lighting a fire, sitting around it and chanting mantras. A lot of mantras. One of them was chanted 108 times. It felt like more.
Tulsi Puja – A ceremony of devotion around the holy basil plant, the most sacred plant to Hindus. It involved lighting candles and incense and laying flowers. This little plant has quite a list of medical achievements. Even the breeze through the plant is said to eliminate certain diseases. Modern medicine remains sceptical.
Yoga Nidra – A guided meditation in which participants lie in “savasana” pose, it is designed to bring a person to a state between wakefulness and sleep, in which the body is completely relaxed. The instructor asks participants to focus on a particular area of the body, one at a time, and completely relax each area. Falling asleep is a big problem or rather, your fellow yogis fall asleep and you become annoyed by their snoring, thereby preventing you from reaching the state of samadhi.
Nada Yoga – When I saw this on the schedule I thought “Yes! Free time!” Sadly that’s not what it meant. Nada yoga is a type of yoga – it involved learning how to chant scripture (my new party trick, book me now to avoid disappointment) using the Sanskrit scale. Instead of:
Do Re Mi Fa So La Te Do
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa
The Von Trapp children sat around Maria with her guitar, dressed in outfits made out of curtains. We amateur yogis sat around our Guru with his harmonium, wearing enormous yoga trousers. I think Maria inspired more devotion.