What is religion anyway?

I truly respect and agree with Bharath’s philosophy on religion - any religion. That at the end of the day it’s a means of controlling people. When it comes to worshiping a deity, rather than look to the God and try and focus on the ‘form’ - for example picture Vishnu holding the flower, conch, disc and mason - instead he looks to focus on the qualities of the deity. This can only be achieved by looking deeper into the God, understanding what they represent or stand for. I think this is a powerful message. Often we can be caught up worshiping the man rather than truly understanding, and then practicing, the qualities the man/God possessed. Bharath also chatted about how much pain and suffering religion has brought to the world - people fighting to prove their religion is better than another. Bharath’s simple, but again powerful philosophy: there is no right or wrong, better or worse religion. They are all equal. At the end of the day, it’s about the individual and what they choose to believe. That is ok. But one needs to accept they are not better for having chosen a certain path, a certain God to follow. So very true.

For me, I resonate with the qualities and principles taught by Ganesh. I have always felt connected to this deity as he is know as the remover of obstacles. I don’t believe some supernatural power is about to come down and remove all obstacles in my life for me, but instead it’s a reminder to myself to notice them. To witness the obstacles I tend to place in front of myself and find ways to move past them. Challenge them. This is why I like Ganesh. Not because he has a big elephant head!

These concepts, which Bharath speaks of, are not new to me. Whilst typing, I realised it’s the genuine, authentic, down to Earth nature he has which is why I resonate with so much of what he says. There is nothing fantastical or outrageous that he says (like the Frenchman I met at Amma’s temple who said Amma knew I was in the room and will choose the time for me to hug her. She knows what is best for me….???). Bharath is just real.

Class this evening was challenging. There were asanas where I felt completely grounded, like Krounchasana, but then others where I felt weaker than normal. Chakrasana for example. I have a feeling the rather large quantity of bread I ate prior to class, as well as a packet of mints (I haven’t eaten a lollie since I got here), may have taken it’s toll. I just don’t seem to learn sometimes. Maybe I need to work a little harder on my conscious eating habits…

I’m also going to meet with Bharath tomorrow to chat with him about a) pulling together my sequence for my thesis on migraines and b) the problems with my chest and knees. I’m becoming dependent on flapping my knees in preparation for training to try and open my hips, but I’m not sure if I’m doing more harm than good? We’ll see.

Oh - and finally. Whilst in the Shala waiting for everyone to arrive at this evenings class, I was working on Sirsasana and was up there for about 3 minutes before coming down. I also managed to do all three variations we are currently working on. Not gracefully or with perfect control by any means, but it’s certainly getting there! 

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I tend to feel under pressure to ‘perform’ when in class doing Sirsasana (completely my silly mind at play here), so I never seem to be as strong or focused. I’m always better outside of class. Something to work on. Tomorrow is a new day!

Namaste xx


Some pictures from my day

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Out the front of my apartment. “Oh, hello!”

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Gutters of all houses. It’s a near death experience every time I walk into the Shala.

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On the roof of the Shala

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My atrocity. It didn’t stop there..