Practical mystic and yoga guru Yogacharini Maitreyi on the need to make space in order to absorb the subtler things, both physically and mentally.

“Give Me More” seems to be the modern mantra. More dissipating experiences, more activity and especially more food is one of the main causes of disease. Modern day ailments are paradoxically diseases of excess, rather than deficiency.

Because of the excess of unhealthy stuff, we become deficient in the good things. If the body is stuffed with hydrogenated oils, and processed foods its capacity to absorb nutrients is greatly reduced. The intestinal tract gets clogged. So we need to make space in order for the subtler things to be absorbed.

This is true also of emotions. We are fed with so much junk emotions through endless soap operas and soap-influenced individuals that we remain emotional kids or adolescents. Just as we need the right nutrients to grow up physically we also need to make choices about what emotions feed us to grow into emotional adults. More drama, emotional upheavals and emotional excitement actually create aberrations in the nervous system. Less is more in this case as well.

In food

Eating less consciously is paradoxically healthier for the system. The Indian mother's mentality that her grown up child has to be stuffed impairs the prana or life force energy from circulating in the body. The yogic principle is to eat till the stomach is half full. That not only promotes alertness but also decreases the formation of ama or toxins in the system.

One has to use discernment to see when less is more with regard to certain food items as well. For example many children are lactose as well as dairy-intolerant. But a mother believing that cow's milk is always good forces her children to have milk even if they complain of bloating, diarrhoea, skin ailments like hives and eczema or other unhealthy symptoms. In this case it not only causes discomfort but the casein, a protein found in milk, also clogs the intestinal walls and prevents the villi or finger-like projections present there from absorbing the nutrients. When intolerance is mild they may just coat the villi or in extreme cases also kill the villi.

So one has to be aware of eating what is energetically good for us. Eating may also become a substitute to facing our emotions and hence we need to be aware of it.

In Yoga techniques

Minimalist designs and concepts have their own charm. There is a charm in simplicity of style. Similarly the clutter of yoga techniques also takes away from the essence of the practice. People want more techniques without going deeper into any of them. They want to excessively embellish their practice with many difficult-looking postures without understanding that some simple and basic principles of alignment go a long way in creating a stable and aesthetic system.

In relationships

In relationships instead of spreading ourselves too thin among people and situations we can go deeper by working on commitment and trust.

Silence is indeed golden. Silence is important for assimilation, absorption and being in touch with ourselves. We are so used to filling our lives with noise that we get uncomfortable with silence.

The senses are constantly bombarded and we become addicted to the stimulus- response situations rather than cultivating calmness.

Focus more on less

As many mystics and masters realised, the practice of meditation starts with focusing on the subtle and not getting distracted by the senses.

When we are afraid we do not let go. Consequently we take on more and more till our systems break down. When we set aside time and space for ourselves we derive more satisfaction from less. We do out of love, because we want to and not out of fear because we have to. The smallest experiences in life bring us great joy.

In yoga the basic primary or original disease or Adhi vyadhiis Dvaitamor the sense of two-ness. This is the fear that the other will harm us. This fear of survival causes us to hold onto to what is unnecessary. It is a very instinctive reaction and we need to be aware of it. The greater the fear the more one holds on.

Yogacharini Maitreyi is a practical mystic who teaches yoga and creates conscious community around the world. E-mail: maitreyi9@hotmail.com; www.arkaya.net

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