Yoga & Agnihotra

As much as our mortal moods are naturally influenced by the weather and vitamin D from the sun, sometimes there is no obvious reason for feeling so down and out. Some days, even when the sun is brilliant and shining, you are not. This has been my story for the past week or so. My mood mimics this bipolar weather of spring and seemingly tries to destroy all I have been feeling good about. Interacting positively with others has become a challenge and it feels as though I am being bombarded with negative energy from every direction. In all of these lines of communication, I am the only common thread so I conclude the negativity must be emanating from within me. Or perhaps it is a sign from the Universe, from Ganesh (the remover of obstacles), that I am not where I am supposed to be. Perhaps all this resistance to what is is the real cause of my suffering. Having been hired as a mental health counselor in the beginning of March, I have been waiting almost two whole months to start working. In the mean time, I have student loan bills mounting, I have been living off of my credit card which is calling to be paid off, I have trainings that need paying for and I have a frantic mind that needs relief and structure. I am being jerked around by life and feel helpless and out of control. In this whirlwind of shit I am gratuitous to have these beacons of hope, keeping me grounded and sane: yoga and Agnihotra.

Yoga is the place where real self-reflection begins. When we are able to just simply be with ourselves, we discover our innate resilience and ability to pull through. Endless resources of compassion and understanding are accessed when we slow the chitta (mind chatter), and learn to accept what is as opposed to resisting it. B.K.S Iyengar once said "When you are fully in the body, you meet the soul." The best way I have found to BE in my body is through a regular yoga practice. Yoga is the means to relief.

Agnihotra provides the structure that a frantic mind needs to be healthy and worry free. Synchronizing your energy with the natural rhythms of the Earth creates harmony and flow. Since Agnihotra is practiced at precisely sunrise and sunset, a daily Agnihotra practice will create routine energetically and literally. This will help keep us grounded in body, mind and emotions. The smoke produced during the ceremony is quite calming and further enhances the grounding energy. Agnihotra is not just a cleansing practice for the environment, it cleanses the self of negative energies and doubts. In those times when I feel as if I take more than I give, Agnihotra is my opportunity to connect with the Universe and offer healing. This practice has not only helped me deepen my spirituality, it truly has been the only material aid to happiness and well-being in this life.

I invite you to experiment with it in your own life and see where it takes you. Namaste!
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