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Focus of the Month - September

Shraddhā (श्रद्धा) - Trust


With this new month of September we are slowly transitioning into a new season of the year. Days are getting shorter again. Leaves start to fall off the trees. And in Germany specifically this month brings big political decisions and uncertainty.

With this season of change we transition into a phase of release. Sometimes this unknown future and lack of trust can cause emotional irritation, like feelings of insecurity, lability or even anxiety.

It’s hard to have trust when the world seems to be in chaos and nothing in life seems to be consistent. Having a regular yoga practice can help to provide structure and stability in uncertain times. But more essentially it’s deep within ourselves where we have to create this foundation of trust, a foundation that will help us to feel rooted and safe even in the stormiest days.

With this month’s focus we want to provide you with knowledge, tools, easy techniques and most importantly yoga classes to help you to build trust within.

Meaning:

In Sanskrit, trust or faith is called Shraddhā, and one of “the six treasures of Vedanta”.

Components of Shraddhā are fundamental trust, self-confidence, trust in destiny, trust in other people, trust in God.

Pragmatically, trust is knowing you will be fine no matter what - the deep conviction that everything is right.

"Trust is when you throw a baby into the air and she laughs because she trusts you will catch her."

But, how do you achieve this feeling?

People throughout the ages have longed for trust, confidence, sincerity - and a deep faith as a firm anchor in the storms of life. Yoga teaches us that the answer lies within and that trust can only be found inside yourself.

Shraddhā comes from love and commitment to yourself. This love and commitment to yourself develops a deep inner knowing. Despite external circumstances, nothing can shake you. You know exactly who you are, and there is no other place you rather be than in your own skin.

There are many divine souls born on this earth with gifts, including you. But, we learn to stop trusting. Over time, we forget our gifts, or even run away from them. When you are gifted, you are different, and being different can be so hard to handle that you want to kill it. This is tragic. It’s very interesting that we can get so separated from ourselves that we actually try to kill off the very best parts of ourselves.

"Self-trust means we have the confidence necessary to follow through and pursue things that feel right... self-trust is the most intimate way of expressing your trust in God and the universe. You are not a separate creation, remember, and you did not create yourself. Trusting yourself, therefore, is actually trusting in the intelligence of the Creator who made you. It is your personal demonstration of your trust in the universe and Infinite Mind, and your confidence will be well reinforced because of your ever-increasing sensitivity. This basic self-trust is the foundation of all yoga and the prevailing quality of those who have learned to be their own best teachers." - Erich Schiffman

In Practice:


A regular yoga practice will inevitably give you a new sense of serenity and primal confidence.

Remember the first time you were introduced to headstand in a class? Did your mind instantly freak out in fear? At some point, we trust ourselves enough on the mat to try a pose based on our self-knowledge and eventually we master a complex asana, that we used to be afraid of. Shraddhā arises and the trust towards your inner Self grows a little more. Step by step, experience by experience we enrich ourselves with wisdom and we just know, that we are on the right path.


Asana:

  • Practice something new, something that challenges you

  • Practice Inversions or arm balances

  • Grounding, calm asanas like forward folds to built a calm foundation and relax the nervous system


Mantra:

“Eem Hreem Kleem”

= I radiate confidence and strength. I am at ease with not knowing. I can wait with purpose. I don't need to have all the answers to know that all is well inside. I listen for messages that I'm on the right path and meet each situation with hope. I can be strong in love, even in the face of fear, and I can grow.


Sama Vritti Pranayama (Box Breathing):

Sama Vritti Pranayama is a powerful relaxation tool that can help to clear the mind from fear and relax the body.

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, slowly counting to 4. Feel the air filling your lungs.

  2. Hold your breath here and slowly count to 4 again. Try not to clamp your airways shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 counts.

  3. Slowly exhale to the count of 4.

  4. Hold the exhale for another 4 counts.

  5. Repeat steps 1–4 for 4 minutes or until you feel calm and centered.

Kundalini Meditation for Trust:

1. Sit in easy pose.

2. Lift the arms up over the head with the right palm over the left for males and the left palm over the right for females. Thumbs are touching. The palms are down and over the crown area with the elbows slightly bent.

3. Whisper “Wahe Guru” with the eyes slightly open, gazing at the upper lip.

4. Meditate for up to 11 minutes

Vajrapradama Mudra: Unshakeable Trust Seal

Interlace your fingers with your thumbs pointing up in front of your chest. Draw your elbows wide.

This mudra represents unshakeable self-confidence, inner strength, and faith in something greater.


Further readings:



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