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A Gita Retreat: The Power of Purpose and Practice Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Day 6: Renounce and Rejoice

75 min - Practice


Our spiritual nature is like the Lotus Flower: floating serenely on top of the mud, grounded, unblemished, and free. The final chapters of The Bhagavad Gita guide us to be simply an observer of the natural fluctuations of the world, the Gunas. By renouncing our stories, reactions, attachments, and Ego and remaining centered and unmoved by either the pleasant or the unpleasant inevitabilities of life, we may find inner tranquility, like a lotus flower floating serenely on muddy waters. In Day 6, we move through an opening sequence to loosen the spine and fire up the center, explore the uplifting energy of Uddiyana Bandha, and embody the rooted, free spirit of the Lotus in a challenging hip-opening arm balance practice. We meditate on balancing the bravery it takes to be who we are with the need to let go in the midst of turmoil and chaos.

In this video, Jasmine references The Living Gita by Sri Swami Sachidananda.

What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


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Welcome back everyone to our final practice of this incredible journey that we've been on together so far and so this I'm gonna kind of try to sum up the final chapters are all pretty big but with a basic concept in mind so chapters 13 through 18 kind of discussed this idea of what's called Sankhya in yoga philosophy that really separates the material and the spiritual so it's described within the human body Krishna goes on to say that both exist within you he already showed his infinite vast godlike form we've discussed dharma a particular and small role we each kind of play in the big scope of things and then kind of digs that a little bit more to see how we can see ourselves so I love this whole portrayal that he describes it as the field and it's nowhere so within each one of us there is the purusha which is like the jiva our atma our spiritual divine self and then prakrti which is everything else so it's our bodies it's we want to look at it out in in nature it's nature it's our thoughts it's everything else outside of our spirits so we're really called on in yoga and as and as Krishna is now begging Arjuna to see himself as a seer to be able to through our spiritual practices through karma yoga through bhakti yoga all the ways that through meditation is to turn inward towards our spiritual self yoke ourselves there as yoga expresses so that we can not be affected by the world around us and just see it as it is which is this play of nature further breaks it down into seeing it through the lens of the gunas so everything plays out through these energies that exists within everyone me you the universe nature is that it's in three forms Rajas tamas and sattva so Rajas are our aggressive tendencies so it you know it tends to be anger but also just action the way we get stuff done to be able to fight all of this can be Rajasic energy the sun burning things up forest fires is very Rajasic cleansing clearing just the rise and fall of the Sun all of this wild activity is Rajasic in a human being we can see the devastation that it can play out you know aggression and hatred all of these ways in which it causes separation the other extreme is called tamas and so that's inertia that's non-action that's you know basically sleep that's night we can say where it's dark the darker aspects of our nature that Krishna goes into in full really describing these more demonic tendencies or just even the types of food a tamasic person might be drawn to he breaks it down towards everything in the middle is what's called sattva and so that's a balance state that Krishna is guiding us and Arjuna to be able to find himself where we can begin to find a balance between these forces and come to center and so that's where he's like the sattvic person is like a sage and he goes on to describe what we can be like once our energies are balanced a little bit more but not so much that we're going around flat line I never what we would associate let's just say I always thought like once they become spiritual or once I practice for this long this long will I just be calm and walk around like this all day Krishna says no even attachment to that is gonna breed suffering so don't attach yourself to being sattvic just watch it watch the play and don't get involved so that's what he's called renunciation not so much renouncing from the world but renouncing ourselves from these forces of nature within ourselves so if we feel something aggressive come up in us and again aggression has its purpose like we described them like I was just describing as far as nature but within us is to see as it's expressed let's just say through hatred through war through violence how destructive it can be so the more we can pull away from it observe it and kind of not act on it how we can experience freedom so it's freedom through renunciation so once we can begin to really know our field to know that we have these credible bodies but be yoked in spirit he says we can live with so much less suffering in our lives and be liberated while we're here on the planet while we are while we do have these bodies he goes on to say that because you know we're given this particular body even our Dharma he goes into in terms of the gunas why we are born into a particular body to play out a certain role in Hindu philosophy of course it has to do with past lives we don't need to really believe that wholeheartedly but to know that we're born into this world with certain energies a particular combination of the gunas to play out a particular role I hope that kind of explains it simply so everything in terms of this play of energies but the more we can become centered in our spiritual nature we won't be affected so much by it so I find that you know why I run to my mat every day why I want to devote myself to spiritual practice and I think why we should all spend time every day if it's in meditation it's mantra it's journaling to get to know who we are more intimately so that we can experience freedom in the midst of tremendous suffering that we're experiencing in the world right now and then we can be able to look at it a little bit more objectively and then act with better responses instead of so reactionary that goes for the people in our lives like sometimes I'll just say oh that's just the gunas at play I'll just observe them instead of why are you being this way and that way a lot less you know time for conflict so the image so much in spiritual traditions is of the lotus flower right so it's deeply rooted in the mud the muck the swamps right now in this climate crisis all of this change that's happening how can we again express this beauty of our spiritual nature I like that lotus flower that you know you know like a drop of the mud just rolls right off of it doesn't stick and I love that image too to be able to see ourselves as this lotus flower in the midst of the mud so the final chapter chapter 18 just kind of sums up everything so far and then says if you want to again first there's two forms of this renunciation first it was of our actions it started out there with our Dharma and Karma yoga that we're acting but instead of it breeding more and more pain and suffering in our lives we're allowing our work in the world to free us but then renunciation on what's called dispassion sometimes vairagyam is described so we have these intense practices and then the other side is dispassion not involving so that we can actually witness and I just want to really make clear that by no means does this mean dispassion that we're meant to be aloof I don't care what's going on in the world I'm spiritual I don't have to deal with it or even go off into the sunset or a cave or some retreat but in the midst of it to just not get as involved politics everything I get worked up into a lather but the more I can begin to sit with myself the more I know I can respond in a way that's more thoughtful and I won't take those energies into the rest of my day sometimes I'll hear something in the news and I do end up snapping at people I love because I'm I'm worked up so for me that's my intention how I treat my family how I treat my friends how I treat the world of what gives me this intention so in our practice we are going to work on lotus pose to really embody that spirit of rooted and grounded and free and then also this idea of the bandhas because we've been playing so much with our external form to connect to these ideas in the Gita but we also have our spiritual anatomy that through yoga we get to know so much some of the chakras I've been expressing but also these internal locks that we have and for me the bandhas really helped to lift me up especially what's called udiyana bandha that we're gonna work on that it's called flying up lock so I can be in the world but then there's a lift but I'm not kind of sunk down into the trenches of the mud so we're gonna play with a couple flying poses and end in our particular variation of lotus so if you wanted to take your hands again this reverence for these teachings for this time that we've spent together this journey your whole journey of this life to take you where you are past ones if you believe in it and this incredible responsibility that we're given this personal responsibility once we have this knowledge I find this is again from the wonderful Swami Satchitananda's translation the living Gita in the very last chapter 18 I'm gonna kind of skirt through some of them but I'll call out the verses 19 so chapter 18 verse 19 says that there are three types of knowledge actions and agents I will describe each of you according to its dominant guna but there is only one eternal reality that pervades everything and everyone in the midst of the many it is the indivisible when is so what connects us it's our spirit but also these energies which I love that idea and then he goes back to Dharma on 48 1848 if you perform the duties of your own nature imperfectly we talked about that the first session that is no reason to abandon those duties and begin something else so he wants us to just continue for all your undertakings on the outset are enveloped at evil by evil as smoke surrounds fire right so it becomes obscured if we don't stick with it and keep jumping around that's why he's like be as messy as you want being you don't try to find something that you're gonna feel you can do perfectly and then the last one says that when you realize oneness with the absolute and this is what we're trying to get to we're always you are always serene and no longer subject to sorrow or the anxiety of personal desires it is a goal you feel the same regard for all creatures and rise to a state of supreme devotion to the divine within that was 54 and 59 it just comes back to the beginning of the battle if because of egoism you still insist I will not fight that is an empty vow and your nature will compel you to anyway Arjuna you're bound by your karma your past actions which arose from your own nature therefore you must do even out of delusion what you are meant to do so ultimately he says rise up with this knowledge and fight and the final actually the final verse that I'll just kind of paraphrase he says that I love he's like so now I've given you all of this information but now it is your choice to do what you're gonna do I'm putting it in your hands not my own so ultimately again we take this responsibility take a couple of deeper breaths and then make sure that you have your mat maybe some props as we're gonna work on some some deeper hip openings and lotus and I'll see you on the mat okay so make sure you're in a


comfortable cross-legged position you don't really need padding or anything we're just gonna go right into some circles so the thick the feeling is to find your center point it's kind of like the hub of a wheel spinning around at its center it's completely still right so especially with all the changes whatever it is seasons everything going on in our lives how can we stay connected and centered so I like to call these Sufi circles means Sufi means a dervish you know the spinning practice to dissolve into the universe it also means doorway you get to open up these doorways into freedom so you can find your center and then inhale forward exhale back can close your eyes and kind of get lost in the movement but again finding this center especially getting there into into the hips that we're gonna be getting into a little bit deeper you can take it through the other direction over to the left inhaling forward exhaling back let the head go like all those planets everything spinning around the center of the Sun we have that same center and this time as you come forward we'll just play with the same just flexions of the spine inhaling forward exhaling back again inhale forward exhale right from the navels sit back one more time like that as you inhale this time pause we're just gonna feel a little bit of an isolation before we take it into the movements into what is called Uddiyana Bandha so again it's this lift right from our belly that we want to begin to use the deeper aspects of who we are especially in this final chapters are about internal freedom not really finding it outside in the world but how can we find this freedom within our own minds and lives so it is a shift that happens within us so from here you can take the you know it's really important to be nice and grounded as you're finding this lift up you can get even a little bit lightheaded so I'm gonna ask you to draw the chin in towards the throat so that the heads connected this is called Jalandara Bandha or cloud catching lock the root lock is called Mula Bandha so they're they all work together but the one that we're isolating and want to find the lift is Uddiyana or flying up from the navel so as you press your fingertips to the ground you'll take a deep breath in empty everything out and then holding the breath out pull the belly in squeeze the pelvic floor the navel lift up and into the heart and then release keep the head nice and connected and then we'll try it again so I know I was speaking with my belly up and into my throat so this time again the feeling is that you're gonna exhale everything out and then like a suction cup you know how when you push it all the air comes out and then it gets nice and stuck there so you'll exhale engage your root lock by squeezing the sit bones together drop the chin and then feel that lift up and hollowing out of the belly okay we'll do it one more time and then see how we can find it in our practice so we can chest can be lifted your fingertips you'll take a deep breath in exhale everything out stay empty and then take a deep breath in gently rise up feel the lightness all around I certainly do and then come on into child's pose so you can let your head ground down to the earth for a couple moments and again to be able to find that freedom within our world drop your head for a couple moments come into your ujjayi breathing whisper and then those subtle pauses those kumbakas at the height of the inhale and the depth of the exhale rise up onto your hands and your knees take a deep breath in drop the belly to look up and then tuck your toes under to extend into downward facing dog from here begin to lift the right leg up and high you can even start by taking the heel towards the sitting bone peeling open through the hip and then you're gonna take it all the way across towards the left elbow give it a little tap find that lift up into the belly and then swing it all the way up draw the right knee in towards your nose lifting up by pressing into the hands swing it all the way back take the right knee and perch up high to the back of the right elbow and then step into a nice wide lunge turn the toes out so that that right knee can open up right from the hip and then take a twist peeling the right arm nice and wide up and then replace it back down and right from here we're just gonna since we found that lift we're gonna keep it at it right from the beginning see if you can pin the right knee to the back of the right shoulder and then see if you can for a moment lift your right heel up and then extend to a plank pose before staying lifted in your belly and lowering down point your toes rise up for Cobra press down into the belly to lift the chest hook up and then back into downward facing dog as you inhale lift your left leg up and you can bend through the knee taking your heel towards your right hip even any little movements and then as you come forward you'll take your knee all the way across and tap the right elbow with your left knee inhale and swing your left leg back as you exhale curl right in towards your center knee to your nose one more time up and back the belly flies up high as you come wide to the outside of your left elbow and then step your foot to the outside of your left hand again turning the toes out let the right hand sink down peel open through your chest so that you're twisting and then take your hand back so again the feeling is to really pin your knee to the outer edge of your left shoulder and then see if you can find that inner lift your woody anabanda as you take your heel towards your sitting bone and then plank pose to lower all the way down staying lifted the whole way cobra you can rise up as high as it's comfortable and then exhale all the way back so we'll add on to that with the right leg up and high you'll step forward twisting the right arm lift this time circle the hand down parallel the toes into prosa Rita you can bend quite deeply through the left knee through the right knee and then as you come through center toes out heels in take your hands to the tops of your thighs and again any little movements and twists I always feel lots of nice little pops and then with the hips sinking down this can be like your thottest pose or to me it feels like a lotus really rooted even into the discomfort and pain right here in the left hips a little while the chest and the heart are nice and free take a big breath in lengthen through the legs you can parallel the toes interlace the hands behind you and then turn the right toes out left toes in for this devotional warrior diving into the mud of our lives from here lift yourselves up arch backwards towards a peaceful warrior and then extended side angle and we're gonna put we're just gonna keep firing up our centers right so that we can stay yoked and connected so a block if you need to lift up the ground underneath your right hand and then from here you're gonna see if you can lift your right heel towards your sitting bone there's gonna be all sorts of heat for sure stay in it and then as you come through center bend through the elbows the back foot isn't lifting yet step back bend your elbows to lower down halfway of course for chaturanga if you're ready cobra upward dog and downward dog as you breathe out as you inhale extend your left leg high you're stepping wide to the outside of your left hand drop the hips turn the toes out pick up your left arm twisting stretch your arm forward lengthen through that left leg it's a wide and a parsvotenasana and then walk your hand center for your prasarita you can even go towards skandhasana on this side bending the right knee really deeply bending the left knee really deeply coming on to your right heel left tippy toes and then as you come through center turn the toes out your heels in twisting if that felt good to release any stuck ness in your lower spine and then sinking down to lift up beautiful water Lily being forwards and backwards keeping the chest wide and open and then parallel the toes arms high for a moment before you interlace your hands turn the left toes out right toes in a big breath in to lift the chest and an exhale to dive inward pressing down through the feet navel lifts as the head drops lift yourself up arch backwards peaceful and then extended side angle you can start with your forearm to the thigh or take it to the ground right arm forward up and then would however it's gonna be best for you to really root your hand into the ground or again a block it's there you can begin to point the toes see if you can lift your heel and then as you place your right hand down bend the elbows like chaturanga before you lift the back foot step back and lower down cobra or upward dog and downward dog as you breathe out from here inhale and lift the right leg high so now you're gonna see what it would feel like to fly take your knee to the outer edge of your right elbow bend the elbows again see if the belly can fly up if you lift the back foot and then step back lengthen the arms checking it out on the left side come wide and you're welcome to stay here with the bent elbows but if you want to fly always like to slide the right elbow in a little bit oh as you lift the back foot make your way back take a big breath in and a big breath out from here you can look forward towards your hands bend your knees if hopping is new for you feel free to take a couple hops forward and again you're using the power of that exhale to spring you forward so I always like to take a couple of little bends breathing in at the bottom of the exhale you'll step or hop forward lengthen the spine as you breathe in and then bow down into your legs turn your toes out your heels and come into malasana you can take a block underneath your sitting bones sometimes this feels nice I'm even gonna do this to allow the spine to lengthen and get more into the hips you can take a couple of breaths here and then crow pose with both knees to the upper arms it's actually I find it easier but again the whole point is to strengthen kind of this internal lift so we're doing inner work instead of so much outer work so use your fingers even though it looks on the outside it's a physical it's this internal use of the breath you can walk your feet up onto your block and then see if you can drop your feet between your hands rise up for katasana and then release your arms by your side so we're gonna take another arm balance you're welcome to keep your block here it's nice to lift to stay a little bit lifted if these are newer for you so that your hips are lifted and can come to the back of your arms as we're gonna do a flying crow this time so we'll start in a tree pose with the right foot to come back into our feet come back into our body nice and balanced and rooted you know trees stay rooted no matter what the seasonal changes they kind of go with it your hands can start at your heart and then extend them wide like great branches then bend through the elbows and take the left arm under into Eagle pose which just helps to draw everything in you're gonna flex through your right shin and then it's kind of an eagle variation but with this is called Galavasana or flying bird legs like to call it temple dancer and you can stay here or if you'd like to move on your hands will find the ground so it's pretty intense in the hip but we've warmed them up so if you'd like to play with lifting up again it's like that crow pose your block is there if you wanted to take a step up and then shift the wave forward belly lifts and then you'll lower down into a seated spinal twist finding the ground again but all of that great lift so we're in the world but not of it lift and open through the chest even as you twist right from your center everything revolving around it and then from here you'll even take a moment in a pigeon pose we're not gonna come all the way down because it'll be too hard to get back up so lift through the chest and then step your left foot to the outside of the right hand left hand and then back into your Malasana hips low crow pose with your block or without katasana rising up and then release your arms by your side for Tadasana hug the left knee in towards your chest and set up for tree pose on the left side so nice and supported here still here there's a lift your tailbone is like a second leg I know that's a weird thing to symbolize but it helps me to keep me anchored your hands can come to your heart all of that movement again I love that visual of the whole universe being inside arms wide right arm under so that you can dome the back of the body a little bit for you cross your ankle like a figure four and then do draw the tailbone in so the belly lifts as you come forward and this can be enough if you're coming for the arm balance hook your shin up and around your upper arms so the more you can draw them in the more it'll draw the energy to stoke through the belly pick up your foot and then come around yourself into your Ardha Matsyandrasana I can lengthen up sometimes allows the spine to stretch before coming around okay a couple moments you've been closing your eyes at love we can feel that serenity when everything stops we can draw everything in towards our center no matter what's swirling outside within can be a stillness and then pigeon on the left side your hips don't have to touch the ground this is just allowing for a little more openness as we make our way into our final lotus shapes lift and open through the chest and then ground your hands down tuck the back toes under Malasana Uttanasana lengthen the legs parallel the toes and then rise on up to stand so this pose can be quite intense especially if it's new I love coming back to some of these poses I had forgotten about because it's so awesome again not to do more advanced poses to get a stronger ego but to really humble myself and to be new so for Lotus we've done a lot of these hip shapes we're gonna keep it going starting here with the ankle on top of the knee and then if you're comfortable you can begin to take the foot up as high again you want the rotation happening from the hip joint and not the knee so you can keep a hold of the left foot of the right foot with the left hand but angle the right knee towards the ground and then you can reach for your inner left elbow behind you or your foot might not there on this side but in either shape you're gonna see if you can come forward you can let go of your hands and find the ground this is you can take a few pulses here and breathe into the hips and today or however many times you come back to this practice it's here to try to maybe bend through your left knee release the right knee to the ground and then you'll find that same wide lunge so a blanket here is just so nice for this knee and then the play is to rise up out of that mud maybe there's some eagle arms find that still that lift up in the belly and then think down so you can move the padding out to the side as we take it over to the other side but you can pause in a half lotus pressing down lifting open through the hips lengthen through the legs for Navasana and then if it's comfortable a little rock and roll on the spine before you come back up onto your feet so you can use your hands to rise back up and then come up to stand check it out on the left side there's some exquisite verses about while we're yoked to ourselves and nothing can affect us right no humiliate no humiliation no praise or blame we just stay rooted so that's why it's so important to get humbled in our practice nothing can define us we're connected to our spirits so the knee goes down your left heel towards your right hip you can stay here breathe into the sensations if this is new if you're coming forward remember your blanket is nearby for your knee again this is the second step to breathe a little bit deeper into that left hip and then if you're going towards Vanti and Asana this is called or horse dance you'll turn the right toes out like you were with those lunges or squats stay here for a moment using those fingertips like we were doing at the beginning for Uddhana already find it by pressing down find the lift up so that you can scoop your left arm under and rise up stay lifted up in the belly gravity I know is trying to pull down through the hips and then when you're ready to release release it down so you can take the right foot underneath the left and take a couple of moments here again coming back into your blissful sattvic self and then if you're ready to move on and find a full lotus with your left heel on top of your right thigh you know one of the great things about this pose and really its purpose is to draw the hips actively towards the earth and then instead of again yanking your foot or from your knee your hands underneath the right shin would allow for the full expression of lotus pose you can take a deep breath in here a deep breath out and then with your fingertips on either side of you we're gonna see if we can find one more lip lift so exhale into the fingertips lift up through the belly oh you can rock and then drop back down release your legs out and in front of you navasana halasana and then come all the way forward and into downward facing dog straight now through the legs with the head release and then we'll take pigeon for a little while longer right leg high slide your shin forward allow your right hip to release a blanket can help to stabilize the pelvis as you lift up and then you can take it into a back bend by reaching for your left foot with your left hand your right arm can come up and then releasing forward for a few moments the lotus goes back into the mud and then with the call of the Sun rises up you can take a few breaths coming back into a what's called samavritti or this even inhale and exhale it's all this inner work that we can do it's so much like a emotional regulation when I come into my breathing bring myself back away from the power of the senses and the gunas to my inner nature you can begin to straighten the arms and walk back and then from here begin to draw your left shin forward into a half of virasana and keep the blanket underneath your right hip or you can release it back out to the side just keep it handy for the other side and then with your right foot this is going to be a twist you're welcome to keep it on the ground or take it a little higher for your lotus again your arm can sweep back behind you for the foot as you twist and then look past your left shoulder so there's all of these spirals again happening around your center the forces of the gunas changes changes in your life and age there's always something within that stays the same that purusha and then as you come back towards center this is another sage pose marici so your foot whenever you feel like it's been enough for your knee or your hip your foot can come down or you can stay lifted in this one your arms can wrap around in a bind but I'd like to just take a bow forward as you come up either a half lotus or another full lotus the opportunity is there to lift the belly drop down and unfurl into a navasana and then we'll meet in a pigeon however you can come all the way through if you'd like or just roll forward with your left shin out and in front of you padding start with rising up rooted deep and then reaching for your right foot your left arm can lift it can drop back behind you any variation there's so many in these poses you can explore and then letting it go getting a few breaths again there's there's never any judgment around the gunas like this tamasic energy of coming down to rest it helps everything replenish rise on up to prepare for your twist keeping your left shin forward half Virasana with your right leg again Vida is that hero heroes pose we started our whole journey with and this lotus so your left foot can be on top it can be on the inside it maybe reach for your foot or not twist your chest all the way over towards the left but then it's looking past your right shoulder so that you can release the neck and there's this nice long line as you take a few breaths and this remembrance of your true sattvic nature come through center and plant the right foot down for your Marici with the foot down or keeping it bent taking a bow forward arms combined or stay nice and wide and then coming back up to sit maybe there's one last full lotus especially after all the moving in and out it may feel a little more organic to the body you'll sit up nice and tall maybe there's one last little lift before this time lengthening the legs out long take your arms up high and then dive on in a few breaths to really settle in as it's withdrawing all of the senses or this Pratyahara in towards the self usually they're taken outward from there we can re-enter the world slowly begin to rise up for your Shavasana blankets underneath the knees so that your low back can really settle down and slowly unfurl back to the earth and press into the back of the head let the shoulders melt away meaning that bliss imagining even that visualization of that lotus flower floating serenely without anything getting stuck on it your spiritual nature Slowly bring your awareness back in, but before you come up to sit, see it with your senses, you can explore your inner world as you dream in, in stillness, tap into what you feel, in darkness, with your eyes closed, what do you see as you're alone, what do you sense? Give you this touch, this sense of touch, it's even meant to be that when the mind is completely serene, there's a fragrance, rises from the heart, and a sweet elixir, nectar released in the mouth. Couple more moments of enjoying all the senses turning inward. Before moving your hands and your feet, coming back into the world, stretch your arms over your head, it's all there to fully enjoy and also suffer, but these practices really teach us to lessen the impact, and hug your knees into your chest, roll over onto your side and come on up to sit as we prepare for meditation. Take a couple of moments, your hands can, and find this prayer to honor the sacred within, as well as the forces of nature all around both, and you can take a bow before preparing for meditation, make sure you have padding and your journals, and we'll gather back in a few moments.


Make sure you have everything that you need to set up for our meditation today, which is really going to take us back to the first time we stepped onto our battlefield and now ready to go out there into the world and fight the good fight, to act well, which is so simple. Do good and be good, I think some of those mantras are so simple and exemplify, really bring into being the Gita's great message. So for today, we're going to do this feeling of finding complete tranquility within ourselves as renunciation. I think it would be easy, even in my journey I had gone to India, I renounced everything I gave away, all of my possessions, I really did, I even shaved my head, I did all these things that a renunciate might do, and I still suffered so intensely, no matter how it was just like, well, let me renounce this, let me renounce that, nothing worked. Until I started to see it's really what's inside, what am I willing to renounce?

Sometimes it's our big stories, and once we become in touch with them that cause us such tremendous trauma and suffering, but mostly it's our reactions. So for myself once I realized I was only responsible for my reactions, no one else, people could be doing whatever they wanted to the world, it's what I was doing that was creating the suffering in my life. And so these chapters, these last few chapters about freedom and renunciation or renounce and rejoice in the midst of everything are truly profound to me, and I hope they have been for you as we make our way back. This whole conversation, remember this whole, takes place in only like a few seconds in the middle of a battlefield, and I feel like these choices, you know, it happens in the midst of any choice we're about to make, which way are we going to react when Arjuna just becomes despondent, he doesn't act. So this whole thing plays out in just a couple seconds before he rises up to do his duty.

So let's start our meditation today with taking our peace fingers, old school peace fingers that protest, we can have as many boards as we want, but we want to allow it to be internal to what we're stopping. And then you can place it right up into the third eye, your chin can drop down, but lift up your third eyes so it's awake and just keep watching until we're ready. And then you can close your physical eyes, but you'll take your right thumb to your right nostril and your right ring finger to your left nostril. We're going to do nadi shodhana, it's equalizing the right and left, sun and moon, all opposition, male female dark and light, through the channels of our bodies right into our brains. So we're going to alternate nostrils and then sit together.

So breathe all the way in through both nostrils, pause, breathe all the way out through both nostrils and again pause at the depth of your exhale into your sit bones from there, breathing all the way in again, pause, this time slightly block off your right nostril and exhale through your left. You'll inhale through the left, pause and switch and exhale through the right. Inhale right, pause, switch, exhale left, inhale left, pause and exhale right, inhale right, pause, exhale left, inhale left, pause and exhale right. So that's three rounds, we'll do three more. Inhale right, exhale left, inhale left, exhale right, inhale right, exhale left, inhale left, exhale right, last round, inhale right, exhale left, inhale left and exhale right.

Take a deep breath in and start by releasing both hands down and then as you continue to sit for a few more moments, lift your right hand up so your right elbow can release by its side and just put this right hand up, Abhayamudra, Samudra of bravery and to re-enter our world, to perform our duties and our dharma without closing off, without being insulted by the world, without praise or blame and then with your left hand, you can open it up into Varada so it's the mudra of letting go, this great balance of bravery creating the safe and brave space within to be who we are, live life authentically, all of that letting go that it's a heart of our practice, our attachments, our aversions, our ego so we can be free, we can be happy in the midst of so much turmoil and chaos in the world. We can let your gaze shift slightly down at the earth in this loving gaze towards our world that needs us so much to be brave warriors, to give ourselves selflessly and even a gentle not a fake cheesy smile but just a soft gentle smile, sit and breathe for a few more moments embodying these qualities and leave you with just a couple last reminders and this is again in Satchitananda's book The Living Gita in chapter 14 verse 21 Arjuna says Lord what are the signs of those who have passed beyond the forces of nature who are inwardly free, how do they conduct themselves in the world and how do they get beyond the grip of nature Krishna replied when nature's qualities are present such people neither become attached to nor do they reject the light activity or delusion born of the gunas and when these qualities are absent they are not missed but those who maintain their equanimity in the midst of pleasure and pain, friends, adversaries, foes, praise and blame and those who identify with their true self thus perceiving the same essence in a clod of dirt, stone, a stone or a nugget of pure gold and those who have let go of every selfish pursuit it is said that such people have gone beyond the forces of nature and are free you can release both of your hands and before you start journaling you can begin to see yourself as this lotus how can you let go you know is there a challenge right now in your life you can bring your awareness to what are some ways you can be that lotus and to find this essence of freedom peace even within whatever is going on for me I like to even envision myself going back to some situation that's really worked me up I've lost it and really call in my wise true self true nature how would they react and then write about a different scenario a different outcome to really make it real so you can reach for your journal if there are some situations in your life that you would like to go back into especially after this journey especially challenging situations that Arjuna is facing where maybe you're despondent or you've overreacted or under reacted not reacted maybe write down how you would now get this information and through these practices react in a different way and then when you finish that one or even you can leave this one for the rest of your life things are always going to arise I would love for you to start by writing down your virtuous qualities because in the end it is to become this is to reunite with our goodness with our virtuous selves so that we can go into our worlds and offer all of our gifts to the world around us to the people we love the earth that really needs us so much so on your mark get set go just start even maybe how about we start with I am remember when Krishna is saying I am all these amazing things you may not be able to stop writing about yourself in such an impassioned way and for now you can place your pens down as we end this last practice with a mantra I have it tattooed so I can remember and really the essence of my life I want to live in a different way of this mantra that is loca samasta suki no bavan tu and can be translated as may all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering but it doesn't end there because it's just not a prayer just in our head but a prayer of action that continues to say and may my every word thought and deed contribute to that happiness and to that freedom in some way if it feels natural for you to take your hands and prayer do so I'll start chanting and you can join or listen no bavan tu loca samasta suki no bavan tu last time loca samasta suki no bavan tu bavan stah suki no bavan tu om shanti shanti shanti shanti great honor great respect I bow down to you and all of your efforts and of course to these incredible practices and teachings that continue to transform and shape my life every day thank you everyone.


Kate M
1 person likes this.
This course has renewed my desire to do more Gītā study. (In fact, my Sanskrit teacher had recently suggested that we dive back in at some point. We're exploring the Rāmāyana right now! A long journey!). Thank you, Jasmine, for designing this course and for guiding us through. I so appreciate the authenticity and depth of what you've shared with us: your personal journey and how the Gītā has helped you along the way. Blessings.   : )
1 person likes this.
What a beautiful course & experience! I hope you do more in depth course like these. The essence of real yoga. Jai ma!
Laura M
What a powerful, deep, and beautiful course . Thank you so much! I appreciate you ❤️
Charlie S
This has been an incredible, deep and powerful journey. Thank you, i appreciate you Jasmine. I hope to have more journey's like this with you  
Petra L
Thank you so much for this whole course. It was amazing, and it has really helped and guided me through a big change in my life right now. I have als o shared these new and fun sequences with my students and they also truly love them. Thank you again. 

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