THE CURE FOR INSOMNIA
During last night's interminable bout of insomnia, I shoved aside obsessive thoughts of the oil geyser in the Gulf (WHY would you allow the company that caused the problem, to solve the problem?), said some prayers, and went online. I spent a long time on Chandra Om's website, listening to an interview she gave a couple of years ago. She advises us to "Stay clean, humble, sweet and close to God" - exactly what one needs to hear in the middle of a sleepless night.
THE CURE FOR INSOMNIA II
Then I ran across this wonderful Yoga+ article about Sri Dharma Mittra. I'd read it before, but it's always good to hear/read the same concepts over and over - until it finally sticks.
Dharma uses the word “God” with the frequency of a televangelist. It’s his way of reminding students that yoga isn’t gymnastics. Where other teachers urge students to “rotate the thighs inward” or “engage the quadriceps,” Dharma offers this instruction for refining postures: “Now think of God.”
Asana—the physical limb of yoga—is part of a process Dharma calls “divine purification.” The postures tone the body and prepare one for seated meditation. Dharma enjoins students to reflect daily on questions such as these: Who am I? Why does everything die? Is anything eternal? Why do some people suffer? Why are some born into privilege and others into poverty? Is there reincarnation? Is there karma? When body and mind have been purified, the answers will reveal themselves, he says.
Breathing exercises and mantra recitation are also part of the purification process, according to Dharma. So is study of ancient texts, particularly the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutra, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. (“Yoga without these three is like spaghetti without the sauce,” he says.) Dharma is especially emphatic about another building block: proper diet. He advocates a live-food vegetarian diet and occasional fasting. Stimulants, heavy foods, and foods that foster cravings inhibit deep concentration, he warns.
Read the rest here.