2.5
September 11, 2012

An Important Conception of Yoga—Don’t Miss it! ~ Heather Morton

Music heals, nature protects.

As it is September 11th, I was reminded of a visit I made a year ago to an ashram in Mysore, India. The Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama has a huge auditorium dedicated to the power of music as well as magnificent gardens with herbs for medicinal purposes.

The significance rests in understanding that music heals and nature protects us. One of the gardens is a unique collection of herbs while the other is an exquisite display of bonsais (“bon” means tray-like and “sai” is a small tree). These little trees were also found in the Ramayama (one of India’s greatest epics).

Okay, nice tour, but what does this have to do with September 11th?

Situated in the middle of the herbal garden is a very, very interesting statue. At first glance it looks like a bumpy replica of creepy and weirded-out displaced arms and faces headed in all directions. Drawing closer, however, you can see the entire surface is made up of small heads.

This is known as a Stoopa (pillar)—a terracotta figure in honor of those who have died untimely deaths by accident, natural disaster or suicide. When approaching a stoopa one is expected to offer prayers to the deceased representing the eternal notion of elevation and liberation (moksha) for the soul’s journey toward peace. On the bottom of the pillar is a plate that reads:

“This is a yoga conception.”

This is the higher Yoga; the ultimate purpose for practice in order to relieve suffering, obtain liberation and break the karmic cycle of death, and rebirth.

Given the meaning of September 11th, which will be forever immortalized, this pillar is full of important reverence.

Loka Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings (living and non-living) be well and peaceful.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

Like elephant yoga on facebook.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

nunh Sep 15, 2012 8:22pm

I like this alot – I hope we all can meet again one day.

Heather Morton Sep 12, 2012 6:03am

Hi Bob! Thank you for reading.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Heather Morton

Heather (Morton) van Hettema is a Canadian educator and teacher turned mother, writer and frequent traveler. She is better known for her progressive classes and individual attention to the student. After producing Freedom of the Body DVD; one of the first instructional videos on back bends, it has reached students all over the globe. Visit The Yoga Way and connect on facebook.