Lessons learnt from a Swami

Lessons learnt from a Swami in the house

I was delighted however truthfully super nervous, to host our overseas Integral Yoga® Swami Ramananda, in January this year. I only had about 1000 questions to the organiser on protocol! I cleaned every inch of the house, did a double take of the pantry including the shelf of alcohol (which we actually don’t drink, truly!) and started a search for interesting vegan recipes.

However, he brought my husband and me a great gift. His presence, his authenticity, his honesty. His needs were simple, his requests most manageable, his gratitude palpable.

As much as I could make up all sorts of stories, the reality was incredibly easeful.

He doesn’t get up at 4am every morning. Phew!

Of course I was super keen to practise in the mornings with him in my studio, and tentatively asked the question about what time that may be. Ramananda said that when he travels offering intense teaching programs, and when the day allows, he goes with the rhythm of his body. Whilst we intuitively know that tuning in is wise, it’s easy to get stuck in routine and ignore the signals. I was very grateful for his honesty and enjoyed a 6.30am start!

I’m a man with a different job to yours.

This is how Swami Ramananda explained his work to my husband, one night over dinner. It was such a clear and effective way to say that he has devoted his life’s energy and focus to Integral Yoga®. Yes his pay rate is probably very different to yours and mine and his home is regularly with unknown hosts (some with kangaroos in the back yard). However his commitment is unwavering. Ramananda and other Swamis like him do not put themselves on a pedestal, their ego is not in the picture and I know my husband gained a greater acceptance of his work.

He is very calm and that rubs off.

You can’t help but be unfazed when you’re around someone whose to-do list makes yours fill the back of a postage stamp. My insight here came at one of his talks when he said ‘The Universe has no interest in you having a smooth life and likes your to-do list!’ I was aghast, as along with so many people I teach, we truly want to make that to-do list more manageable. Well, he’s the living example of the opposite. However I’m guessing he had a big sleep on the plane home.

He likes chocolate – however one small raw cacao piece at a time!

Moderation, mindful eating, daily energy needs. It’s a fabulous way to become satiated. Whilst that is how I aim to eat, preparing his vegan meals with some of his favourite foods, helped me find new energy-rich dishes without ANY animal products. A bonus was my husband tried tempeh and liked it. Yeah!

I’m still working with my mind.

Oh boy! For someone with a daily meditation practice of some 40 years, it was most reassuring to be reminded that our minds are not easy to understand. Letting go of needing to think; letting go of needing to know; letting go of needing answers…that’s why we sit….and he still does so, day-in, day-out.

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Caroline Giles Experience yoga studio melbourne

I’m Caroline Giles, a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher, and the owner of Experience Yoga. I’m inspired to teach you practices of yoga for health, well-being and wholeness. My students are the everyday person like you and me. They come to create strength, vitality, inner peace and courage in their life through the practices of yoga.

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