This is a wonderful asana (posture) series taught by Baba Hari Dass as part of the Upasana sadhana (KSHAMA PRARTHANA PRANAM)©Sri Ram Publishing, which is a devotional practice.  Sometimes it is  called the Forgiveness Asana series.  The series of asanas is traditionally performed 28 times as part of the full sadhana (practise), and there are 28 prayers that are said before each round. The prayers consist of asking for the removal of ’28 negative emotions’ that us humans tend to entertain in our lives such as; anger, fear, possessiveness, attachment, greed, delusion etc.  The Upasana series is also a great physical body warm up, easier than the sun salutation that I’ve been teaching for years at the beginning of my yoga classes without the prayers.  Often we do this series first and then some Sun or Moon salutations.  Annually at the Mount Madonna Center in the Santa Cruz mountains the full Upasana practice is taught as a 3-4 day retreat.   Upasana.jpg

Here is a list of the negative emotions that you chant with the words prior to each round, picking one emotion per round.  “I bow to Thee for removal of : worldly desires, fear, attachment, greed, jealousy, cruelty, delusion, discontentment, covetousness, enmity, distrust, deception, doubts, selfishness, immodesty, ungratefulness, miserliness, impurity, possessiveness, obstinacy, fickleness, cunningness, corruption, egoism.

I like to consider the opposite energy of each word filling our being while practising as well. We are meant to ask for forgiveness, from ‘Thee’, but most important is forgiving oneself.  The idea isn’t to get down on yourself for hosting these emotions, but to discover the simplicity of letting go and meeting these energies with love and compassion. Exploring them within yourself when they happen to arise with a curiosity can be a healing attitude.  Discover the courage to look deeply within yourself rather than always trying to escape from the feelings or blame some outside source for their presence.  Yoga isn’t just about the physical body, but is essentially about meeting all that is here,  within and without yourself and discovering Who or What Are the ‘You” that is living this life.  Who or what is experiencing these emotions for example.  Are they ‘You’?  When we wake up feeling unsettled/depressed without consciously know why for example, can we sit with that feeling and let it inform us, rather than living all day with depression for  no  conscious reason?

May this practice be helpful in your life.  May we all learn to love and respect ourselves and each other !