The Body is the Vehicle (Part One)

Yoga-Asana

Guruji’s yoga classes are typically comprised of three parts: Hatha Yoga (physical exercises); Pranayama (breathing exercises) and Raja Yoga (practice of Pranayama and meditation). He says that these elements should all be present for the practice of yoga to be ‘full’; in other words, in order to truly benefit the person who is practising.

“Think about a car for a moment,” Guruji said, speaking after a class one day. “There are some essential things that a car needs in order for it to run:

“For a start, it needs lubrication. No engine will work without it. You also need the right kind of fuel, and enough of it. If it takes petrol and you put in diesel, or olive oil, it won’t work. It needs a cooling system or it will burn out. It needs a battery to run. If you leave the car for six months and don’t drive it, the battery will lose its charge and you have to push it or jumpstart it to make it go. And finally, the car needs a good driver, who is conscious of where he has to go.

“The car is an analogy of your body. These five key things that a car needs are also very important for our life and health.

Yoga-Asanas“Our body needs a lubricant to keep our joints and muscles healthy, and for this we need to practise yoga asanas.

“The cooling system is very important for the body too. It is relaxation. You have to relax. If we are under too much pressure, we are working against nature. This is why we have to sleep at night. If you work all the time the systems of the body ‘overheat’ and create problems.

“Fuel is essential – and here there are several elements that we need: a proper diet of fresh and wholesome food, water, air and sun.

“And we all have a battery in our solar plexus; in the navel. In order to keep ourselves ‘charged’ like the battery in our car, we have to do some breathing exercises, or pranayama. This charges our battery every time.

“Then this car of ours needs a good and perfect driver who knows the way to the destination (and by the way it is not the supermarket!) The perfect driver I am talking about is Pure Soul. We have to think about the force or energy that gives this vehicle of ours movement, because we all know what happens when the driver is distracted. Likewise, in daily life, mistakes are made, upsets are caused, and accidents happen through a lack of concentration and awareness.

“You take care to maintain your car, but you also have to look after your body. Make sure your diet is wholesome and healthy, take regular exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Take care to think about where you have to go; what is the right direction; what is the energy behind everything (prana). It is very important to be alert and conscious; to be aware and mindful. Every moment you need to have a fully conscious and awakened mind. Then you will be able to drive your car where you want to go. Your aim is to develop your consciousness as high as you can, then everything will be fine.”