amritayoga.com_Yoga Talks_Amma's Essence of love and acceptancce in Amrita Yoga, Amritapuri, India“Only love can make you open up into God-consciousness. The whole of life is a lesson of acceptance. The presence, love, and touch of a divine soul has a great effect on people; it makes them so receptive that they open up.” – Amma from AWAKEN CHILDREN, Volume 9

I have known Amma since 2007, yet this past summer, I had a particularly strong experience of opening to Her unconditional love and acceptance. In Toronto, I went for darshan and I was crying, as usual. This time, though, instead of trying to hold back my pain or hold back the parts of myself I deem as “unspiritual” or “ugly,” I came to Her more honestly. I wept on Her chest for what seemed like a very long time and She rubbed my back. She has done this before, yet this time my experience was different. After the darshan, I felt more at home within myself. Amma has loved me and accepted me always; this was the first time that I began to love and accept myself too.

I notice this opening in all aspects of my life, especially my yoga practice. In accepting and witnessing the thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the space of love, there is less of a need to fight against my body or push my body to do something it is not quite ready to do. From this, I am more willing to be present with the direct experience of the body and breath. I can come more into the present.

In practicing yoga with the essence of love and acceptance, there is less room for my ego to lead. Normally, my ego wants to push me so hard on my yoga mat that I am not so much practicing yoga as “working out.” I feel my yoga can still be strong, yet with love (Amma) guiding, I have a choice to back off or rest if it’s needed. I can be simply with my experience rather than working to achieve something.

Yoga with love of the Divine inspires acceptance naturally, and Amrita Yoga is exactly this. Born out of Amma’s sankalpa, Amrita Yoga is infused with Her grace. Through devoting the practice to Amma, Amrita Yoga helps people to feel Her presence, and their own true Self. By chanting “MA” on the inhale (which means love), people can literally feel like they are absorbing Amma’s love into all layers of their being from the grossest to most subtle. They are reminded of their inherent light/divinity when they chant “OM’ on the exhale.

Amrita Yoga cultivates an opening to the Divine. It is a yoga practice infused with love and “can make you open into God-consciousness.”

Author: Madhuri Molly Francis