The Amrita Yoga weekend retreat at Amma’s Swiss Center Ziegelhütte Flaach started on the evening of November 22nd and finished on the 24th. It was a deeply rewarding experience of Divine love for the fourteen participants, as Amma’s tangible grace flowed into the hearts of all those who were present.
This weekend retreat helped us all experience the truth that a spiritual seeker should have the attitude of a witness. It was Amma who orchestrated and conducted this program for the upliftment and benefit of all. Both Amrita Yoga instructors, Abheda and Sunanda, witnessed Her Divine presence with deep gratitude in their hearts.
The retreats follow the daily practices at Amma’s Centers worldwide, starting with the early morning archana (recitation of Divine names in Sanskrit), evening bhajans (devotional singing), and seva (selfless service). Amrita Yoga aims to cultivating awareness in every action, beginning with asanas integrated with the mantras MA and OM.
The four classic yogas formed the fundamentals of the retreat – jnana (knowledge), bhakti (devotion), karma (selfless service in action), and raja (meditation). Classes were composed of such simple yet smooth flowing sequences as Surya Namaskarah (Sun Salutations), for daily self-practice. It was an additional blessing to be able to listen to satsang (spiritual discourses) by Br Shubamrita and Prabha. Included were guided MA OM meditations, and a short IAM refresher for those who had attended the IAM course before. These were very helpful for silencing the mind.
‘Be Here Now’, the subject of Brahmachari Shubamrita’s satsang, was open to public. We have only the present moment in our hands, and it is through meditation and yoga practices we can best gain tranquility of the mind. The deeper meaning of yoga is found in the connection of the restless nature of the mind to the body.
Everyone enjoyed Prabha’s stories of her early days with Amma. She spoke about yoga in general, comparing it to a river. Only if we jump in can we experience its flow, the energy that streams through every cell of our body, and the calm mind that follows. The videos of Amma filled our hearts with bliss. The retreat wound up with some light hearted games and group discussion in which everyone shared their experience.
Each aspect of the retreat was filled with the fragrance of love; meals were served by the sevites (volunteers practicing selfless service) with much love and dedication. A chimney fire lit up a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the temple and yoga room. It was cold outside, with the first flakes of snow about to drift and blow.
The participants were thankful for the new opportunities that the retreat opened up in their lives and for the still and peaceful atmosphere in which it was conducted. The asanas were not difficult, and all felt how positively their bodies responded to them.
Here are some of the comments from the fourteen participants (translated into English from German):
Amrita Yoga was indeed a new spiritual experience for me, deeper than anything I have experienced before. The stillness of the soul I felt through this yoga was a refreshing source of life on my spiritual journey.
MA OM is a very practical exercise to feel directly connected with Amma (even though it is not easy for me to enter into that much concentrated breathing). It is very fruitful to have such a multifaceted sequence of exercises. – Madhuri (Yoga practitioner for many years)
I appreciated the slowing down throughout, as well as demonstrations and the correction of postures by the two instructors present. I was tuned in with MA OM throughout.
Though I felt very exhausted, I could still participate in all the exercises. The main reason was that there was no pressure or force, and the course was conceived in a very motivating way. There was so much harmony between the instructors, and everything was clear and understandable. – Irene Bolt
It’s a lot to coordinate – movement, breathing, mantra and the sequences.
For those interested in participating in Amrita Yoga retreats in Europe: