When Amma, ‘the Mother of all’, gives something, it is for all. Like a good mother, She gives it in different forms to each of Her children.
In 2003, Amma gave the full-length, 3-phase Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) technique to the world at large. About 2007, Amma gave the condensed version of the same IAM to the corporate world and to the modern world in general. Amma also devised a short version of the IAM technique for young adults and children.
Amma has devised yet another integrated yoga for the uplift of many, called Amrita Yoga. As far back as twenty years ago, She would instruct Her children to spend time during the Tuesday meditation day completely relaxed in savasana – and just be the witness. Her guidance expanded and branched out into several more components, including yogasana, and therapeutic and awareness classes. People travel long distances now, adjusting their itineraries simply to be with Amma and take part in Amrita Yoga.
With the founding of the Amrita Yoga Madiram, and daily sessions for residents and visitors alike, Amrita Yoga gradually took on an established model. It was then that some of us found to our dismay that, satisfied that we had acquired a valuable new technique, we had let it fall by the wayside due to other priorities. While the physical body is not generally considered to be of an order of first importance here, when it fails to meet expectation we can find ourselves jolted into giving it due respect – and once more hitting the yoga mat.
Amma has noted that, “Only when you get a headache do you become aware of your head.” It was only after a hectic North India tour that I began to see the virtue of a regular yoga class. My ‘yoga teacher self’ and my ‘IAM instructor self’ raised haughty objections to getting back on track. Hey, who’s teaching whom, here? Ruefully recalling Amma’s
words that unless a seed goes down into the soil it cannot grow up as a tree, I surrendered to being a student again, and took the daily classes for women. I would often think of Amma’s words that we cannot actually see the eyes we see with. Sure enough, Amrita Yoga provides a wonderful opportunity to keep our bodies in balance and our priorities intact.
One of the instructors of the daily classes for women while teaching forward bending pose in which you fold forward to your feet says, “Bow down to your own feet.” Ending a session, she says, “Thank your body, mind and heart for all that you could do with them this morning.”
Amrita Yoga is a journey in awareness with rhythmic breath and mantras, reflecting Amma’s hallmark of simplicity and humility. In the Sea of Love, what can the Goddess do but bless Her children?