In most Indian languages – in common usage, the word ‘Hatha’ means, being adamant. This is a quality that you will need. Your body says enough, I had it – but you are adamant. This is ‘Hatha Yoga’. Your mind says – I give up, I can’t do this anymore – but you are adamant, you simply do it. So, Hatha Yoga is about creating a body, which will not be a hurdle in one’s life. It will become a stepping stone, but not a hurdle, not a roadblock in one’s progress of blossoming into his ultimate possibility.
So, simple tips – I’m not know for giving tips. Bad reputation, I have. But simple tips.
In the yogic culture – a shower, there was no shower. Bath always meant dip in the river. Always went to the river – dip – come out and do it. If you do this, your muscles will be good. So, an alternate way of doing it is – usually in our homes, the pail that we use to pour water, is ‘this’ big. At least it has 4 litres of water. If you do this, the whole body – that’s it. Always – I mean I’m not going to insist on this for the ladies, your hairstyles and everything. But always a bath means, the first pail of water is on your head, always.
Putting cold water on your body will shift the heat into your brain very rapidly
Putting cold water on your body will shift the heat into your brain very rapidly. It should not happen. So this is why, those who don’t want to wet their hair, at least you take a little bit of cold water and put it. You know there’s a point here, in line with your ears – ‘here’. At that point you put little cold water, immediately you will see a certain cooling happens in the head region. After that, you can have bath with just the body. But otherwise, you always, the first pail of water is over your head, not on your body. So what you do is, you fill the bucket, and [pour it over yourself]. That’s the best way to do it in the morning. The body should be immersed in water. You’re trying to create a simulated dip in the river. Okay?
The whole body should be covered in water at the same time
At the same time – the whole body should be, at least the skin should be covered in water at the same time. Not like this, this, this, like this, this, this, you know. If you pour water, the whole body – the body should think you’re taking it for a dip. So, if you pour like this, there is a certain coolness in the system and muscles become very flexible. Shower can do it too. If the shower is forceful enough, or at least if the volume of water is good enough, shower can easily do that.
It’s always best that we use water which is little cooler than the room temperature. Just a certain volume of water to flow over you, or to be immersed in a water which is cooler than room temperature. Because if this happens – one thing that happens on the surface is – the cells, the epithelial cells will contract. When they contract they open up all the pores. The pores between the cells will open up. The cells themselves have pores, we don’t want that to open. That will open if you put it in warm water. If you dip your body in a hot water tub, the cells will open up, and take in water. That is not always a good thing to do. You put the body in cold water, the cells will contract. The in-between spaces will open, and that’s important for practicing yoga. Because we want the cellular structure of the body to be charged with a different dimension of energy. If the cells contract and allow space, and then you practice your yoga, then the cellular structure in the body is charged.
Once your cellular structure is charged with energy, it will remain youthful for a very, very long time
Why one person seems to be far more alive than the other is essentially because of this. And once your cellular structure is charged with energy, it will remain youthful for a very, very long time. When people are thinking why the old bugger is still not dead, you still feeling like you’re 25. Hatha Yoga is a way to frustrate the world also. So, water which is cooler than the room temperature. In India, in South India at least it’s not so much of a problem – the water is always in that temperature, ideal place.
But if you’re in a colder country, if you’re in a temperate climate, the water may be too cold. That is not good. The water must be, let’s say, within five to eight degree centigrade, lower than the room temperature. Not more than that.
So if you have a tendency to catch cold – initially, first couple of weeks you put a spoon of eucalyptus oil in the water, cold water, and pour it over you. You will see your cold will go away. Not because of the eucalyptus oil, just because the cold water. If you have an infection and something else where excess mucus is being generated, that needs to be treated differently. But as I said, the water should be just somewhere five to eight degrees below room temperature. Not an excessively cold water.
If there is any kind of interaction, any kind of mingling and mixing of whatever kind. If you’re in a crowd for too long – when you go home first thing you shower. You must do this. If it takes three, four, five, showers in a day, it doesn’t matter. For a sadhaka, it’s good to shower many times a day. You shouldn’t overdo it, but…there were times when I used to shower minimum five to seven times a day. Now it’s come down to maybe two definitely, sometimes three. Two is a must for you. More is good.
Any kind of physical contact happens with somebody, a period of more than let’s say six minutes. If you’re even holding somebody’s hand, before you do yoga, it’s best that you have a shower. This is not a cleansing thing. We are not trying to clean the body, that’s not the point. It’s not because somebody’s impure, you’re trying to clean your body. Yoga is a way of organising your energies into an individual. So if any kind of transaction happen too much. If I come and sit in a program, I’m not even physically touching anybody, if I sit in a program for two, three hours – first thing is shower. Because just the interaction creates a certain amount of…. the integrity of your energy becomes little loose. So at any time, first thing when you go home – shower. Shower need not mean soap, shampoo, this, that. A bucket full of water – boom [pour over yourself].
Just water flowing over – it purifies
Just water flowing over – it purifies. How does water purify without washing and scrubbing? Not like that. You know, in nuclear reactors they’re using certain metals, particularly metals like titanium and even platinum and few other things. If they want to purify these metals, they want metals in the purest form. In the normal laboratory process, they can only purify to a certain point, beyond that they’re not able to purify. So what they do is, you make a rod of this metal and make another ring. Just move it up and down, without touching. Just do this. You will see the metals will get purified.
So, 72% of your body is water. You just throw water over this, there is a certain purification. Not about washing the dirt on your skin. That is anyway there, that’s a different thing. But a certain purification on a deeper level happens, just allowing water to flow over you. Have you seen, suppose you are very tense on a particular day – when you go and stand under the shower, you don’t want to come out. You want to just stay there for some time. Those three minutes or five minutes in the shower hasn’t solved any problem in your life, but when you come out it looks like it’s gone. You’re like born fresh, have you noticed this? You feel it’s all gone. Because all that’s happening is, ‘this’ [self] is largely two thirds of it is water. If just water flows on this, certain things will change.