RUPA (NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANYAM) Biography
Rupa was born in 1936 in the Northwestern state of Sind which is now a part of Pakistan. Her parents were deeply religious Hindus, who taught her the spiritual values which helped her a great deal in her later life and which she has passed on to her family. She is the only daughter among seven sons. They moved to India after the Partition , after the British left.
She has majored in Philosophy, Sociology and English Literature . She could not finish her Masters' as she got married and started a family at 17 as was the custom among the Hindus at that time.
She started a Women's Center in her hometown, Bangalore where there were jobs for women , classes in all arts and crafts to earn a living as also Yoga.
She first learned Yoga to lose weight and keep slim . Later on she branched off into deep breathing techniques, healing with your own hands, meditation and spiritual strength.
She came to the USA in 1990 , started teaching yoga at the Arcadia Senior Center . She now teaches about 20 classes a week over 500 students, every day of the week, and sees private students who need special attention. Her students are of all age groups. Rupa follows the traditional Yoga strictly.
Rupa has not taken a single medication in 15 years. She depends solely on Yoga and enjoys excellent health.
Nadi shodhana is the first of the four purification methods brought down through the ages from the ancient masters of yoga. My Master explained that the perfection of nadi shodhana is not just the method of cycling air in and out of our nostrils. It is the concentrated drawing and releasing of breath, the intentional chanting of mantra and our sincere devotion to God. According to your beliefs the mantra can be Peace, OM, Love, Jesus, Buddha, OM mani padme hum, Jai Sita Ram, or any variety of traditional sacred words of phrases. It will slow the thoughts of the busy mind and purify the nerve channels in the subtle body.
The head, neck and spine should be straight, but not stiff. Even if you are left handed use the thumb and ring finger of the right hand to close off the nostrils. The elbow will rest easily by the chest so the arm does not become tired.
Gently exhale all air. Using the thumb of the right hand close off the right nostril. Inhale slowly and deeply through the left. Close off the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale slowly and deeply through the right.
Without moving the ring finger, inhale fully back through the right, then close off the right nostril with the thumb, and exhale slowly and deeply through the left.
This is one round. Begin with ten rounds and slowly increase to forty. I'm sure you have many qualified teachers in your area who can teach you all four of the purification methods. If not, I am happy to pass along what I am able until we meet in person.
Right after the breathing exercises sit for meditation. You already have a practice so I won't bother to say any more on that.
CONQUERING RAGE â€“ THE YOGA WAY
By Rupa Dore
Who shall bell the cat?
Angry persons are not even aware that they are angry! Rage blinds them. It is the people at the receiving end who have to bear it all and learn to protect themselves.
Psychiatrists delve into the past of the enraged people, bring out the reasons for their behavior and explain it all to you, but right now, that is of no use to you.
Do not respond; do not react, the Buddha said.
If anger meets you in the kitchen, do not escort it to the dining room!
This is achieved over a period of time, by doing some of it every day and some as the situation arises.
We believe in yoga that anger and rage between people create negative vibrations of a fierce kind in the room and so you must leave the place as early as you can.
Just leave before the waves affect you.
Stay away for a while. Do something that you like to do and which calms you down.
It is not a show of cowardice but of great courage.
If it is really bad, do the Lionsâ€™ roar four times, after feeding the mind what it is that is bothering you. You can roar the multiples of four if you want.
This is a Yoga exercise. It is done as follows.
You sit on your knees if you are comfortable that way. If it hurts, sit down and stretch your legs in front of you. In either case, place your palms on the knees and feed to the mind whatever is bothering you, whether you are enraged or some one else has
Showered his/her rage on you.
Imagine that you are a hungry, angry lion going into the forest to hunt. Your eyes are up. Your tongue is out; you see a small animal and spring on it with a huge, loud roar, about to devour it. Do this 4 times in all.
On the physical level, it will ease out the tension in you, bring down your blood pressure to normal; then you will know, with wisdom and courage, what action to take. Like they say, you canâ€™t just sit there! You have to do some thing! Take action but the right one, without ignorance or impulsiveness.
Then, because this is a spiritual exercise, God, up there, hears you and comes down to help you the best way possible!
It never fails!
Your own reach is limited; your own vision is limited, but not His!
When the crisis is passed, you will wonder what on earth it was all about!
In doing the Lionâ€™ Roar, you donâ€™t hurt anyone, you donâ€™t harm anyone and yet you get over it all!
Do not shower your rage on anyone; if you do, your relationship will be ruined forever and you will be a nervous wreck yourself! Just ROAR - in the privacy of your home if you want, though I have seen people roar at the airport as they missed the plane! !
Kids just love the Lionâ€™s Roar.
When the situation seems to be getting more and more volatile, just refuse to talk or even look at the person who is causing this anguish in you. Give it a rest.
Meditation EVERY DAY helps you to build a wall against othersâ€™ rage and your own. At first it does not seem to work at all.
All you feel is resentment, self-pity. (â€œWhy me? He did this to me; she said this to
Me! I am not going to take it any more! I will hit him/her! â€)
Fine. But over a period of time there is calmness that descends on you, envelops you and embraces you; you realize with great wisdom that this too shall pass. Nothing is new under the sun! Most of all, you learn the golden rule; what has the other person said or done that you havenâ€™t, some time or the other? Are you not a good human being?
Whether at the giving end or the receiving one, we have all been there, done that.
Deep breathing or Pranayama is another very important source of calming down. Even a layman, who has not studied Yoga, is heard to say, â€Donâ€™t get mad! Sit down and take a few deep breaths!â€ This extra oxygen to the brain helps you make the right decision.
Shavasan or the Dead manâ€™s pose (lying down flat on your back on the floor and closing your eyes, relaxing totally) is the final touch to conquer rage and depression.
There are specific acu yoga and mudras (â€œhealing with your own touchâ€) that help you here.
One of them is to close your eyes, move the index finger gently on the spot between the eyebrows six times one way and then six the other.
A true yogi is always calm and collected. Nothing hassles him.
Indian mythology says that Shiva, the Destroyer incarnation, has a third eye between the eyebrows. At the end of an era, (â€œYug â€œ as it is called in India), He opens it and burns up the whole universe with just one look.
In the same way, man had a third eye too, long ago, which he used to burn up people in a rage. He did not have the control nor the sense .So God closed it forever.
Yet, even now, when you are enraged, you feel a nerve throbbing there!
Rage has to be conquered, not for the sake of others but your own. Otherwise, eventually the sense of power over others will pass, your own a near and dear ones will move away and you will be totally alone!
Rage affects the mind as well as the body; we all know it; high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, allergies, sleeplessness, you name it.
When others show their anger, leave them alone. They are in no frame to listen to you.
When they have simmered down and are in the right mental frame to talk properly, tell them in a calm, quiet voice that you will not take that kind of behavior from them and that you will go silent every time they misbehave. This is not sulking; this is reaction.
Unfortunately, kids learn at a very early age from their parents to show rage, use nasty words and turn violent. They are not to blame. They are having the wrong role models.
When you go totally silent on the children who misbehave, they cannot take this silent treatment for long and they will come to terms fast .It is far more effective than yelling, in fact, the only way because rage escalates into more rage.
To sum up, the yogic way of dealing with rage is
- Move away from the range of the negative energy.
- Do not talk, do not respond, as the Buddha said.
- Do the deep breathing exercises to calm down.
- Do the Lionsâ€™ Roar four times at a stretch.
- Meditate every day to get self-realization in a spiritual sense.
Do Shavasan, the Dead manâ€™s pose and relax totally.
Photo, From Left to Right
Rupa's Grandson, Navin, Daughter Shali and Rupa