Tattwa Shuddhi Saddhana or 5 Elements Purification Practice belongs to the Anahata Yoga Tradition.
Anahata is the name of the heart chakra or energetic heart center. The foundational practice of this yogic lineage is to open the heart, strengthen heart-intelligence, heart-coherence, the electro-magnetic field of the heart and the mind-heart connection. A heart-centered practice has multiple physical, emotional, energetic and psychological benefits.
The Anahata Tradition is a Tantric yoga tradition. Tantra is known as the ‘householder’s yoga’, the common (wo)man’s yoga that embraces ALL aspects of life. The focus is more on balancing movements that support and can be integrated into daily life and not on physical postures or mental concepts to attain.
The tradition originated and evolved in Assam, near the Kamakhya Temple at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. It is an ancient lineage passed on experientially and orally (not through books) from teacher to student. Many teachings are shared through stories, both of fact and fiction. Here’s one of fact:
Swami Shankara was a modest, illiterate Anahata yogi and a great healer in Assam 1 century ago. His knowledge was passed on to Peter Clifford ‘Pramananda’. During his time with Shankara, Peter fell off a mountain, breaking many bones in his body. A goat herder found him and carried him to the nearest village. When Shankara came to see him, he famously smiled and said, “Good. 🙂 Now I can teach you Yoga.” Shankara taught him many yogic practices of the Anahata Tradition inc. the 5 Element Form which supported his body’s recovery and alleviated (physical, emotional and psychological) pain.
Shankara lived to be 118. After his passing, Peter studied with many famous yogis inc Iyengar, Patthabi Joyce and the Mohans. One day he fell off a motorcycle, again breaking many bones in his body. He discovered that it was not the impressive practices of the more popular traditions but the practices of the modest mountain yogi, that could heal his body. So he returned to his original Anahata Tradition, practiced and healed.
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