Is that what you too comprehend Yoga is all about? Then, this one’s just for you… Read on !
A few decades ago, whenever my eyes fell on flashy banners and hoardings about Yoga training classes floating on the road, I somehow averted them as not my cup of tea and had my own reasons to do so. Of what I had seen and heard on TV, newspapers, magazines et al, I had this preconceived notion that Yoga is :
1. A painful flexibility-cum-fitness regime with weird postures, in which case I didn’t need it
2. Subtle form of mystic hypnosis and ‘getting into trance’ hysteria that would thrust strange atrocities upon the body and mind that were difficult to recuperate from
I held on to these mythical views of mine until one fine day my friend compelled me to join the Art Of Living Yoga Program, promising me that its gonna be neither of these. As I entered the program reluctantly, gradually through the end of it, I kind of realised that it’s actually not as bad as I had imagined it to be ! Oh yes, it wasn’t what I had conceptualised it to be, Yoga in reality meant something different ! The postures I learnt were called ‘Yogasanas’ and were fairly simple stretches with a precise method, yet equally soothing & energizing at the same time.
Contrary to my belief, the program taught not just about twists, turns and stretches of the body, but also a few deep breathing techniques and light guided meditations that did not take any toll on my body or mind. Instead, I started feeling feather-light and incredibly relaxed. My otherwise chattering and blabbering mind seemed to stop demanding my attention. I also noticed the program included many safe techniques for detox and cleansing, not just for the body but for the whole system of body, mind, spirit and everything in between. What more, the trainer was such a light-hearted being full of warmth that I seemed to have a lot of fun too while I was going through all these personal notion of ‘hysteria’ !
Having completed the program in few days, while I had the skepticism playing hide and seek in my mind, something inside me wanted to give this investment of time a fair chance and I decided to practice all that was taught in the program back home. Though the practice went on and off for a few months, it intrigued me that Yoga was not just taking care of my body and mind, but also opening up a lot of dimensions of my personality that I never before knew existed ! I started becoming calmer yet dynamic, mentally stronger yet sensitive and emotionally deeper yet broad minded. But the skeptic in me suspected if all this was just because of mere stretches, deep breaths and ‘do-nothing’ meditations. That’s when my Guru H H Sri Sri RaviShankar came to my rescue to make me realize what IS and unlearn what WASN’T ! His guidance on this path of Yoga, not only as a fitness regime but as a means of tapping the unknown realm of spiritual and human potential made me fathom and honor the privilege of having the guidance from a right Master on this expedition seldom traversed !
As days went by in the inner adventures of Yoga, my whole perspective on it was entirely upside down. Gradually, I realized Yoga was no more just a tiny part of my life, but was a way of life, penetrating into each activity of my daily humdrum, letting me experience every moment to the fullest.
Yoga, to me now, was the perfect sync between my body, mind and spirit where each worked in tandem with the other supportively. Yoga, to me now, became a skillful way of handling my life. Yoga, to me now, turned out a resting nest from the negative tendencies of the mind, people and circumstances. Yoga, to me now, was a conscientious transition from ‘WHY?’ of misery into ‘HOW!’ of wonderous joy !
I wasn’t sure if I was bitterly or gladly surprised that slowly, but surely, all the myths I had woven about Yoga were getting busted systematically ! I was baffled at how a tiny prejudice in my intellect had obscured the sanctity and credibility of the truth that Yoga really is. It was now my time to regret for what a loss I was at all these days for not knowing how to use the faculties of my own system to the fullest for my own personal blossoming !
So, if you too are looming in the same kind of orthodox perspective about Yoga, this one was definitely for you! Today, when I have transformed myself into not just a regular Yoga practitioner but also a full-fledged trainer of Yoga under the able guidance and training of H H Sri Sri Ravishankar and equipped enough to impart this timeless knowledge to thousands of people every year, I sit back and giggle at the foolishness of the bigotry that my own intelligence held for such a long phase of my life!
As I am penning this down, I am gearing myself up for my next training program that will be hosted at the Art of Living International Center, Bangalore. It is fondly named the ‘Deep Dive‘ program wherein you get to dive deep into effective Yogic techniques, serene meditations, internally cleansing detox, tranquil breath techniques, subtle strengthening and healing contractions and a whole lot of mind blowing knowledge on ‘Life Skills’ from our ancient scriptures of enriched heritage ! Well, what more can one ask for ?!
Remember, best of the solitaires in the world are of no avail unless we know their worth and ways of use. One such precious pearl is right here, in your own inner world, waiting for you to unveil its true caliber. Will you act wise this time or miss the boat all over again, once for all ? Sands of time bestow no mercy over any palms that they slip through !
Here is a personal invitation for one and all, brace yourself and dive in for a lifetime of authentic ‘Life‘ and ‘Time’!