It is cold, I am somehow feeling really cold, as the evening sets in and the winter darkness quickly envelopes everything. I have just finished a disturbing text conversation with someone, and I am very upset, and miserable. And cold.
Harish is teaching the class tonight, and eventhough I have a couple of people to meet and counsel about their well-being, I am not in a mood for anything, not even to practice. Usually, helping people find a way is therapeutic for me, but so close to an upset, and feeling as cold as I am, I cannot thaw out.
I step into the class, my mind and body in a state of trauma.
I am in a miserable world of my own. Mostly I am talking to myself and cannot hear Harish giving instructions. The initial part of the class, the openi...
Ever since I started practicing yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Delhi, I have felt the hidden hand of a guru holding mine, and walking me through the minefield of life.
We have different words for something like this.
I could call it luck, which brought me to this kind of yoga practice.
Sometimes I would call it destiny.
At other times I would say it is instinctive wisdom, or an inherent fear, or some pain and stress which made me find the Sivananda Centre.
To be honest, I do not really know how I started practicing this special brand of yoga, how I became a Sivananda teacher, and how I spent all this time doing just one kind of sadhana, doing just one form exe...
Much has been written, discussed, debated and analyzed about yoga, and more specifically about Asana.
This is not surprising, since yoga has been around for a long time, (it is said, for a few thousand years) and what is more, it has survived, and thrived.
(That is some customer satisfaction and product longevity. But let us keep the story of the continued survival and success of yoga over the ages for another blog, for another day.)
(There is also ample mythology, mystery, magic and mysticism, some rumours, quite a few wild claims, many misunderstandings, and much clear evidence of Asana being the be all and end all of health and well being. And that story, also, for another day!)
A monograph of musings on health, and how, awareness and education can bring health into our lives forever.
As that enlightened master, Swami Vishnudevananda declared so famously over half a century ago – “Health is wealth, peace of mind is happiness, yoga shows the way”.
Read on to find out how.
Once upon a time in the 1990s
It is a long time since I needed medical attention.
We set up the Sivananda Yoga Centre, Gurgaon in April 2004, Deeksha and I.
This is November 2018.
In a highly hostile and polluted environment, in an unknown arena called yoga, and therefore requiring extraordinary efforts, and highly stressful, I have spent the last twelve years working on shoestrings of money, time and sleep.
Yet, today, at 55, I do not take any medicine, I have...
The very first time I went to a Sivananda yoga class, I was hooked. There was something so different and refreshing about this class. I loved the way they almost chanted ‘inhale, exhale”. There were so many reminders to breathe. There was lots of time to simply relax and let go in the class. And there were very strong asanas. Plus pranayama. Plus surya namaskar.
Not everything was easy. The headstand or sirshasana loomed up in front of me quite early on in the class like an insurmountable mountain. They called it the king of asanas. When I saw the others, putting their head down on the mat and then just coming up in the headstand as effortlessly as they stood on their feet, my chin dropped to the mat (instead of the top of my head dropping to the...