Daily Cup Of Yoga

My earliest memories of school is a nursery class room in Central Delhi, the teacher an impressive lady in a flowing saree managing a classroom of snotty, awkward, mischievous kids. I remember a sunny classroom with colourful furniture and toys strewn around in gay abandon. I remember picture books with A, B, Cs and a giant Globe at one end of the classroom. And I remember the teacher saying – while she taught us about fruits and vegetables – AN APPLE A DAY, KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.

As we grew, that saying stayed with me. When I grew up and took to Tea and Coffee, I found those addictions to be absolutely addictive. In fact for years, my day wouldn’t take off unless I had a hot cup of tea. Evening headaches became common when I didn’t get my late afternoon dose of caffeine.

Somewhere along the line, I had medical complications. I was depressed. I mean I was hardly old enough to be medically unfit. Years of sitting in an office chair had created lifestyle complications that were unacceptable. So I started going to the gym and lifting weights and losing weight. And I was happy that I was caring when I could.

The turning point really came when I injured myself at the gym. I realised that I needed another alternative. Something more efficient and all encompassing. That is when I discovered Yoga.

Of course I knew of Yoga. Who doesn’t ? I had grown up in India, its genesis. And yet, somehow it always looked too difficult to try. One contoured one’s body in calisthenic impossibilities that looked way out and very complicated. I was actually scared of it. So I did some research.
Daily Cup Of Yoga
The practice of Yoga goes back thousands of years. In fact the mythological origins are supposed to be in the times of the Gods. Shiva, the Destroyer is the God who is supposed to have created the form. Through history, yoga was an integral part of Indian culture and tradition. From householders, to armies and to ascetics in the depth of the mystical Himalayas, Yoga was practiced to optimise the mind and the body. Various other well known physio mental arts are supposed to have originated via Yoga. The practice of the Shaolin temples in China and Kalaripattu in Kerala are closely connected to Yoga. In fact, recorded in history is the fact that large armies of a section of the Mughals and the Rajputs as late as the 17 th Century practiced Yoga regularly to increase and enhance their efficiency as fighting forces.

So I shrug off my apprehensions and started searching for a Guru. I found one in an ancient practitioner in an Ashram in Rishikesh. A believer in the Shivananda school of Hatha Yoga, my teacher taught me that Yoga, was first a mental and breathing art and only then is it a physical art. In fact each physical posture has deep meditational implications and an enhancement of the breathing mechanism that has far reaching wellness effects.

Once I started practicing, I started getting addicted. I found the breathing exercises and the relaxation extremely relaxing. I found the use of my own bodyweight in strengthening exercises and postures a liberating experience. I didn’t really need to go to expensive gyms just so I could hit the machines.

The only machine that I ever need are my mind and body. For me, Yoga was freedom. It was freedom from bad health. It was freedom from weak muscles and a freedom to exercise my mind and body wherever and whenever I wanted to. I found myself to be more alert, fresher, more flexible and supremely fit. Amazingly, as I practiced more, I found that other character flaws like Anger and Ego were also getting controlled. I really can’t explain that, other than – Yoga.
Yoga is the simplest form of self expression and exercise
The important thing about Yoga – Is to find the right teacher. That is fifty percent of the challenge. Once you do, you will find that Yoga is the simplest form of self expression and exercise. It is NOT as difficult as it looks. Even the first session (I remember that breezy day 10 years ago) was a measurable difference. I can safely say that, now, it is an addiction. Today, it’s not caffeine or nicotine or alcohol. It is Yoga that is my daily addiction. Today, my daily cup of Yoga keeps me grounded and healthy. Come, get your daily cup and find Nirvana right here.
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