Thursday, October 1, 2020
Home Opinions My experiences as a Yoga practitioner!

My experiences as a Yoga practitioner!

Also Read

A jack of all trades, I love art, writing, food, travel, finance, animals. Have a canvas or two, a manuscript or two and a website on the anvil at all times. Besides this I have  around 12 years of work experience in Corp Sales across, Hospitality, BFSI & Tech. My last job was with a start-up. Currently I am in between jobs, adjusting to a new continent  with my husband and my cat Gangu in tow!

Over the past week, in the light of the International Yoga Day, a lot of words have been exchanged between prominent people on the subject of Yoga and whether yoga is inextricably linked to Hinduism or not. As a practitioner of Yoga, I felt that it is incumbent on people such as me, to defend this most glorious of gifts. Suffices to say, that I cannot stand by as random bigots are placated at the cost of Yoga, and though this might be a topic of political debate, for millions of practitioners across the world, Yoga is a very personal, deeply intimate experience. Through my write up, I will give a glimpse of why Yoga means the world to me!

Though as a kid I had seen my grandfather prolong his life, despite having numerous lifestyle diseases, it still took my husband’s initiation and a regular yoga routine, to pull me out of my ennui.

In the year 2009, my husband got initiated into a very powerful yogic meditative process called the Shambhavi Mahamudra, through the Isha Foundation. For the next 2 years, he practised the asana, meditation, every day without fail. Naturally, as a curious onlooker, I was intrigued endlessly. I assumed that his physical agility was in part owing to his yogic practice. Almost immediately, I asked him to teach me the practice. He got me enrolled in a program, instead.

In July 2011, I joined the Inner Engineering event taking place at Palace Grounds, Bangalore with 2000 other people. I had never been to such a large-scale yoga event in my life. I was interested, to say the least. Little did I know then, that the 2.5-day event would be so life-altering for me.

During the course of the programme, Sadhguru joked, guided and gave us a new perspective on life. On the last evening, he initiated us into the practice. Most people had a truly unbelievable experience for the first time during initiation. They either broke down and sobbed uncontrollably or were laughing hysterically, for no apparent rhyme or reason. No one was left untouched. We disbanded with an instruction to continue doing the practice for the next 40 days, twice daily with some dos and don’ts.

I do not know how many people practised diligently, but I did.

The first thing that I noticed was the enhanced sensitivity to sounds: the smallest of noises would startle me during my practice. The next step that I realized, was that my stamina increased. As a working woman, I would invariably return from work, bone-weary, cook dinner and then crash unceremoniously into bed by 10 pm. Post-Shambhavi the days somehow seemed longer and the evenings not so tiring.

Over the next few years as I continued practising the asana, my perspective about life, people, the universe underwent a sea of change. My interest in reacting to every little irritant decreased. It was almost as though I had discovered an ocean of calmness inside me, and most things that happened to the world around me had absolutely no lasting impact on this sense of peace. Its been 7 years now, since I have been practising and that sense of deep peace and connection has only strengthened.

In the meantime, my husband decided to pursue further studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, so I shifted base from Bangalore to Boston. We both continued with our Yoga practice. One of the days, on my way back from the grocery store, I bumped into my next-door neighbour, an American surgeon, interning at Massachusetts General Hospital. She inquired if we practised Yoga. She had heard chants emanating from our apartment. She turned out to be a fellow practitioner, interested in yogic practices and the benefits therein. Then during one of the introductory sessions with his classmates, my husband made friends with a young man from Sweden who was intrigued by Yoga. A few months later another one of his batch-mates from India, associated with Isha Yoga centre, organized an event and invited Sadhguru for a lecture, which I had the good fortune to attend. My fellow attendees, in that session, were from various parts of the world, including some of my husband’s batch-mates from Sweden, France and Japan. Another of his Bulgarian friends, who I met over the next few months, was into Yoga. The cat sitter that I hired and interacted with, a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, was a Yoga practitioner and follower of Ganesha. Complete strangers from completely unknown corners of the world became our friends, came to our house, stayed over because of Yoga. We were joined together in the brotherhood of Yogis and Yoga followers.

Post his graduation, we returned to India for a few years, but we continued to be visited by our friends from all over the world. That Swedish friend of ours, incidentally, paid a visit to Isha Yoga centre and got initiated into the practice too. He regaled us with tales of a Mexican family who had travelled all the way to Isha foundation to get initiated, without speaking a word of English. Yoga was our common language, our bridge.

“Educated” people in India, however, continued to carry their slave mentality like a badge of honour, denigrating the practice and calling it a study in geriatrics.

I used to get extremely disturbed by these attacks on Yoga. It was almost as though someone had insulted my mother. I was disappointed with people back home until I ran into my cousin.

My cousin, an alumnus of Columbia University, gave up her Canadian citizenship to join the Munger School of Yoga, as a sanyasi. During one of our discussions, she gave me this simple, yet powerful thought that embodies the philosophy of Sanatan Dharm and Yoga. She told me that it is not in everyone’s destiny to receive and appreciate this powerful gift of Yoga. Some people are destined to waddle through life like a clueless animal, jumping from reactions to reactions. It is not our place in life to make these people realize, they must realize such existential gifts, on their own.

In the light of the frivolous discussion being done in media and political circles, on whether Yoga is Hindu practise or not, this thought becomes very, very potent, and I would like to round off by offering three pieces of advice:

  1. My advice to fellow Yogis – you know what yoga is to you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You have discovered a miraculous gift, and you do not need the world’s validation to realize it.
  2. My advice to politicians pandering to the gallery – we can see through your attempts to please bigots, who in turn see Yoga as an encroachment on their absolutely medieval religion and religious turf. Their religion is medieval and denouncing Yoga is not going to change that. Yoga is the gift of Sanatan Dharma to the world, and anyone who kicks the gift horse in the mouth does not deserve it.
  3. My advice for people scared of Yoga – since yoga also includes the practice of breathing, I suggest you take a long, hard look at this yogic practice of breathing, and see if that can be given up too.


Thank you!


  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

A jack of all trades, I love art, writing, food, travel, finance, animals. Have a canvas or two, a manuscript or two and a website on the anvil at all times. Besides this I have  around 12 years of work experience in Corp Sales across, Hospitality, BFSI & Tech. My last job was with a start-up. Currently I am in between jobs, adjusting to a new continent  with my husband and my cat Gangu in tow!

Latest News

Tejasvi Surya and ideological commitment

In his (still) short Parliamentary career, Tejasvi Surya has raised voice on various issues of both national and regional importance. This includes subjects ranging from- the use of Kannada language in banking to his views on broad Banking sector in recently completed session.

Courts are not always heroes and Legislatures are not always villains

Is the constitution a strait jacket? No, it leaves a plenty of room to change and it makes no attempt to regulate every aspect of human life.

Amnesty or travesty

Why they are afraid to disclose their funding? Why only 10% registered NGOs file their balance-sheets with Registrar of Societies? No NGO is ready to answer these questions except for playing victim card.

“माल है क्या?” देश में माल की कमी से जूझता ड्रगवुड, प्रधानमंत्री क्यों है खामोश

2014 से पहले मुझे बराबर मेरा माल मिलता था लेकिन जब से आपकी सरकार आई है तब से धीमे धीमे माल की कमी से मुझे जूझना पड़ रहा है। साल 2017 तो मेरे लिए इतना खराब रहा कि नशा पाने के लिए मात्र फोन से ही काम चलाना पड़ता है।

Reforms needed in Indian education system post-COVID-19

The present scenario has jeopardised the educational ecosystem to achieve its objectives. In this regard, multifront reforms are needed for the efficient functioning of the education system in the post-COVID-19 era.

Influence or ignorance?

Finding Bilkis Dadi in 100 influential people for 2020, I started my research on her and was astonished to see except for a convenient interview with Rana Ayyub, she literally has no idea what she is fighting for.

Recently Popular

Daredevil of Indian Army: Para SF Major Mohit Sharma’s who became Iftikaar Bhatt to kill terrorists

Such brave souls of Bharat Mata who knows every minute of their life may become the last minute.

पोषण अभियान: सही पोषण – देश रोशन

भारत सरकार द्वारा कुपोषण को दूर करने के लिए जीवनचक्र एप्रोच अपनाकर चरणबद्ध ढंग से पोषण अभियान चलाया जा रहा है, भारत...

New Education Policy- Winning the world with the Bharat centric Values

The NEP is an ambitious document, which is focused on the holistic and overall development of the students to make them Aatmnirbhar and to enable them to compete with the world while maintaining the Bharat centric values and culture.

सामाजिक भेदभाव: कारण और निवारण

भारत में व्याप्त सामाजिक असामानता केवल एक वर्ग विशेष के साथ जिसे कि दलित कहा जाता है के साथ ही व्यापक रूप से प्रभावी है परंतु आर्थिक असमानता को केवल दलितों में ही व्याप्त नहीं माना जा सकता।

You will be shocked to find who testified against Bhagat Singh in the landmark case ‘Union of India Vs Bhagat Singh’

The two men who witnessed against Bhagat Singh were Indians and their descendants enjoy a healthy social positions.