My Yoga Journey: Understanding the TERM YOGA (Part 2)

This is in continuation with my series where I am making an attempt to share my Yoga journey and the impact it has made on my life. While in the last blog I shared how I got into Yoga, this post will essentially focus upon my understanding of the term Yoga. Honestly, this is going to be rant post because I feel we have completely failed to understand the true meaning of this ancient technique and preserve it in its utmost form, of what belongs to us  

In fact, when I hear people talking about Yoga these days, I generally feel that how mis-formed we are, TOGETHER. Just days ago, I was talking to a friend who shared that she knows someone who did long courses in Yoga and how beautifully she performs. On another occasion, a friend mentioned that how westerners come to India, do a certain hours of intense training, go back and run a successful business. Honestly, I have nothing against it personally. But my point is does long courses or hours of intense training program justify our understanding of Yoga?

Good if it does but it is dangerous if it doesn’t. And in most cases it is the latter!

Most of the Yoga practitioners I meet these days doesn’t really impress me. You know why? Because most of them haven’t explored the benefits of this ancient technique. A technique which was gifted to us to keep our inner self at bay but rather most of them focuses upon its dynamic form, which in today’s terminology is called Vinayasa. By this I do not mean that I am the best or hello ! I know what Yoga is because despite 6 years of practicing Yoga I am still trying to understand it. Every day, I get opened up to a new experience

Let me tell you an example. I met a girl during my certification course in Yogasana back in 2014, who would perform brilliantly. Her postures and body flexibility was really good, that our teacher would push her to try more. Now, though this girl was brilliant in her practice outwardly, from the inside she never really understood what it is. She wouldn’t able to say anything whenever she would be asked about her feeling of doing a particular asanas. In her own words, she would tell us that she feel distracted. She joined this course because her husband wanted to open a Yoga center for extra earning.

I am not saying that it is a bad idea or they shouldn’t do it, with just a three months training. I don’t remember where I heard this but when you heal from the inside, it is your moral duty to heal others. But when you are distracted yourself, it means distraction for those you are getting in touch or teaching. That’s a reason, why we see anxiety prone people more despite a continued meditation practice. It makes all the difference who is teaching you- A Healer or a Distracter. 70 percent cases it is the latter though

I was really disappointed when during my advance certification in Yoga in Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), few students insisted on warms ups because they wanted to learn the advance postures. There only intention to get into the course was learning these postures, so that they can qualify as a good practitioner. You know you can tell it one look that is serious about understanding Yoga or no. Most of the time, these selected students couldn’t even sit patiently, and these are the same people who want to qualify as GOOD PRACTITIONERS

Because what we were given in our practice was something which was life transformative. I still remember when half of us would discuss the feel we would get after each class. None of us ever felt the same before. A lot of us changed. Would you believe if I tell you that most of us stopped cribbing? We just didn’t feel like talking bad for anyone. A young boy in our class had anger issues. He calmed. And this happened within 3 weeks of starting this practice. We called it our sadhana.  

And yet when the principal of the faculty spoke to us after rapid complains from these selected students, that warms ups will be a part of our practice, it disappointed me. Some of us who weren’t really in agreement despite telling him about our experiences, were told that we can leave the course. I vowed to never return to this institute again !

And why I am saying this is because it was a life transformative experience for most of us.  This is when I could experience and understand the mind and body connection we keep talking about. I could hear my body communicating.

Warm ups have never been a part of any ancient Yogic text. It hasn’t got any mention by Patanjali and hence, when today people show off postures, I turn back and ask them the basics. I am not surprised when half of them wouldn’t know about it.

Every posture is connected to a counter posture but we wouldn’t know about it. Every posture is connected to a point in the body but we wouldn’t know about it. Every Pranayama technique is performed with a count to make it effective but we wouldn’t know about it

I am not saying that every practitioner today is at fault. I know some of the best ones but the thing is that Yoga has got so much into demand that every other person is trying to jump into it and hence degrading it further. Ever heard, quantity over quality  

Most us discuss things which I can see has been influenced from the west. And sometimes, it is baffling to see how an ancient practice devised to bless our lives with happiness has been termed as a popular “weight loss program” in this modern world. Clearly we have lost the track here, maligning this form further. Beer Yoga, Hot yoga is making its way around the world and there ain’t a day far when we will see cats and dogs Yoga ruling. Because, Yoga is the hot thing that sells today and we need to fit it for our monetary gains.

But hold on guys. Hold on !

Let me share what my teacher once told me. He said that it is ironical that all the things and practices that were adopted by our ancestors will come to India again but through the research work of the west and that’s when we- the modern people- will going to accept it.

Such is the influence. Such blindfold we are

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