International Yoga Day: Summer Solstice

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“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” 

— Maya Angelou

 

Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists. I may not have mastered many yoga asanas yet, but I am diligent, practice almost daily, and always like to practice on my own. I keep trying to do difficult poses myself, so that it may give me moral strength and reliability, and faith in my own mental processes and physical agility. For me, it is the time and attempt to really connect with myself, become and stay rooted. 

Yoga is neither a physical or religious exercise as far as I’m concerned, but a spiritual experience. So if I don’t attend group classes, or have yoga teachers whom I particularly follow, it’s because – to me it is a form of meditation and only you can teach yourself how to do it best, to attain enlightenment. 

I’m a self learner that way and a very conscientious one at that…as a child, I even taught myself to cycle, not allowing anyone to run after my cycle to enable me to balance and to learn the basics of swimming, and therein lies my mental strength, self dependence and independence. 

My professor cum college principal mother, along with my DU college principal thought a college teacher’s job at most – teaching English, would be suited to my quiet and reserved temperament and high grades in English. But I had to prove myself to myself first, and then to the world, by taking up a bachelor of commerce degree instead of the Arts both in high school and college – though I was pretty poor at it, I enrolled in DU through the sports quota (basketball) as I didn’t qualify for B.Com Honours, in Delhi University north campus colleges otherwise. Most of our class timings, from which we were readily excused with full attendance marked, went into practising for the college team since 5 am, and then playing at and versus – every other DU colleges. The way I saw it…Why would I go out into the world armed only with my strengths and take the easy way out! Result – I lost my hostel seat at the end of the 1st year… business maths and statistics, not to mention the high level of Hindi as 2nd language after ISC, was akin to greek and latin. 

So from a very early age I learned to forge ahead armed with my weaknesses that I would sharpen to a deathly saw from the lack of fear of failure. 

My parents were thereafter, ready to resign and realign their perceptions of me, with every bold step I took, each time. My father passed away in 2005, proud of the way I’d turned out, after a lifetime of worrying about me. 

Thus now, I cannot be expected to be a writer who can be persuaded, or dissuaded to say – but what it is I feel compelled to say to fit into regular publishing patterns. I don’t seek external validation and approval on my life and choices…never have😋😊

“Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded Consciousness. Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind.” — Patanjali.

“Yoga is an internal practice. The rest is just a circus.” — Shri Patabhi Jois.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self” – The Bhagvad Gita.

———

Even though the physical practices of yoga are only one element of the term yoga, they are by far the most popular. In fact, most people associate the wide variety of different exercises with the term ‘yoga’. 

However, yoga – in its entirety – is a deeply spiritual discipline that combines physical, mental, philosophical, and spiritual elements. Something most also do not know is that the literal translation of ‘yoga’ is ‘union with the divine’

 Therefore, yoga goes much deeper than can be seen. Yoga is something that needs to be experienced. Interestingly enough, most people who start practicing the different relaxing, breathing, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises are convinced of their great effects on the body and mind. When you’re regularly practicing yoga, you’ll slowly but surely develop a very beautiful peace of mind.

Over and above these great benefits, yoga can also help strengthen your muscular system. In short, yoga is not only great for the mind but also allows you to become more flexible and to garner a strong body.

“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” — Bob Harper. 

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