Category: Philosophies

6 Takeaways from my Yoga Story

There are two known ways one can fall in love with another person—one you fall in love at first sight and in a second scenario, you fall in love with him/her gradually as you start exploring each other. I am having that second kind of love affair with yoga. Falling in love helps you develop a unique understanding of another person and sharing one of its kind proximity with that person. So my bond with yoga is as exclusive and intimate as falling in love. The purpose of taking up yoga, like many of you, was to manage my stress and at the same time take care of physical fitness. When I began my yogasana practice, I had no idea that my acquaintance with yoga would turn into a long lasting affair. I never visualised in adolescenthood, not even in my distant dreams that I will take up yoga as the profession to realise my true potential. During childhood, thanks to 90’s television serials, I always perceived myself as the dashing and dynamic investigative journalist, who would pen real stories of poor virtuous people who can’t’ stand for themselves. Life is filmy, but not that filmy Post journalism studies, I tried to convey this fire of journalism inside me during my job interviews as a fresher, but I found hardly anyone seemed impressed. For them, I was one more...

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Surya Namaskar

–A beautiful ancient tradition to thank Sun God The literal meaning of surya namaskar means sun salutations. Ancient Yogis used to begin their day with prayers and exercises devoted towards the Sun. These exercises were nothing but Surya Namskar along with Mantras. These mantras are various names of Sun with specific and deep meaning attached to it. It is an ancient yoga technique in which a series of asanas are performed in a graceful manner. Man’s Intimate, Ancient & Sacred relationship with Sun is considered as the ultimate source of life energy for living beings on the earth including plants. When you  perform Surya Namaskar; you are expressing your gratitude towards Sun God who nourishes our lives. Water, air and sun energy are essentials of life. The absence of one of these sources will result in our exodus. The sun has always been worshipped throughout all ancient civilizations. India has the tradition of worshipping the Sun for thousands of years. Kings who ruled India were categorised in two major clans Suryavanshi (Sun Dynasty) and Chandravanshi (Moon Dynasty). They worshipped Sun and Moon respectively-all the rituals were structured around Sun and Moon. Each living being borrows his energy and intelligence from the Sun. They know that they owe their existence to the Sun. It is believed that Sun is the eye of Supreme Brahman (higher intelligence) and hence revereing him...

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Zen Bull Story: A journey of discovering our true being

A Zen bull story illustrates self-realization/enlightenment or experiencing trance/thoughtlessness during meditation. Each person will decipher this story as per his own understanding.  Each seeker goes through a different path and experiences. It is never identical to another person’s story. But understanding the meditation concept through Zen bull narrative was simply an exhilarating experience to me. This picture format account is interesting and easy to understand the complicated phenomenon of enlightenment/self realisation/turia state. What exactly happens when self realisation takes place. How do you feel going into trance mode? How being enlightened makes the difference to worldly life? Each person on a spiritual path seeks these answers diligently. This ten Zen bull story attends your curiosity delicately.  Guo-an Shi-yuan (also known as Kakuan Shien), 12th century monk, elaborated a traditional Taoist story with 10 images along with descriptive verses. His version of the story became very popular as it was easy and impactful.The ten pictures along with its verses used here are taken from the Reps’ book. However, these pictures are scribbled by me taking clues from the popular version of the story.  According to our Rishis consciousness can be experienced in four states: waking, dreaming, sleeping and turiya. The fourth state is  our true nature as per Jnanis–we feel pure bliss and experience universal consciousness. Each yogi’s ultimate goal is to experience the fourth state. The zen bull story...

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Do you give yourself these excuses for not practicing yoga?

Some of you may want to take up yoga as the activity from long time but always find yourself in dilemma–most of the times out of some peculiar notions about yoga practice. If you have been postponing your encounter with the yoga practice due to following hysterical reasons, then it is high time that you should clean your dust ridden yoga mat in the store room which is eagerly waiting to see the sun. I am not a morning person: The nature of work doesn’t allow you to go to bed early in the night. Or you are too occupied watching web series during wee hours that you can’t push yourself out of blanket next morning. You see that some of your friends are posting some nice yoga postures on social handles. You also have read much about yoga and want to give it a try too. But you give excuse to self? I can’t manage getting up in the morning you know. I have tried it so many times. Does it really matter whether you practice yoga asanas in the morning, afternoon or in the evening? From the olden times, early mornings are preferred because this is the time all Yogis do their tapasya. You will be receiving their energy. You feel much energized throughout the day if you choose to practice yoga at the time of sun...

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What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha Yoga works on physical, psychophysical and psychological aspects and also known as the Physiological Yoga the Ghatsya Yoga. Gorakshnath, a disciple of Matsyendrantah is considered as the reformist Hatha Yogi of his era. He travelled across India to teach systematic Yoga—now known as the system of Hatha Yoga.  Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Sanskrit manual on Hatha Yoga was written by Gorakshnath’s disciple Swami Swatmarma. Lord Shiva, however, is regarded as the originator of Hatha Yoga. The term Hatha is derived from two Sanskrit root sounds ‘ha’ and ‘tha’. The sound Ha represents the solar flow in the right nostril (Pingla Nadi) whereas Tha stands for lunar flow in the left nostril (Ida Nadi). These sounds signify two opposite forces; positive and negative respectively.  Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Bandhas and Satkarmas are together forms the system of Hatha Yoga. It is said that with the mastery of each asana, the body and the mind both experience a rebirth. Asanas (comfortable body postures) are developed to induce a new life and energy in every cell, glands, joint, muscle, gland and organ of the body. According to HathaYoga Pradipika, asanas should be practiced gaining steady and correct posture, health and lightness of the body.  It is said that with the mastery of each asana, the body and the mind both experience a rebirth. And that’s why individuals practicing Yoga regularly look and feel more younger than their peers. Asanas improves concentration, co-ordination, and body awareness. Gorakshnath,...

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