This section contains the selected entries from the Essay writing competition held at Yogasakhi.
The subjects were :
1. How Yoga made a difference in my life…
2. My “dream” yoga class
3. My Yoga practice : Where do I see myself after 6 months
This competition encouraged the students to think, retrospect, imagine…
To have Clarity, Goal and Satisfaction in their daily yoga Sadhana!
This essay is submitted by Arti Rajgopal, A house wife and sincere practitioner of yoga since last 2 years.
Arati in spite of water phobia has started swimming. She also feels that we are the custodians of this treasure!
Yogena chittasya padena vacham
Malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena
Yopa’karot tam pravaram muninam
Patanjalim pranjalir ananto’smi
Yoga is an ancient science. Lord Shiva is indeed believed to be the first great yogi and originator of Yoga. Sage Patanjali was believed to be the first person to present the ancient tradition of Yoga in a systematic way. We know that there are so many definitions and meanings of Yoga but the most convincing for me is the word YOGA means to join or unite. Sage Patanjali, the founder of yoga, explained in his Yoga Sutras, that when our mind is kept very calm, quiet and free from all distractions for a long time in dhyana, we become united with God and attain salvation. This salvation goal is Samadhi or kaivalya. In this path of goal realization, Patanjali warned us of hurdles & obstancles that we come across; at the same time, to enable us to cultivate the good qualities and overcome such hurdles, he laid down eight-fold path i.e., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, & Samadhi, known as Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali.
Of these eight parts, I try to follow the first parts; i.e., Yama, Niyama, Asana, & Pranayama in the best way I can do. Generally, all the parents try to inculcate the values of Yama & Niyama i.e, ahimsa, satya, asteya, aparigraha, saucha, santosa, in their children from the early childhood only. Everyone try to follow these two sutras in some or the other manner and to some extent, that’s what I do. Through Yoga asana practice for the long time, it has become easy for me to gain temperament under control as well as to channelize & transform skill, thought, & action in a useful form of energy. One of the Niyamas, Ishvara Pranidhana, is very vast and deep to discuss. But I will only say that now days my faith in God has tremendously increased. My believes and thoughts about God are remarkably changed with which I am extremely happy.
This is all about my mental state of mind. Simultaneously by practicing asanas, my fitness, flexibility, strength, suppleness, stamina, has also improved drastically. I have tried many branches of exercise regimen; but the peace and satisfaction I get from Yoga asanas, I don’t get anywhere. I learn and feel something new in the same asana each and every time I practice. I try to reach to the perfection in a posture gradually with efforts in every attempt. These qualities of putting great effort even after failure and learning through practice have been developed in me to a great extent after Yoga asana practice.
With Pranayma, I have learnt movement as well as control of breath. I have water phobia and I find swimming very difficult. Having learnt this breath control, I have started swimming at a beginner level that was not only hard but almost impossible for me.
Like Ashtanga Yoga, there is also one other branch of yoga, that is, Hatha Yoga. I have also started practicing Kriyas as mentioned in Hatha Yoga. Kriyas are cleansing techniques meant to cleanse the internal organs of the human body. The cleansing technique, like jala neti, laghushanka has also helped me.
For my yoga practice, I wish my Yoga class to be amidst nature. I love to practice Yoga asanas in an area surrounded by tress, flowers, listening to birds’ chirps, feeling cool breeze, watching water falls. That’s impossible in city life. Even though I wish my Yoga class at least to be in a garden surrounded by greenery as I have seen in Hyderabad people doing asanas in KBR garden with peacocks passing nearby.
This Yoga practice for the last almost more than a year has changed my life. In future, I wish myself performing all the difficult asanas very easily, regularly and sincerely, to get rid of all ailments, help others in taking the maximum advantage of yoga, and to impart knowledge of Yoga to our next generation.
Last, but not the least, I would say that we are the custodians of is this treasure of Yoga. We should share and spread this treasure to the whole world to get the best fruits. Yoga is the perfect essentials of this arena for perfect physical health and mental well-being.
CONTRIBUTOR: ARTI RAJGOPAL, HOUSE WIFE.