Not about ‘asanas’, Yoga my way of life

Yoga. It works. An office goer with an eight-hour sitting job like mine, Yoga has given me a new lease of life. I can feel the strength returning; my neck and back pain are gone and it’s helping me to give my best and perform better at work. Getting a toned body in the process is just a collateral benefit, an added advantage.

When I go back in time, It was fun growing up with siblings. We were four of us together – three sisters and a brother. We cared for, fought, loved, and bullied each other by turns. Now my sister used to be an exceptional athlete, blessed with a super flexible body. She could touch her toes and do cartwheels effortlessly and run cross country marathons with some effort; as of me, I could just reach my shins when I bent forward and cartwheels was something I could only dream of ever doing. So mentally I labeled my body as stiff, inflexible, not meant for sports and carried on through school years.

My first attempt at making my body more flexible was going for one of those early mornings Yoga sessions organised in the community park after I got married. This was way before Baba Ramdev burst onto the scene and revived yoga and pranayama in the collective Indian consciousness.  

There was no cost involved; you just had to carry a mat/bed sheet to the park in the morning, spread it out and follow the instructions. The session would be attended by all age-groups. I remember little kids coming with their grand- parents, teenagers, middle aged uncles and aunties; each and every one did the same exercises with the instructor prodding everyone to stretch further and reach that perfect posture in the asana.

Unfortunately my tryst did not last long; while trying to reach the ideal position something in my back snapped and I just couldn’t move. So it was good-bye Yoga for me.

About a year back I was tempted to try this ancient Indian exercise form again when a young friend invited me. I was skeptic as the demon of last injury was still fresh. But I have had enough of living with a chronic back and neck pain, thanks mainly to a desk job and the creaking aging bones added to the misery. So decided to give Yoga another shot.

And I fell in love with it all over again. Yoga is much more than a discipline that requires moving and twisting the body. It is about each and every breath taken while getting into an asana. It is about controlling your breathing in the short term and your spirit in the long term. It is not a destination but a journey; a journey that is inward bound and gently guides you to be independent of your dependence on the outside world. By training the mind to focus on an involuntary act like breathing; we can actually train the mind to stop fretting and worrying about things that are anyway not in our control. The beauty of the form is not about reaching that perfect pose; but about the daily progress that gives you a sense of achievement.  

By Kaamna Jain

 

 

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Not about ‘asanas’, Yoga my way of life

About The Author
- (kaamnaj@yahoo.com) A journalist by education, a marketing professional by trade and a blogger by choice. She cherishes her dance and yoga lessons, digs mythological fiction and listens to music that speaks. She's fascinated by the small things in life but can't resist the allure of the new and the undiscovered.

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