Posts Tagged With: My Yoga Journey
A Good Thing To Do
Waking-up early is a great and sure way to have some extra and uninterrupted time to pursue your interests, whether it be spirituality, sports, music, writing, exercising, or anything else. When you wake up early, you wake up with Nature. It deepens your connection with Nature. The Sattva energy in the morning is much higher which can help improve your energy, enthusiasm, and attitude. It can make a big difference in the quality of your life.
- Fix your bedtime and wake-up time but allow for 6-7 hours of sleep. Adhere to the set times as much as possible.
- Have a sincere intention to wake up early.
- Don’t label yourself as ‘lazy’. It gives you an excuse to remain lazy. Also, stop saying that you find it difficult to get up in the morning. The more you repeat it, the harder it becomes.
- Get off the bed right after the alarm goes off.
- Even while lying in bed, make some movements with your body. It would inspire you to get off the bed to make more movements.
- Don’t sleep with a full stomach. Eat your dinner at least 3 hours before your bedtime. It is easier to wake up early with an empty stomach. If needed, have a very light snack before bed, but nothing heavy.
- Above all, make ‘waking up early’ a priority. When something is important to you, you always manage to do it.
However, if waking up early is not an option for you, relax about it and make the best of what you have. Also, don’t become too rigid about waking up early. Once in a while, it is okay to seep-in. It is easier to follow a discipline that has some flexibility in it.
Simplicity Is The Way!
Milk contains butter, but one must know how to extract butter from it.
Similarly, the Creation contains both reality and unreality but one must learn how to separate the two. Trying to understand real or unreal is not possible. It makes your mind more complex. Four other major factors that add to the complexity of the mind are self-centredness, being over-ambitious, fixed judgments, and ignorance.
Simplicity is the way to separate the real from unreal. Naturally, you are simple and Divine. The complexity in you is unreal. Strive to remain simple. Don’t have fixed judgments as all is changing. Serving others helps reduce self-centeredness. Keep your understanding of people, life, and God simple. A simple mind doesn’t want to know. It remains in awe!
Upcoming Samatavam Course
for complete care of the mind
The following Samatvam course is the only course I will be offering during the remainder of this year. This course will be offered in the Webinar mode in which you will see only me, not the other participants. The Webinar mode has less technical issues and provides better privacy.
A sharing from the previous Samatvam course:
” On the very first day, in the very first hour, I felt a tremendous amount of peace in me. All the practices were powerful, brought me to new heights of samadhi… I could really experience oneness, all the layers and koshas were in such harmony that I was complete, whole. It is hard to express with words. Embracing all as myself was the missing piece, the rope that bound all loose ends together. …I admire your strength (physical and otherwise) and your deep wisdom, …Your teachings, sharings born out of experience carry so much depth and power, that whatever you say, it translates into an experience in me, so very precious. It was an honour being there on Samatvam. Looking forward to repeating it, and looking forward to Samatvam Silence as well.”
Read more experienceshere
Date: November 26 -30, 2020
Fee: $300.00 Canadian
To accommodate different time zones, this course will be offered at two different times. You can select your preferred time on the registration form.
Please fill out the registration form here
For more information and payment, please followthis link
If you can’t afford the course fee, just write to me. You will be accommodated.
Namaste means I honor you. Do namaste with your hands, mind, and heart. It will expand your belongingness and add to simplicity in your life.
Tips For Yoga Teachers
Have a feeling of friendliness toward your students. Don’t see yourself superior to them.
While giving instructions, keep your eyes open. It makes the students feel they are being observed for correctness. When guiding a meditation, you can close your eyes.
Keep your face relaxed. A tense teacher makes yoga look more challenging to learn.
If you are very flexible, don’t demonstrate your full range to beginner students. It may discourage some students.
If a student in your class can do asanas better than you, don’t feel nervous. Acknowledge that student, and sometimes use him/her as a model for demonstrating asanas. It will put you at ease.
Listen to the quality and volume of your voice. It should be pleasant and not a commanding voice. Use a microphone instead of speaking too loud.
Correct your students’ asanas without telling them they are doing it wrong. Just tell them that needs to be done.
Respect others’ opinions. Don’t get into arguments. They can ruin the whole class.
Be willing to learn from your students. You can learn a lot in so many ways.
Prepare for your class properly. Know your subject thoroughly. During the class, if you can’t answer a question, say so. Don’t mislead your students. They will respect you more for your honesty
Always end the class with a peaceful and inspiring note.
Art of Teaching
Mama said to her baby
Show me the ‘B’
The baby pointed to the ‘D’
Pointing to the ‘B’, said mama
YOU ARE RIGHT, that is ‘B”,
My baby, you are so clever
I will love you forever!
Mama said, let’s do more,
show me the nine.
Baby pointed to the four
Pointing to the nine, mama said
YOU ARE RIGHT, that is nine
I love you
You forever are mine!
My Hair Story 🙂
I started losing hair at an early age. When I came to Canada, I thought, here in Canada, they must have a cure for hair loss. So, I went to see a Doctor. After waiting in the waiting room for about an hour, I was led to the Doctor’s office. There I saw a fully bald Doctor:)
He asked me how he could help me? I said I had stomach pain.
Stories and Simplicity Of Guru Nanak
The Webinar Date Changed to July 12, 2020
Halifax Time 10:00 AM, India Time 6:30 PM(Corrected)
Duration: 90 minutes
Stories and Simplicity of Guru Nanak (and my personal connection)
Simple Exercises for Healthier Knees
Languages: English, Chinese, Italian, Latvian, and Spanish.
(If you would like to translate in other languages for your groups, please let me know.)
If Creation is an illusion, and God is present in every being, then is God also an illusion? Could you please share your views.
This question is a good example of how knowledge may seem contradictory and confusing. Just as, God is one but there are many aspects of God, similarly, Truth is one but with varied aspects.
Seeing the Creation as an illusion, though it may be true, causes confusion, and raises questions. It may also cause aversion.
But there is another way, a simpler way. Until your own experience leads you to an aspect of Truth, instead of seeing the Creation as an illusion, see it as all real.
Creation is a beautiful gift from God. To say it’s only an illusion is to diminish God’s glory. A poor or a miser man may gift you artificial jewelry, but a generous king will never do so. God is the greatest and most generous. Everything here, from the tiniest to the biggest, is real. It may change or perish, but it is real. What comes after the change is also real. What you are experiencing now, is the reality of this moment. It may change in the next moment, but then the next moment becomes reality. You experienced rain yesterday, that was the reality yesterday. Today you are experiencing a sunny day; it is the reality today. By seeing every moment as real, you can live your whole life in reality.
See your past also as real. What you do with that experience is up to you. Learn from it. Change or correct what you can. Be brave to accept what can’t be changed, and move forward. Have the courage to forgive others and yourself. The one who forgives (kshami) is very dear to God.
Both pleasures and sufferings are real. What you do with them is up to you. You have been given the wisdom to not overindulge in pleasures, and strength to pass through the difficulties. Use your wisdom and strength. The positivity and negativity are also real. Be courageous to root out the negativity in you, like a gardener who keeps weeding his garden. How much attention or importance you give to the negativity in others is also up to you. Be the wise one who sees beyond the surface.
The happiness, whether small or big, that you experience in life is real. Acknowledge it and be happy. Don’t discard it in search of your imaginary true happiness.
See people as real. See their love for you as real. Don’t abandon their love to find Divine love. It is only the Divine who is loving you through them.
It becomes easier to love and honor the Creation when you see it as real. By seeing it as real and honoring it you can bring out the hidden Divinity. A devotee brings out the hidden Divinity even in stone. Kabira brought out the hidden Divinity in Creation. For Him, it all became Rama. Both Kabira and Rama are real.
You are not an illusion. You are God’s love. That’s how I see you, real and Divine!
300 Hour Yoga Online Teacher Training Program
18 July to 27 Sept 2020
Live Sessions on Weekends, and Home Study During Weekdays
As some of you have requested, I am pleased to announce a 300 Hour TTP in collaboration with EkaShri School of Yoga, run by a yogi couple, Dr. Shriram Sarvotham, and Ekaterina Jeleva, both very dear to me. Yoga is their passion and life. They both are embodiments of all eight-limbs of yoga. They are scholars of yoga scriptures, masters of asanas & other yogic practices, skilled, sincere, extraordinarily flexible & strong both physically and mentally, yet humble and down to earth. I have been very proud of them ever since they did the Sri Sri Yoga TTP with me several years ago.
The current global situation has provided us with a short-time opportunity of conducting this yoga TTP online, making it convenient and affordable for students.
In this TTP you will receive all the needed knowledge, training, skills, and tools for becoming a learned, skilled, confident, and refined yoga teacher of yogic practices, including a few series of asanas that can be practiced and taught in the classic traditional way, or modern Vinyasa tradition way, or in your own creative ways. You will also learn Shudham Sun Salutation, a unique series of asanas that you can also teach to add more variety and sanctity in your classes.
In addition, you will experience the true essence of yoga, and learn the practical ways of living a yogic life that is healthier, balanced, meaningful, and joyous.
The live TTP sessions will be conducted in English, but the recorded version will be available for translations, and for playing online in different time zones to suit their timings. We will also have a few live sessions for students in different time zones who may not be able to attend the regular live sessions.
For more information and registration click here
Don’t miss this opportunity!
Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha
Stopping unnecessary thought-waves in the mind is yoga
This four-word definition of yoga comes from many Holy Books of yoga, including Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Seekers must strive to achieve that state of mind which is free from unnecessary fluctuations,
It is said in the Holy Books of yoga that there are three main reasons which hide the Truth of life: 1) Mala, impurities and imbalances in the body and mind; 2) Vikshepa, disturbances in mind and 3) Avarana, a curtain of ignorance.
If you look closely, all the above three reasons are related to the mind. A lack of discipline in mind is one of the main reasons for imbalances in the body and mind. The disturbances in mind occur because the mind has not been trained properly. A curtain of ignorance exists because the mind is not really interested in comprehending the Truth. It is more interested in the fulfillment of its selfish desires.
For the past thirty years, I have been asked one question the most, both from beginners and advanced practitioners, which is how to make the mind quieter and calmer? Most yoga practitioners, even after many years of sincere practices, struggle with it.
Dealing with the mind can be very complicated, but it can also be simple if you have the proper understanding and right tools.
Introducing ‘ SAMATAVAM’ Course
I am pleased to offer this course for those who would like to learn to take care of their minds. During the past twenty years, I have developed many well-received yoga courses, but I have never felt that any of those courses is a must for everyone.
With SAMATAVAM, I do.
Whether your aspirations are worldly, spiritual, or both, their meaningful fulfillment depends on the state of your mind. The SAMATAVAM course teaches you the skills for developing a calmer, balanced, and more focused mind.
I will be offering the online version of SAMATAVAM course on June 18 – 22.
If interested, please follow this link for more information.
Commercialization of Spirituality
The popularity and commercialization of spirituality on a large scale are recent phenomenons. When I was growing up in India, yoga was taught free of charge. Yoga then was not popular. There were no yoga studios in my city. A couple of yoga teachers that we knew held weekly yoga in classes in their houses. Once my mother offered some money to a yoga teacher for teaching me. In a very humble way, he said he would incur a sin if he took money for teaching yoga.
When I came to Canada in 1973, that’s when I first saw a poster of yoga classes for a fee. It was also then when I first came to learn about TM. They were charging a hefty fee for a three-hour meditation course. Though it was against my beliefs, I still paid for yoga classes, and also learned TM, an experience I will share another day.
Since then, I have witnessed the growing popularity of yogic practices and people’s readiness to pay for them. A reasonable fee for spirituality can be justified as some organizations, like the Art of Living Foundation, use that money for humanitarian projects. Many sincere yoga teachers teach yoga full time for a higher cause but also earn an income for their livelihood. When yoga classes are offered free, the majority of the students don’t value them, and they don’t develop sincerity. So, for the above-stated reasons and to cover overhead expenses, a fee for spirituality is acceptable, provided that it doesn’t become a business, and admission is not denied to those sincere students who genuinely can’t afford to pay.
Unfortunately, the wide-spread commercialization of spirituality has its consequences. Primarily, it gives rise to fraud, fake gurus, and corrupt organizations. Sad but true, because of the innocent faith of millions of people, fake gurus become very popular, influential, and they flourish, which further encourages the rise of more fake gurus.
Another consequence of the over-commercialization of spirituality is that it affects people’s shradha (faith and more). Walking on the path without shradha is an endless struggle. It is like trying to grow a tree without water. I will talk about shradha another day.
Ever since I became a full-time yoga teacher, I have strived not to let my teaching grow into a business in which money becomes more important than people and spirituality. I will continue to strive for that. I pledge to my yoga students that any money that I may earn over and above my basic needs, I will use it to support charities and the service work which I plan to do in Vrindavan. Spirituality is a Divine gift to me which I must not misuse.
Cardio exercise is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety and fear. Thirty minutes of cardio twice a day, followed by yoga, pranayama, and meditation can be very helpful in dealing with today’s stresses. You may be very tempted to just sit and meditate, but that may not be of much use, especially if you are not very good at meditating. You may be just sitting there, worrying even more with your eyes closed.
When there is excessive tamas (negative energy), creating good rajas (active energy) is the way to deal with the tamas.
Even when you are in a locked-in situation, there is so much you can do inside the house. There are so many online free videos for all levels that you can follow for cardio exercise. Walk back and forth in your room. Go up and down the stairs several times a day. You can do cardio even while watching TV. Stay active. Keep the blood pumping to keep your energy levels high.
Some Wisdom from Young Wises, Very Relevant For Today
Once, when my daughter Priya was in grade one or two, for some reason ( perhaps because she had not practiced her piano) I got angry at her and told her that she was grounded for 30 minutes, and she must stay in her room. With an unhappy face, she went to her room. Not even a couple of minutes had passed when I started to feel guilty at the thought of her being unhappy and perhaps even sobbing in her room. Not being able to resist any longer, after about five minutes, I went to her room. I was not expecting what I saw. She was in her bed, leaned against 2-3 pillows, with a bag of chips and a book in her hands, I didn’t know how to react or what to say as she was doing exactly what I had told her to do, that was to stay in her room. In response to something I said, she replied,” Well, I am grounded, I might as well make the best use of this time.”
To make the best use of every situation was a great lesson I had learned from her. She has followed this wisdom all her life and has kept our family happy and strong.
This wisdom is suitable for any time but even more relevant for today’s situation when we all are grounded. Make the best use of this time. Lean against the pillows and read your favorite book. Learn something new. The Internet is a great way to learn new things. Catch up on things you have been postponing. Even when in isolation, you can still dance and laugh.
One day, when my son Amol was in grade two, he showed me his collection of hockey cards and then asked me one-by-one if I knew the players. After I failed to recognize about ten players, I could recognize one. Immediately, he looked at me and said to me, “Wow, you recognized one, even though you don’t play or watch hockey.” That was an eye-opener for me. Instead of saying that I could recognize only one, he cheered me!
That’s how he has been all his life. He always sees the good in others, a beautiful lesson that I have learned from him.
This wisdom is also suitable for any time but even more relevant in the current situation when the families may be spending more time together. It is important not to be critical of each other and not complain too much. Instead, praise and appreciate each other. Everyone has good and bad in them. The bad is easily visible, but it may require some wisdom and sensitivity to see the good in others.
Preparing For The Upcoming Webinar, March 29
I am looking forward to seeing all the registered participants who have received a confirmation letter. Please note that if you have not received a confirmation letter, you are not registered even though you may have been able to fill in the form right after the Webinar was fully booked. I will do another one for you soon.
To prepare, please follow the following instructions
The Ojas Pranayama requires contracting the chest while holding the breath. Please check with your physician whether or not you can do this if you have any heart or other conditions which may be of concern to you.
You can do this pranayama while sitting on the floor or in a chair or lying down. Once I have explained the pranayama, you just need to hear and follow the instructions. There is nothing to see. So, if you prefer to sit on the floor or lie down, keep a yoga mat and a cushion handy.
Keep a bottle of water handy. It is okay to drink water during the pranayama if needed, but I recommend that you drink before we begin the practice.
Do not eat anything substantial at least two hours before the Webinar.
Do not gather in groups. Follow the imposed restrictions in your region because of coronavirus.
Please take extra precautions to stay safe and healthy.
"Difficulties in life cannot be avoided but a wise man faces them with a smile" - Guru Nanak
A Strengthening Breathing Exercise
The following breathing exercise, Ojas Pranayama, can help strengthen the upper respiratory system.
It is a part of the OJAS Kriya which I will be teaching in my courses.
- Sit up straight or lie on your back.
- Take 8-10 deep breaths. Inhale through the nose but exhale through the mouth actively and thoroughly with a loud hissing sound.
- Relax the breath. Take your attention to the whole of the ribcage, chest, and lungs.
- With the next inhalation, expand your chest sideways. Try to make the chest and ribcage wider. Hold the breath, but keep expanding the chest and ribcage.
- Imagine that you are expanding your lungs sideways also.
- Exhale through the nose slowly. As you are exhaling, try to squeeze the chest and ribcage from the sides as if you are trying to make them narrow and smaller.
- Take 8-10 such breaths, with a short rest in between if needed. This will complete one round.
- Do three rounds of steps 2-6.
- After completing three rounds, take a deep breath. Hold the breath for 10-15 seconds. Exhale slowly with full control and try to make the expiration as long as possible. Take 5-6 such breaths, making the expiration steadier and longer with each breath.
You can do this OJAS breathing exercise twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. If you are unable to do the complete routine, do as much as you can and slowly build up.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Laugh every day for 2-3 minutes. Laugh loud from your belly. It is hard to laugh when you are worried or fearful, but that’s what you need to do to come out of it.
You can combine laughing with the above Ojas breathing. Laugh first, and then do the breathing exercise.
This challenging time will be over soon. Exercise daily. Eat and rest well. Support others in any way you can.
"The pain that you have been feeling, can't compare to the joy that is coming" -Romans 8:18