Happy Diwali

I wish you all a Happy Diwali 

It is the day when Lord Rama returned home after completing 14 years of exile, and killing the demon Ravana. We celebrate this special and auspicious day by, listening to Lord Rama’s stories, singing His glories, worshipping Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth), lighting diyas and candles, exchanging gifts & sweets with friends and relatives, eating many different kinds kinds of sweets, and reflecting on rights and wrongs in our own lives and how we can move from the wrong to the right.  Diwali

Saint Valmiki wrote the story of Lord Rama, called Ramayana, during Lord Rama’s lifetime, over 10000 years ago. It is a beautiful poem written in Sanskrit.

However, it was the Saint Tulsidas’ version of Ramayana, which he wrote just over 500 years ago, that became very popular with Hindus. It is written in Hindi, also a poem, and is highly devotional. In addition to Ramayna, Saint Tulsidas wrote hundreds of other poems, all very devotional, and mostly dedicated to Lord Rama.

His writings have been a great influence on my life. They make my devotion towards Lord Rama very alive. A couplet from one of his songs is my most favourite, in which he says to Lord Rama.” There are many different types of relationships between You and me, and I am happy with whichever relationship You  choose, but please always keep me close to You, at Your Lotus Feet.”

Lord Rama, though present in every heart, is felt and realized only by a devotee. Though the Diwali is about Lord Rama’s  returning home, but in fact, a greater Diwali happens when a devotee returns home, and finds that Lord Rama was always there. He never left. He never leaves.


Happy Diwali!

May your life be filled with sweetness!

AOL Therapeutic Yoga Retreat in Langkawi Malaysia, and SAHC

Malaysia 7


Last month I conducted the Art of Living Therapeutic Yoga Retreat in beautiful Langkawi, Malaysia. In this picture, it is Lay Hwa on my left, and Zok Lim on my right, both with the help of many others made the Yoga Retreat a great success. Zok Lim’s sankalpa was to get 150 people for the retreat, and she managed to get 201. She was always one step ahead of me. Whenever I wrote to her about something that needed to be done. She replied immediately ‘already done’:)

Langkawi -Group


During the past fifteen years I have been fortunate to meet many such beautiful people who have helped me in taking yoga to their countries and around the globe. All these yogis are  filled with amazing enthusiasm, energy, determination, organizing skills, and passion for yoga.  I am so grateful to them all. With their help I have experienced different dimensions of yoga, and  oneness in diversity.




SAHC (Strengthening and Healing Contractions): Pronounced as ‘Saahsee’

It is a technique we teach in AOL Yoga Level 2  course and Therapeutic Yoga Retreat. It is a very powerful technique with amazing benefits that people have reported. People often ask me how this technique was developed.

I believe it was in 2010, when I was teaching the 1st AOL Yoga Level 2 course in Gujarat ashram and was having some issues with my right knee. One evening as I was doing knee exercises, I discovered that contracting and relaxing my hamstrings and quadriceps several times was very helpful in reducing the knee pain. That was the basis for developing SAHC.  Next day I introduced SAHC in Level 2 course in Gujarat, and fully developed it as a physical and spiritual practice during the next Level 2 course in Kerala.

Of course, all good things happen with the Divine grace. For me, there is no difference between Guru, God and mySelf. They all reside in me as One. My yoga comes from this One Consciousness.

In gratitude,



The 10th Obstacle, plus, Wellness Tips

The 10th Obstacle!

Internet is amazing. I love it for its obvious usefulness. But it also has many negatives.

According to Sage Patanjali there are nine obstacles on the path of yoga. I think if he were to re-write the ‘Yoga Sutras ’ today, he would include another obstacle….the Internet.

Excessive or wrong use of Internet can affect you in some of the following ways:

It can make your life sedentary, resulting in over weight, weaker and misaligned body, increased physical pain, and many other illnesses.

It can keep your mind engaged outwards to a much greater degree. There is so much stuff on the Internet, both good and bad, which attracts and engages the mind outward, contrary to what we strive for on the path of yoga.

It can be addictive. You can become so internet-dependent that you feel lost without it.

It can be a big time-waster. You can spend hours doing nothing but feeling that you are very busy. It creates an illusion that you are learning something but, in fact, over feeding the mind with excessive information can increase confusion, conflicts, anxiety, worries and fears etc.

Though the Internet connects you to the whole world but it can also lead you to isolation and loneliness.

It can disrupt your life style……..and much more

So, use it wisely!



A few body-mind wellness tips:

  1. Make time to exercise and meditate regularly. Give your well-being a priority. The state of your body and mind affects your energy level and productivity. If you are well, everything else feels and looks so much better and brighter. If you are happy, you make others happy. So never feel guilty for taking time for your own care.
  2. Exercise daily, twice if you can, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Keep your exercise program simple. With difficult programs you will get discouraged and give up. Add variety to your program, it’s good for the body. There are so many exercise programs on the Internet. Make a play list of the programs that look easy and appeal to you, and each week use a different program. An exercise program can be easy, but still intense. For example, walking is easy, but you can increase the intensity by walking faster. Increase the intensity slowly. Don’t struggle or overdo it.
  3. Keep your weight under control. Remaining over-weight for a considerable length of time can cause many health problems, and it can become a life long issue. NOW is the time to take control of your weight and wellness. In addition to exercising daily, remain active throughout the day. Move your body as often as you can. Monitor your weight regularly and stay on the downward trend, doesn’t matter how small or slow it is. Don’t try to lose weight by starving yourself or by using crazy diet plans. Loose it sensibly. Proper exercise, proper diet, proper rest, and proper attitude lead to proper wellness.
  4.  Improve your posture by sitting and standing straight up and    balancing equally on both sides of the body. Proper posture improves strength symmetry, balance, blood circulation, and metabolic rate.
  5. Reduce sugar, butter, oil, caffeine, and alcohol intake. Substitute water and herbal teas for soft drinks. Substitute fruits for fruit juices. Don’t over eat. Overeating healthy foods is also not healthy. Cook your own meals as often as you can, so that you know what you are eating.
  6.  Educate yourself in terms of your nutritional requirements; what and how much you should eat. Make a detailed list of what you eat, and their nutritional value. The findings may surprise you.
  7. After exercising your mind may justify eating more or eating wrong foods may be tempted to overeat or eat wrong foods. Don’t do it. A small cone of ice cream can negate the effect of one hour of exercise.
  8. Pick up a new hobby. Learn something new. Sing. Play an instrument. Dance. Learn a new language, or whatever else interests you. It will make you feel good about yourself, improve your confidence, and keep your interest in life fresh and alive.
  9. Spend more time with family and friends, the people you care for. Don’t hesitate to share your feelings and difficulties with someone you trust. It will make you feel that you are not alone. Feeling alone and lonely can lead to sadness and depression.
  10. Don’t give so much importance to the past. Each day is a new day and an opportunity to start fresh.
  11. Learn to breathe properly. Breath is life. It is a free source of energy. Body, breath and mind affect each other.
  12. Don’t label yourself such as you are a night person, or you get angry easily, or you are lazy etc. Break the wrong habits and take full responsibility for your wellness. Be committed and steady.
  13. Believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!  


My new toy!Flute

I am learning to play the Western flute. I will play it for you when I see you. I use Internet to learn some of my favorite songs 🙂

Your yoga friend,