08 Jul Improving Flexibility, and Small-Minded Thinking
Update on the ‘Healthier Me’ program
The ‘Healthier Me’ program is unfolding very well. The participants are already seeing results and their feedback is very encouraging
I am sorry some of you didn’t get on the program as I had to limit the registration to only 60 people. However, I may be offering this program again once the current program is over.
This program is designed to educate and motivate the participants and sharpen their common sense. The participants are encouraged to develop a healthier lifestyle rather than achieving a set goal.
Below are a few comments from the participants:
“You have been standing by my side, keep encouraging and inspiring me for my benefit. To discipline myself is a promise that I make to you and to myself.”
” I am so aware of what I eat and which groceries I buy. You are always sitting in the back of my head.”
” The way you explain and teach is very beautiful. I can’t tell you how much difference it is making in my daily routine and habits. I am changing every day.”
“My legs are becoming stronger. Now I can jog.”,
Could you please share a few tips for improving flexibility.
1. Don’t sit on soft surfaces such as sofa and bed for prolonged periods of time. This is one of the main reasons for weak buttocks and tight hamstrings, and also for pain in the hips and back.
2. Identify the postures in which you are relatively stiffer. Repeat each posture three times with the holding times of 20, 30, and 45 seconds. Do the posture 2-3 times a day.
3. Learn to relax more in the posture. Be happy with the small progress you make instead of always struggling to reach somewhere and feeling frustrated and disappointed. Struggling stiffens the body more.
4. Make movements with all joints, 2-3 times a day.
5. After doing any repetitive movement such as walking, running, or swimming, etc make sure to do the appropriate stretching exercises. Prolonged repetitive movements, including weight training, tighten the muscles.
6. Your diet affects the quality of your muscles. Your muscle-cells become sluggish with unhealthy and heavy diet.
7. Here is a secret move:
Once you have reached your limit in a posture, relax the whole body, then tense your whole body for 5 seconds, relax again, and while remaining relaxed go further in the posture. Repeat this 2-3 times.
8. Make an effort to improve your flexibility but don’t make it a goal. You don’t need to be super flexible to become healthier.
Occasionally someone says to me that you have left AOL and Guru Dev, and you are now doing your own things. I know it is not true but I don’t know how to respond to them. K.A.
First I was going to tell K. A. that there was no need to respond to such comments, but then I decided to talk about it here, thinking that it may help some people in coming out of their small-minded thinking, and also perhaps help them in understanding their own relationships with Guru Dev.
Have I left AOL?
I have stopped teaching AOL courses for the time being but, like millions of others, I strive to live AOL teachings, and Guru Dev is my guru. So, I am very much in AOL.
However, even if I were to leave, how does it matter?
From the very beginning of AOL, Guru Dev has always said that people should feel free to come and go. But, I know there are always a few who criticize and judge those who, for whatever reason, decide to leave. Such kind of thinking arises only from a small mind.
But a big mind sees it differently.
No one knows when and where one’s journey may end. But when it does, a big mind says good-byes to them with a smiling heart. He thanks them for their contribution and for being his companion on the path, even if it was for a short while. He sends his love and best wishes to them for their further journey wherever it may take them.
Guru Dev always celebrates people whether they come or go. His love remains the same.
Doing my own things!
Almost all people who are in AOL are doing their own things. They have their jobs or businesses. Similarly, I am also doing my own things. Had I gone back to my engineering profession, no one would have said that I was doing my own things:) But because I teach yoga and am more visible, judgments arise in a few small minds.
Yoga is a gift to me by my Guru, which I must express and share. Otherwise, I would be disrespecting the gift and the Giver. Any gift that one receives is meant to be shared. I have been sharing this gift for many years. Now, teaching on my own outside of the Organization gives me the needed freedom to share and express it more freely.
From the yogic wisdom point of view also, we all are exactly where we are supposed to be and doing only what we are supposed to be doing.
So, it is better not to judge anyone else’s journey. The more you judge, the more confined you become. Whereas, the purpose of the journey is to be free
Did I leave Guru Dev!
This statement or question simply means that one has not yet understood or experienced the true nature of Guru. Thirty-three years ago, when I met Guru Dev for the first time, I knew He was an Awakened Being. How? That I don’t know. But I knew it as clearly as I know when I am hungry. Since then, through His grace only, I have experienced His boundless vastness to such extent that neither I can leave Him nor He can leave me. Where would I go? There is not a place where He is not, and there is not a moment when He is not. Where would He go? Lo! But, He is already there!
May you all experience such a blessing!
He is the Ocean
Greater than the greatest
I am a muddy pond
smaller than the smallest
Oh! What a blessing!
Rooted forever in the mud
lives His Lotus Presence.
Happy Guru Purnima!