19 September 2016

A peek into well-being- a yoga interview.

 Dear readers, bloggers, writers and friends,
I am going to do a series of interviews with a variety of people. The common thread is that they are promoting well-being on Mother Earth, in one way or the other.
Firstly a few words from me :)

However high a tree may rise towards the sky, its roots need to be firmly entrenched in the ground. Likewise whichever way our society goes, we need to stand steadfast to our country’s inherent wisdom.

Yoga is of prime importance and even a few of the eight limbs, when pondered upon and followed work as an elixir and fortify us against stress.

Lifestyle diseases which are rampant today are mainly a by-product of the thoughtless lifestyle and stress which accumulates unbeknownst to us, in large part due to the needless speed in every aspect of life. Yoga slows things down to their natural pace.

Valuable lessons that comes to us from yoga:
1. Figure out what connecting to oneself means and to re-connect again and again, for the term ‘yoga’ itself means to unite, with oneself and with the universe at large, starting from our immediate surroundings.

2. Slow down

3. Develop an awareness of our thought processes and understand that we can choose our thoughts, or at least which thoughts to give primacy to.

4. Be mindful in general, be it of our food, sleep and other habits, or even of our posture and other unconscious tendencies.

5. Understand that we are housed in a body which serves us well if we give it a little attention, stretch it a little, bend, twist a little and most importantly breathe easy.

A peek into well-being

Now to the interview section of this post

Today I am talking to Mr. Raj Pandey, who I thank for sharing the below with me.

Q. What got you interested in Yoga? What are the lessons you have learnt from it?

A. I had a yoga institute close to my house in India when I was a young boy. I started going with my friends and gradually I started liking it. Later on, I learnt yoga with several great masters, such as BKS Iyengar, Osho, Swami Ram and Swami Satyam. I learnt many different types of yoga from them, like Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Kriya yoga etc.

Q. Lessons I have learnt from yoga up until now are:

A. My yoga practice has taught me that life is not a competition. It is not a competition to win, to be better than anyone else. It taught me to know my own strengths and weaknesses. I learnt how to enjoy every moment of life by knowing who I am and what the goal of my life is. I learnt that the same divine force or energy dwells in every living and non-living being on the planet. I leant how to laugh in every situation without being judgmental.

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher? What prompted you to become a teacher in the first place?

A. I have been practicing and teaching yoga for approximately 30 years now, having taught extensively in India, Oman and Australia. My Yoga Guru Swami inspired and motivated me to be a lifelong yoga student. I don’t like to call myself a yoga teacher. 

Q. How important do you think Yoga is in this fast paced world? What are the most valuable lessons we can learn from it?

A. Yoga has more relevance in the present society than ever before. The world is gradually dividing into small fragments, fragments like cast, creed and religion. If yoga is taught in its totality to an 8 year old child, then it will bring unity, harmony and peace to the society and world.

Q. Did yoga bring about a positive change in your life? If yes, what are the life lessons you have learned from it?

A. The word ‘yoga’ itself means union and harmony first with everything around you, and finally with the divine. Yoga has given me enormous things like health, strength, watchfulness on my emotions, and focus in my work. Yoga has given me great tools, such as mindfulness, to excel in my job as a high school Physics and Math teacher. Finally, Kriya yoga has brought tranquility and serenity to my mind and existence, which helped me learn who I am (self-realization).

Q. Many prefer to train their bodies and reduce fat in gym lifting weights. Do you think, they should be doing Yoga instead?

A. Unfortunately, in western world and even in India, people think that Yoga is only physical exercises, such as the poses. Yoga is more than that. It brings harmony in life on many levels. It brings a positive radical change in life. Exercising in the gym only works on the body but yoga works in every possible dimension.   

Q. As a yoga teacher, what are the valuable life lessons that one can apply in their day-to-day life?

A. The basic desire of a human being is to live in harmony with oneself and the environment. Nowadays in the modern world, more emotional and physical demands are constantly placed upon many aspects of life. Consequently, many people suffer from physical and mental tensions or stress, like anxiety and insomnia. This is why techniques for the attainment and improvement of health through physical, mental and spiritual harmony are of great importance. This can be easily achieved by practicing and incorporating yoga in daily life. Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age or health conditions. Yoga gives us valuable, practical instructions for the body, breath, concentration, relaxation and meditation.

(He is a member of YTISA and Yoga Australia. He has approximately 30 years of yoga experience and has taught extensively. He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in a wide and varied background of various forms of yoga and meditation including Hatha yoga, Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga, Therapeutic yoga, Sahaj yoga, and Pranayama. Raj is a trained meditation instructor in: Solar (to hold energy from the sun), Lunar (to hold energy from the moon), Nada Brahma (ceaseless ever expanding Sound), Dynamic (to remove pent up emotions), Kundalini (to awaken subtle energy), Vipassana and many more. Raj also has experience with Reiki, Pranic Healing and Acupressure)


What did you think of this whole post dear reader? Did the length deter? Did the series I have begun interest you? Did you find the information here helpful?

Do share :)                                               

Admiral's arc, Kangaroo island

13 September 2016

Meditation- a poem and a guest post :)

Happiness People Csp13461963   Search Clipart Illustration Drawings
To drop from the head into the body,
Get aware of the inhale expanding the body
Watch the exhale release itself and also
Release everything that needs releasing.

It is this and keeps us in the now and
The immediate HERE
Gets us out of the constant pendulum
That the mind can become.

What is scary about this I ask you
Nothing. Let us give up the notion we
May have of what it is and allow
Ourselves to accept that it is simple

And accessible. Let us begin with the
Breath and end with the breath for what else
Does life begin with and end with
Breath to breath is all we need

Breath to breath is all we have.
A gift most precious.

Dear reader, I have had a first and who doesn't love firsts :) Aditi asked me to do a guest post for her www.dancebible.com  on a topic I had never written on. Dance. So I thanked her and wrote the guest post

It is on Bharat Natyam and how it benefits children. Needless to say the same applies to adults.

What are your thoughts on meditation and the beautiful dance form Bharat Natyam? Do share :)

2 September 2016

What no one tells you about being a parent.

No one is obliged to spill the beans
No one is bound to tell
Even if one does dare take up
The task of unmasking every cell.

Umbilical cord severed physically 
Actually severs never ever.
Urge to put baby back into embryo
To keep safe and sound from every fever.

Innards twist at the slightest inkling
Of any discomfort to the little one.
This is the very heart walking around, in the 
Shape of a child you have won.

Soft - vulnerable heart, outside the body
Out of the protective casing of ribcage, flesh and sinew.
This - only a pinch of how it feels and
I will try no more except to urge myself, and

You and you and you my reader
 Not that you need the urging one bit.
To care and tend and yet not stifle.
Keeping personal struggles at bay,

When around the child, let us
Allow ourselves to rejoice while we may.
Be a child with the child, firm not harsh
When the need arises for oh yes- it does everyday.

Eternally oscillating from tender love to 
Marking out clarity, let us read, ruminate, 
Speak out our love and blessing 
And be not too rigid all the time,

With the offspring, who is as we speak
Every moment becoming more and more
Individual. Nurture their nature.
Give in to material demand, in balance, 

This is a toughie in this day and age.
Not so much that they lose value
Not so less that there is hidden discontent
Day after day we grow alongside

If we let ourselves, putting fallacies and fakeness
Aside. Grow up once again, gain dimension and depth
Finally to let go, for we are only given a while 
To play out our role in divine drama - 

Unconditional, eternal, infinite.