“YOGA”! This 4 letter word has the entire world look at it with wonder. The headstands, handstands, and twists had also captured my imagination when I was young. I often use to sit on the floor in a cross-legged posture, especially when I had to sit down for long hours of study. It was exciting and fun to twist, turn and hang upside down and I had done all this as a young boy, without knowing or understanding the actual concept of Yoga.
I had become very comfortable with a lot of postures, but soon, academic pressure had begun to build up and my entire focus shifted towards examinations and finding promising career opportunities. This left me with little or no time to continue my asana practice. And eventually …after completing my engineering, I got caught up with my corporate jobs.
A sense of emptiness
Though I majored in Engineering, subjects like History, Philosophy and Arts always had a special place in my heart. After working for a few corporates, I realized that my happiness and satisfaction will not come from switching jobs, but from things that I really loved and enjoyed the most. I had also started experiencing a sense of desolation and knew that I just could not go on like this.
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.” – Kahlil Gibran
After contemplating on all the pros and cons for almost a year, I got back to studying History and Philosophy. And it also reintroduced me to Yoga! How? Well not like before, not with its alluring yoga asanas but through Indian Philosophy. It was like Yoga had found me yet again, the difference being, this time I was completely aware of its presence.
Studying about Yoga’s history was not only interesting, but it also instilled in me a sense of pride as well as a sense of sadness. I was amazed and proud to learn all about Yoga’s roots in ancient India, about its 5000plus-year-old history, about the knowledge passed down by ancient sages, its presence in the various religions that were born in India and its evolution.
But what saddened me was that despite this rich history and tradition, we as a nation failed to recognize its value and treat the subject with the importance it rightfully deserves – as a holistic lifestyle, as a proven philosophy and science to lead a healthy life, as a tool to understand oneself and everything that exists, and most importantly, as a way of living.
Longing for more
After studying History and Philosophy for a year I finally decided to enroll for a full-fledged Yoga course to quench the thirst for this sacred knowledge. I looked up for Yoga courses and chose to study at the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anushasandhana Sansthana, popularly known as SVYASA, in Jigani, Bangalore.
Studying and spending time on this campus was an ideal way to learn and experience Yoga as a lifestyle. We were taught all different aspects of Yoga, from spiritual to life sciences, physical science, and humanities. It is here that I learned the significance of consuming a Sattvic diet and since then, I have been following the same in day to day life. I was also introduced to the practice and science of Hatha Yoga and Kriya Yoga. and understood how to implement it in daily life.
“Two minutes every day, contemplate on “who you are?” Do it for a week. if it doesn’t work, Just Let Go.” Anonymous
After completing my course at SVYASA, I started exploring various styles of Yoga across various centers and connected with different teachers. I was fortunate to meet some really amazing practitioners and teachers who enhanced my practice and helped me progress further. To name a few, Amaresh, Prashant, Bharath Shetty, Divya, and Indira, they all have been really helpful in my Yoga journey. I had also attended Iyengar yoga sessions and to always keep my mind open to any new learning and experience from everyone, including the students I teach.
Appreciating and enjoying every moment
I soon got the confidence to teach, and I started teaching as a freelancer. This continued for a few years. I really started enjoying the exchange of knowledge and guidance and this reflected in my daily life as I had begun to appreciate every moment of my life. There was this new-found and a deep sense of satisfaction from what I was doing which in turn helped me declutter my mind and see things with more clarity.
I could see where I was heading and also understand how else I would like to spend my time. I started taking some time out to take free Yoga sessions for government school children and for children with special abilities. I still continue to do this on a regular basis as it gives me immense joy to be able to help them in some way to improve the quality of their life; such is the power of this ancient wisdom.
It was an important day of my life and I thus clearly remember what date it was. On 20th November in the year 2017, my friend Lava told me about the fitness organization Cult, and how it was (it still is) creating a revolution in India’s fitness world. I spent some time on their website and found out that the parent company is Cure.fit and that they will be teaching Yoga at Cult as well as at their Mind studios.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. – Marc Anthony
I decided to give it a shot and went ahead and uploaded my resume. To my delight, it all worked out without any delay or confusion. I got a call from the management to attend the interview, I got selected, attended their one-month training in Bengaluru and finally, I was assigned classes at different centers. The experience was very new to me but I enjoyed it. I got to meet and learn from many other talented trainers who were not just Yoga experts; I got to attend other sessions of world-class trainers from S&C, Boxing, HRX and similar fitness workouts.
It is awesome that I get to conduct quite a few sessions at Mindfit. The practitioners attend classes every day without fail, and once the sessions end, we speak at length about how the practice helped them overcome ailments and relax their mind and body. I get immense joy from interacting with them and knowing that they have benefited. I cannot imagine any other job giving me this kind of satisfaction. I feel absolutely at home with ‘Cult’.
Mom and Dad have always stood by my side with the decisions I have taken till now and they continue to inspire and motivate me.
In the Present
I live in the Present, not concerned about making plans to secure tomorrow, which currently does not exist. Learning from the past mistakes proves to be an experience and not a burden on my mind. I set a goal for the future scientifically and practically based on the present scenario and get myself involved completely to achieve it. I believe avoiding excessive concern about tomorrow is a key to stress-free living. I would like to travel the length and breadth of the world, encourage and share this ancient wisdom with as many people as possible so that everyone can lead a happy, healthy and peaceful life.
Spread the good vibes
One of the important aspects of Yoga is discipline. Without committing to a daily practice, our body becomes stiff and lethargic and so does our mind. Just like how food gives us the energy to perform our day to day activities, the same way daily practice motivates us to be better every day.
If you are a teacher, it is all the more important that you maintain a daily routine and strive to become better in your practice as well as a better teacher. Teaching Yoga can really bring alive all the good vibes from within and inspire you to share it with the world. It’s very important to have a deep sense of passion to practice, to learn and also the willingness to share the knowledge so others may benefit as much. If you want to be a Yoga Teacher, Yoga will definitely find you.
Yoga Teacher at Mindfit, Bangalore