I’ve been watching a lot of videos of master teachers Saraswati and Sharath Jois lately to glean wisdom from their philosophy. Yoga is a living breathing philosophy. The way it was taught and practiced a hundred years ago was different from how it is being taught and practiced now. The world is changing. And with that, yoga’s role in this changing world.
Just 50 years ago perhaps the greatest challenge in the yoga world was the lack of awareness of the practice. Now the challenges are greater. Advances in science, increases in population, changes in lifestyle etc., have brought along an increase in stress and psychosomatic diseases. Which has resulted in an increase in crime.
Sharath Jois, in one of his many interviews says that besides asanas we have to practice Ahimsa and Satya. And if hundreds of people practiced Satya and Ahimsa, then it will be good for society. There will be no violence and no bad things happening. That’s the message that yoga is trying to give us. Sharath goes on to say that our responsibility is not only to think about ourselves but also to think about the plants and the animals and other living beings. I guess here he’s trying to tell us that to live in harmony is perhaps the best way to co-exist with each other and with the life around us. And if every one of us practices Satya and Ahimsa, we can change the world.
In recent years a lot of young people have started coming forward to drive change. Whether it’s in politics, entrepreneurship, social work, education etc., the youth has made an impact. However, at a deeper level, to make a change in the fabric of the social psyche itself, maybe we need to practice Ahimsa and Satya with ourselves. Know when to push forward and to hold ourselves back. To know which battles are worth fighting and which are just fueling our ego. To sometimes accept that though we tried our best, but our best wasn’t good enough. (Which is OK because there are too many more mountains to climb so wallowing in self pity isn’t a good idea.)
Sharath also says, “Life is very precious, life is very important. So how you lead your life is very important.”
A little more Satya and Ahimsa with the usual Asana will help us create a better world.
A few months ago Roshini and I had to go to Mumbai to collaborate with TheHealthSite for yoga/workout videos. We only had a day to work on the videos. We decided to take the first flight in and the last flight out. Here are a few pictures of the experience and the videos that they put together. I have to say, Roshini and I were excited about making these videos but by the end of the day we were exhausted. So much goes into the whole process of making good quality useful videos. From the content to the aesthetics, it’s a process which is time consuming, but can be extremely rewarding as well.
Early morning and missing our beds.
Dealing with hanger.
I shared the link for a few videos in the previous blog. Below are a few more. Let me know what you think!
There are a lot more videos on YouTube. In case you have any questions let me know!
And the first weekend of the year is already over. There’s a certain amount of superstition associated with the first day of the year and this time the first day also led us into the first weekend of the year. In Bangalore they implemented the law mandating a helmet for pillion riders. In Delhi they started initiatives for pollution control. I guess even governments aren’t immune to the charm of the first day of the new year.
I spent the first weekend of the year at home, relaxing. I had re-organized my bookshelf and my closet so I was basking in the after glow of accomplishment. I’d already made my resolutions but I wanted to hang out a bit by myself to think about and to ‘sense’ where I am headed this year. A couple of years ago I stopped making life impacting and life changing resolutions and started becoming more realistic about things. That move evolved into the 80-20 approach I follow in life. 80% of the time I stick to ‘good’ and ‘constructive’ habits (eating well, exercising, meditating) and 20% of the time I let go (cribbing, bitching, drowning my sorrows in chocolate). So this year instead of telling myself that I was going to run a marathon or finally do a pull up, I told myself I would focus on what would get me these goals. And that would be training every day without fail. (Here I allow myself the 80-20 rule, however, if I see the balance shifting to 79-21, then I ruthlessly force myself to make it 100-0.)
I also took some time to think about the work I do and to plan where I want to take it. I thought about the projects I’m involved with and whether they are in line with the larger goals I would like to accomplish. I looked at my schedule and cleaned it up. For those commitments that I simply can’t let go of, I looked at how I can work on them to serve me rather than feeling helpless or dreading the work.
And also, I thought to myself that this year I should let time and life unfold before me and be a passive observer. The last few months have taught me that fighting and resisting never works. What works is to become fluid and go with the flow. Not all battles need to be fought. Most, in fact, are a waste of time. Conserve your energy for those things that matter. My theme for this year is Interaction. Interaction with readers, followers, students, teachers, colleagues, friends..etc. Fruitful interactions may lead to great collaborations. Great collaborations may lead to amazing projects. And amazing projects can change peoples’ lives.
Check out a few videos that I did (on behalf of HealthifyMe) with TheHealthSite. We spent an exhausting but fun day in Bombay filming these.