This is a re-blog and more of a post by my young Asian-Indian friend Pranav. He says he writes about ” …reading, travel, charity and fitness. Do follow his blog. This post, Yoga with , published on 2/27/2013. Here it is:
“A moment of silence before doing anything gives clarity, a moment of silence after gives contentment”. ~ Girin Govindji
Sri Sri Yoga camp at Botanical Gardens, Hyderabad.
A knock on the door. “Would you like to come for a 4-day Sri Sri Yoga camp organized by the Art of Living foundation?” an uncle in the flat next to mine asks. 4 days? I can manage 2.
I drag myself out of bed on Friday morning at 5 am. The camp is scheduled 6-8 am in the beautiful Botanical Gardens nearby.
200+ people turn up. Many of them my age. Wow. I wasn’t aware people were so much into yoga these days. The instructor Girin Govindji climbs on the stage and begins the session.
I am a little sceptical that this would turn out into a religious discourse. But I am pleasantly surprised.
Our instructor first takes us through a series of body loosening and stretching exercises. Also referred to as Sukshma yoga (literal translation – “subtle” yoga). Followed by some basic Asanas.
Girin Govindji gently pushes us into doing previously unimaginable and improbable postures. All of us break into a laugh as we groan doing what he does with complete ease. He makes a good point – Yoga is not punishment, it is something joyful. If you are not enjoying it, you are not doing it correctly.
The gentleman on the mat beside me gives a benevolent smile after I narrowly escape being slapped across my face while he does a waist rotation exercise. He seems to have taken the message to heart.
Then Nadi Shodhan Pranayam or channel cleansing Pranayam. Breathe out and in from 1 nostril. Repeat with the other. 7 cycles of each.
Finally, meditation. Sit and observe the breath. Classical music plays softly in the background. The mild winter sun rising on the lake beyond, through the fog.
I am pleased to see that my body responds well to most of the exercises. Near the end, he gives homework, but that is 1 thing I don’t think I will be able to do. He asks us to keep a smile on the face throughout the day. Not sure how my team in office will react if they find me grinning all day.
Googling later, I learn that Girin Govind is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s secretary, the spiritual Guru who established the Art of Living foundation (AOLF). 3 decades old, this organization is the largest of its type, with branches in 150+ countries.
Unfortunately for me, this yoga camp wouldn’t be teaching Sudarshan Kriya, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s famed breathing technique. That will have to wait for another day and another session.
- Wikipedia articles – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Art of Living foundation, Pranayama
- Official websites – Art of Living, Girin Govind’s Twitter link
- Earlier posts on health – Fitness
End of Pranav’s post.
Pranav lives and works in Hyderabad. I am grateful he is not among the dead or wounded and will send my thoughts out into the universe for those who were killed or injured. Do the same.
And pray for the end of all war and particularly religious wars. As the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson noted: If God be God, God be Love
EMOTIONAL FITNESS THOUGHTS
What first drew me in was Pravno’s opening quote. That is what my Calming Breath is all about: a quick pause that calms you and focuses you on what matters.
Then of course the post focuces on moving your body, challenging yourself a bit, laughing and thinking about what matters. All emotional fitness exercises. So thank you my friend.
Life is hard and we all need to pull away from pain and suffering. At the same time, we must never pull so far away that we cease to work for peace and justice for all.
As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, breathe calm, give lots of love, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.
As always thank you for all you do that helps me stay strong as I move into my
Save the Date: March 21st is my 76th birthday. Instead of happy birthday wishes I am holding a book launch party of Facebook. If you have friended me on Facebook, watch for an invitation to that event. I will be on chat to answer questions, giving away some free stuff, and hoping for a boost in the sales of any of my books.