By Kul Bhushan
Slowly stretch the right crucial part of your body. Difficult, but carry on for at least ten times. When exhausted, do the same with your left eyelid. There, you have exercised before getting up!
If this is your idea of daily exercise, then you better skip the UN International Yoga Day launched in 2015 to watch scenes of hundreds of Yoga enthusiasts in gravity defying contortions. But if you are concerned about your body and mind, make a start with basic Yoga. Happyho also provides best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR India area
The underlying problem with Yoga practice today that it means ‘asanas’ or postures. But this is the third, yes, third step. The ancient scripture on Yoga by Sage Patanjali clearly states that the first step is ‘yum’ or self-regulation and balancing your life. Next comes ‘niyam’ or personal ethics, self-discipline and a code of conduct.
Once you have adopted these two steps, you start with ‘asanas’ or physical postures or static positions. However, Yoga today means starting with postures without the first two steps and then perhaps proceeding to ‘pranayam’ or regulating your breath or life force. Now comes the real twist: the next three steps, ‘pratyahara’ or regulation of the five senses; ‘dharana’ or concentration; and ‘dhyan’ or meditation or contemplation. The ultimate reward of ‘samadhi’ or super-consciousness happens with divine benediction.
Let us be realistic and welcome the global surge in Yoga even if it means ‘asanas’ At least, it has introduced Yoga to millions around the world. So how do we learn Yoga? Go to a guru, watch videos on You Tube or get a book. The most famous modern classic is ‘Light on Yoga’ by B. K. S. Iyengar, the world’s foremost authority, which is a step by step, detailed and serious treatise with photographs of various stages of postures.
Now a reader-friendly, slim and easy book, ‘Yoga and Mindfulness: The Basics’ by Mansi Gulati (Konark) has become popular since it was launched last year by India’s Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, with a preface by then Human Resources Minister, Prakash Javadekar.
As an established Yoga teacher, its author’s work has been appreciated by Prime Minister and a number of state heads. Mansi Gulati has won numerous awards and honours and teaches Yoga around India and abroad. She writes in simple, clear language and starts this well-designed book by Dushyant Parasher with small, introductory chapters like What is Yoga? History of Yoga, Four Streams of Yoga, Eight Steps or Limbs of Yoga and Important Concepts of Yoga, among some other topics. Thus, she prepares the reader with the essential background of Yoga. Before delving into ‘asanas’, she answers the essential question: What are ‘asanas’?
Now comes the techniques for various asanas. This section forms the bulk of this book that ends with a glossary of Sanskrit words used in Yoga. Thus, in just 135 pages of this paperback, she covers a vast canvas and does it competently. One quibble: the postures need more than one photo to show the different positions before getting into the final posture.
If you are still averse to Yoga, go for exercise your eyelids.
By Kul Bhushan