I read a quote of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, the founder of Bihar School of Yoga – “Come to Yoga. Give Evolution a chance.” From my understanding, this is the essence of Yoga which needs to be understood.
Today I am publishing a blog with the theme of “Yoga & Student life”. This blog is based on a feedback of a practitioner who I consider one of the best Yoga practitioner in my Yoga teaching.
Personal experiences and feedbacks play an important role to inspire and motivate a person who is in need of help of positive changes in the life.
Though from one angle it seems that I am her Yoga Teacher and taught the principles of Yoga to her, whereas from another angle, it is her destiny which brought her into Yoga practice, and I have become an instrument.
This is the feedback from Veeni Awatramani, who has practiced Yoga for last many years in a group class at Sopan Bagh, Pune. I remember, during her entire Yoga sessions, I never sensed any kind of dissatisfactory feeling in her, in regard to the set of Yogic practices, selected by me. She practiced with trust whatever she has been instructed.
In Veeni’s words: –
“Before I joined Yoga, I used to be very self-critical and under confident. I just did not like myself, although I could never pinpoint the reason for that dislike. The only things I used to focus on, whenever I thought about myself were my weaknesses. My attitude towards life was pessimistic – surrounded by negativity.
When I decided to join Yoga, I had no specific reason (such as weight loss, peace of mind, flexibility) to do so. I just wanted something new to do and so I decided to take up Yoga. In the beginning, I just used to attend class as though it was a normal lecture like the ones we have in college. Listen to what the teacher says and do what he tells you to do. Gradually, it became a weekly routine – attending class from 6:30-7:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
After about a year of practicing Yoga, I realized the impact it was having on my life. Not only did I see a difference with respect to physical aspects but I could also feel a change in the emotional aspects.
Now, it has been 32 months since Yoga came into my life. I don’t exactly know when this happened, but I respect my life much more now. Yoga has taught me to value everything God has given me and not take anything for granted.
As a student, I have experienced a significant increase in my focus and confidence. The same person who used to consider exams as “most important” and would sacrifice sleep, food and family time during exams, now sleeps tension-free, spends time with the family and eats all her meals properly even during exam days ! Now, I consider exams as a part of my life and not my life. I don’t take any tension and instead enjoy studying for the exams and writing the papers with a calm mind.
Yoga teaches one to adapt to changes easily. No matter what problem comes your way, all we need to do is have confidence in our abilities. No situation can then remain a problem for too long. Not only situations, even the people around us might change. People might break our trust or leave us stranded, but even in such a case our inner strength remains intact and gives us the spirit to fight and not let such people or situations break our confidence.
When I am practicing Yoga, all problems just vanish! You feel that there is so much more to life, than just that little problem that’s preventing you from being happy. That same problem that appears to be “big” before the practice of Yoga, shrinks to just a small problem. And it is that feeling that helps us tackle the problems with ease. Yoga teaches one to control the mind. We learn to keep away negativity and even get a grip on ourselves with respect to temptations and greed.
My attitude towards life has become much more optimistic now. I had read in a book that the universe works by the “law of attraction” – the thoughts in your mind attract what comes into your life. I see this law working today. If we think positive, we definitely attract positivity. Today, I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses. With that I have also learnt to appreciate my strengths and not just focus on my weaknesses. My self-confidence has increased and now I feel confident to express my thoughts and simply be myself, without worrying about what others think.
With respect to the physical aspects I have experienced weight loss, increased flexibility and higher stamina. My posture has improved and I can sit steadily for long hours without having to adjust my position constantly. My breathing has also significantly improved – now I take deeper and longer breaths and don’t get out of breath even when I need to climb the stairs or walk a long distance.
All the meditation practices we do also have something to teach us. I remember the meditation practice we performed in the sitting position for 10 minutes sometime in November. We were given the instructions “Feel like you are a tree rooted in the earth… Even if you feel like moving, you should resist the urge…. ”. That was very thought provoking. It made me feel how important it is to be rooted to our traditions, our loved ones and our core selves. Times may change, everything around us may change, but we can survive it all when our roots are strong, just like a big, old tree.
I am still discovering the wonderful world of Yoga and thoroughly enjoying my journey. This year I have adopted the resolution to incorporate Yoga in my daily routine. I have already begun with that and hope to devote more and more time to it.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without you Sir! Thank you for being our teacher… You not only teach us the Yoga practices but you also tell us their significance on the physical and mental level. That gives us a greater boost to devote ourselves to Yoga.”