Sunday, September 28, 2014


In his address to the United Nations, PM Modi yesterday suggested we have an International Yoga Day. The idea is still trending on twitter and I added my mite by linking to a couple of things Sadhguru has said about yoga.

(Oh, wait, why don't I link to it here? The Isha Foundation Blog has a section called Yoga and Meditation and there is super stuff there - on why yoga, the technology, the lineage, the technique, why the the nitty-gritties matter, the approach, what's wrong with the way it's approached, taught and practiced these days.... in fact, everything you wanted to know about yoga.)

I am, of course, a neo-convert to yoga and consequently rather fanatical about it. It has worked magnificently for me - the kriyas and Hatha yoga together keep me so well lubricated in body-mind-spirit, that one day without feels like I haven't bathed. But this is now.

When I was initiated in 2011, some time after, I met a close childhood friend who had been doing and teaching Hatha Yoga for years. And for all her enthusiasms, Pri hadn't infected us with the passion and now suddenly I seemed to be advocating it to HER and I think she was a bit nonplussed. We were meeting after a gap of a year or two, and she said, "I didn't realise you were this much into yoga." I told her, in a burst of candour, "I'm not into yoga, per se; I'm into this man. If he asks me to stare at my big toe, I will." That was why I went into yoga - because my Guru said it would help me, it would help him help me.

But seriously, I think it is time to bring it back. With due respect, for the right reasons, with the right attitude. Enough, I think, of sidelining of this heritage. We need to reclaim it before this knowledge disappears altogether, before the links evaporate in the harsh climate of cynicism and neglect.

PS. It is a pity to have to add a disclaimer but perhaps I should say my views are not about right-wing Hindutva. It's not a religious thing, it's not about Hindu Chauvinism. Yoga is the path this land's heritage shows us towards higher consciousness and it works for ALL human beings.


*From Adi Shankara's Bhaja Govindam:
Yogaratova bhogaratova
Sangaratova sangaviheenah
Yasya brahmani ramate chittam
Nandati nandati nandatyeva

By way of yoga, or by way of bhoga, through the path of discipline or the way of pleasure, in company or without... somehow make it. It doesn’t matter how; the important thing is you get there.

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