The Joy of oneness
Understanding the concept of Int’l Yoga Day &It’s role in our lives
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
Yoga means union.Yoga is about experiencing oneness with the source of creation.
In Indian spiritual culture, Yoga is much more than the set of exercises that one sees on YouTube Channels. The physical exercises in Yoga is only a small but significant part of warmup that prepares the mind, body and spirit for meditation and experience of deep union with Universe.The process is essentially about tuning your mind, body and the life energy in such a rhythm that there is a feeling of harmony, sweetness, bliss and ecstasy inside and feeling of connectedness with self, the nature and the world.
The beautiful tradition of celebrating International Yoga Day annually on June 21 was proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, when he first took office of the PM in India in 2014. In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014, he stated, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
Each year since its inception, Yoga Day has been observed by millions of people across India and many parts of the world. The Prime Minister himself performs a set of many Yogic exercises followed by Pranayams and meditation with thousands of people. This year, he was in a city called Ranchi with 40,000 people marking the event. The theme of Yoga Day was Yoga for Heart. In 2016, this glorious day was marked by a special event hosted at the United Nations, titled “Conversation with Yoga Masters – Yoga for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals”. The speaker of the event was world famous spiritual seeker and mystic Sadhguru (real name: Jaggi Vasudev).
In his speech at the UN in 2016, Sadhguru spoke about the importance of turning inwards and operating from a place of love, peace and profound inner knowing. “You cannot have world peace without being peaceful within yourself,” he said to the diplomats if 73 nations present there. “Everything begins from oneself. If you have big goals for the world, whether world peace, setting up more advanced technology in medical sciences for health, opening businesses for catering to the people of the world, it all begins from knowing oneself. Because this (referring to the human body) is the most sophisticated machinery in the world. If you don’t know how this works and if you don’t experience life in its fullest dimension, then every experience, success and failure is only accidental,” he said.
According to sages in the past and spiritual gurus in the present, Yoga is described as a science. It has nothing to do with any religion. “To call Yoga Indian is like saying Gravity is European,” Sahdguru says.
As there are physical sciences to create external wellbeing, yoga is the science for inner well-being. This yogic science is of utmost importance now, like never before, because today wehave tremendous power in our hands. With modern science and technology,tomorrow if we want, we can flatten a mountain or city. When we have this muchpower in our hands, it is very important that we have an inner sense, anawareness of life,and that we experience life and everyone as part of ourselves. Otherwise, we can create calamity for ourselves and the world – which we are already doing to some extent. This has happened because we have only attended to the external science. We have never looked at the inner science within us. Just as there is an external science to create external well-being, so there is an inner science to create inner well-being.
Yoga can be transmitted on many different levels. One is towards one’s physical and mental wellbeing which includes health and other aspects. Or it could be transmitted as a tool for ultimate wellbeing in the sense, you can use this system as a stepping stone to go beyond. If you want, you can use this yoga just to get rid of your backache or you can use this yoga to get a better mental focus and a little peace of mind and happiness in your life, or you can use this yoga as a way of climbing up to the highest possibility within yourself.
Using yoga just for health is not wrong, but it is a crime, because it can be a ladder to the divine. It is a way of approaching the Creator through the Creation. It can take you to places where you have never imagined. To know the joy of being truly well, not just on physical plane but on the energetic plane and to exude wellbeing in all dimensions of life and one’s existence is the very goal of Yoga.
The prescription for happiness
All human experience has a chemical basis for it. What you call as joy, misery, stress, anxiety, agony and ecstasy are different kinds of chemistry. In other words, what you call as yourself right now is a chemical soup. The question is, are you a great soup or a lousy soup? You are capable of joy, but you have not engineered yourself to stay there. Isn’t it important that we engineer ourselves the way we want? The situations of your life may not be in your hands, but the experience of your life must be 100 per cent in your hands.
Yoga Classes in Akure
Imparting Yoga lessons to a group of vibrant women in Akure has been by far my most thrilling experience in Nigeria. I gave weekly classes every Saturday morning to a group of 40-50 women at the FitMoms club, a group started by an enthusiast gym owner and health instructor Emmanuel. His club focusses on making women stronger both physically and mentally and his classes end with a thrilling experience of mindfulness. The group comprises of women from all walks of life, professionals and homemakers, with and without kids and some expectant mothers. And they all come together every Saturday morning to enjoy a dose of wellness.
You can google A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Yoga, Sadhguru and learn more about this beautiful life changing process. Yoga is necessary to experience all dimensions of existence and is a clear cut way to having a more pleasant experience within. Until next week.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer, wellness expert and health instructor.