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Yoga for everyone

Yoga for everyone
Highlights

Is earning money or leading a material life a taboo in the practice of Yoga? No, asserts the author. “There is nothing wrong about having materialistic needs. It is only when desire turns into avarice and brings out the monster in us that it gets disastrous.” 

As the International Yoga Day (Jun 21) draws close, here is a value addition to the world of easy-to-follow practical guides… from a trained practitioner and creative writer

Is earning money or leading a material life a taboo in the practice of Yoga? No, asserts the author. “There is nothing wrong about having materialistic needs. It is only when desire turns into avarice and brings out the monster in us that it gets disastrous.”

The overall health benefits of Yoga at the individual and universal levels having come to be accepted for long, its practice has been gaining a steady momentum across the world, and it has picked up in the very recent times with the UN General Assembly designating Jun 21 as the International Yoga Day from 2015 onward, thanks to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, himself an ardent practitioner.

The exponentially increasing demand for the inexpensive and wonderful Yoga has created a proportionate demand for more and more practical books on Yoga, and “My Friendship with Yoga” by Revathi Raj Iyer fulfils such a need.

A well-trained Yoga practitioner herself, a creative writer, and one who has seen the country and abroad, Revathi began her tryst with Yoga in Jan 2004, in Fiji Islands, where she had lived. Her instructor was Syamala Prasad, a disciple of the famous BKS Iyengar.

Tempered by objectivity, the author doesn’t claim any panacean value for her book, for she cautions “those with specific health concerns… to first consult their physician before attempting any of the asanas” in it. She clarifies that the book would be of optimal use if the postures are first learnt from a trained instructor.

No one should force themselves into any posture, in theirexcessive zeal for instant perfection, for it could be counterproductive and even harmful. The attempt or the journey itself is important, not just the end-result or the destination. After all, patience and resilience are the passwords of Yoga.

Incredible as it may sound, “our brain processes as many as approximately 70,000 thoughts in a span of 24 hours” and it is here that Yoga tells us how to keep our thought process under control and calm our mind. And it helps very much in concentration. But don’t think it is miraculously easy.

It comes “only with time, patience and oodles of conscious practice.” But the mind doesn’t easily obey. That’s why meditation comes into picture.The practice is not tough or daunting either. But “Once you have embarked on your journey, continue and do not give up.” Just a ten minutes of time in a day of twenty-four hours will have the desired therapeutic effect.

There is no religious air to the practice of Yoga. There is flexibility in the approach to concentration; not only a mantra or counting beads but even your pet can be your object of focus.

The three-part book, duly illustrated, describes the postures, pranayama (breath-control) and bandhas (body-locks) in a step-by-step and easy-to-follow method. Whether you are a fitness freak dreaming of a “washboard flat tummy,” or whether you are a singer or a speaker or a receptionist or a call centre employee or a telephone operator where you need to exert your vocal cords – you have the right recipes here.

Even those who can’t do active yoga for reasons of health like surgery or back pain needn’t feel despondent for they can turn to yin, recommends the writer’s instructor Victoria from her own experience who had met with a terrible road accident yet successfully ran a yoga studio.

As many as 68 asanas with supine, prone, seated and standing postures – that tone up your entire body – have been explained, specifying the asana-wise benefits that accrue. Since it may not be possible for everyone to perform all the 68 on a single day, a weekly regimen with specific sessions for each of the seven days has been offered.

The book – with Foreword by Swami Vimalananda, President of The Divine Life Society – has been well received and reviewed and made rounds at prestigious book fairs in India as well as abroad including London, Baltimore (USA), Teheran and Abu Dhabi. It is available worldwide at Amazon and Flipkart.

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