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When Adelaide got yogafied: International Yoga Day 2016
Cold breeze blew on to the podium as teacher after teacher taught Asana, Pranayama, Dhyana.
A motley bunch of people had gathered under the canopy at Gawler Place, Rundle Mall on 21 June, to celebrate Yoga Day, along with the rest of the world.
The event was run by the Art of Living Foundation and opened with words from the Lady Mayoress Genevieve Theseira-Haese.
The good people who braved the cold and the rain that morning learned not only about yoga, but also about Ayurvedic diet. The programme continued at BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in the evening with some more yoga teachers stepping in, to share their learning with an enthusiastic group.
International Yoga Day was celebrated in and around Australia, the entire world and of course India, the birth place of yoga.
An interesting exercise would be check to how we could apply the knowledge and gain from it all, after the brouhaha of the celebratory day has passed.
However high a tree may rise towards the sky, its roots need to be firmly entrenched in the ground. To apply this to our lives, Yoga is of prime importance and even a few of the eight limbs, when pondered upon and followed work as an elixir and fortify us. Lifestyle diseases that are rampant today are mainly a by-product of an intensely material lifestyle. Stress accumulates unbeknownst to us, in large part due to the needless speed in every aspect of life. Yoga slows things down to their natural pace.
Some lessons that we can learn from yoga:
- *Figure out what it means to connect to oneself and to re-connect again and again. The term ‘yoga’ itself means to unite, with oneself and with the universe at large, starting from our immediate surroundings.
- *Slow down
- *Develop an awareness of our thought processes and understand that we can choose our thoughts, or at least which thoughts to give primacy to.
- *Be mindful in general, be it of our food, sleep and other habits, or even of our posture and other unconscious tendencies.
- *Understand that we are housed in a body which serves us well if we give it a little attention, stretch it a little, bend, twist a little and most importantly breathe easy.
However, yoga as a whole (not just the asanas) when practiced at the right time, in a mindful manner, with the synchronicity of the inhale-exhale and movement, fills one with a light and positive energy. Fatigue is banished and the internal organs, blood circulation, the joints, muscle, indeed every cell begins to rejoice with the right amount of Prana (vital force) flowing through.
Heartening observations about the essence of the scientific art:
- *One does not need to be super flexible to start yoga, since yoga is not about contortion of the body.
- *Weight-loss, toning, elongated limbs, an ageless persona, are just fringe benefits of a regular yoga practice. The real nectar is the sense of well-being, contentment, balance, inner strength and the realisation that one has this powerful resource to support one through thick and thin.
- *One can benefit with setting out just 15 minutes a day, for Pranayama breathing and joint loosening if one is short of time.
- *To practise initially under a well-trained yoga teacher and later if comfortable to continue to practise by oneself.
- *Yoga helps us figure out that our Bliss resides within us and not outside. This by far could well be one of the most valuable gems, given the current blind and unending material race.