I was getting down from the stage after handing over an award to a winner as the chief guest, when a friend tapped me on my shoulder, and complimented me on… my well-developed arms. He was curious to know the workout as he was a health enthusiast himself. My answer was simple and I answered with a smile – YOGA. That evening, as I was having dinner with my relatives in a social gathering, many commented about the fitness of my spouse and myself. The answer was again the same word, “Yoga”.
I came home musing about how people perceive physical changes. I remembered yet another incident that took place a week ago; yet another comment about my personality by a well read, globetrotting friend of mine. He spoke about how I had changed over the past four years. He stated that my aggressiveness and impatience was missing; the power and command that I exhibited during any conversation – including the lack of patience and tolerance had changed completely. He stated that the calm and composed individual he saw now was certainly not the “me” he knew before.
I did not really analyse how I was, how I looked and how I behaved before this. I thought about how this change happened and how it was triggered.
Diabetes – this word hit me about seven years ago. I had sleepless nights when the doctor told me I was diabetic. I was too young to be a diabetic. I always thought I had everything under control till I realized that I really did not understand myself, my body and have just not been managing self. This realization was the first step towards my physical and personality changes. Understanding Self, Managing Self and Self Awareness was the first step towards better health and better living.
I started with the objective that I will not consume medications to control my diabetes, but will do it with managing my body. I started with pranayama, gym, swimming, and diet control. I understood that it is only our mind that controls our body. But my initial need was not that of self-realization; it was only to control diabetes. But slowly pranayama led me to a yoga studio and I got into the physical practice of asanas.
The first instruction I gave myself was that I will not question; but I will just follow instructions. I will not complain but I will go through the experience. I did not want to miss classes, so went to bed on time. I had to be ready for the yoga practice, so I ate right and ensured that my system was ready each morning. I also had a cold water shower before yoga. The changes were plenty – good sleep, no snoring, energetic, and increased consciousness. I did not feel energetic if I missed a day of yoga. When I am on the mat, I concentrate on my breath and that part of the body, which my instructor asks me to concentrate on – this was the first step towards consciousness. Over the years, every morning, when I am on the MAT, that one hour of concentrating on self, experiencing the breathing and concentration on the body mechanisms, like bending, twisting, inversion, and chanting OHM…
I have now moved on from practicing yoga to control diabetes, I am doing it now for my own happiness, to increase my consciousness. I am enjoying the experience of understanding the mind and the body… I have a long way to go, but I have begun the journey.
I practice yoga at 136.1 Yoga Studio and on this International Yoga Day, I thank the yoga teachers for imparting such good practices.
Inner engineering and emotional balance is the answer to all our issues – physical or psychological. And it is easy to get the answer – all you have to do is “Roll out your MAT”.