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How & Where Do I Start My Yoga Journey?

It's great that you are thinking about Yoga. Now let's get you started without wasting any time!

But, first things first- understand the true meaning of Yoga.

Yoga ≠ Asana or Pranayama as is popularly understood.

Classical Yogic texts and scriptures define Yoga as the "Union" of the self with the Higher Consciousness & Energy, or as they say- Atma with Param-atma. To give you an analogy- Yoga is the merging of the raindrop with the river and the river with the ocean.

This leaves you with 2 pathways to attain "Yoga":

  1. By increasing your Consciousness, or Awareness.

For starters, let's confine this Awareness to Self-Awareness. Hence, start by being more aware of yourself. Observe your- breath, postures, body sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, behavioural patterns, lifestyle, pain points and the like. Keep tuning in within yourself from time to time. Pay attention to your needs and desires. Journal if you'd like. Simply write everything that happened in the day before going to bed.

Sounds too much? Keep it simple- take 5-10 minutes out of your schedule, simply sit in the quiet of your room, and observe your breath. Observe deeply. Notice as many things as you can notice about it- its rhythms, its patterns, its shallowness/depth, and the entire process of it. The inhalation, exhalation, and the spaces between them. Even observe things that distract you from observing your breath in those 10 minutes, like, the unpleasant sound of a car passing, loudly blowing its horn, or thoughts from the past, etc. Remember- just observe and don't react.

In short, just observe more. Be more mindful, so to say. Continue the practice of observation and extend it beyond those 10 minutes to the rest of the day. Observe nature. Notice how the temperature rises during the day. See how a river flows or a bird flies from one tree to the other, or how the clouds come and go, or how the sun rises and sets.

Our mind-body system is quite intelligent. It draws insights from all the data that we capture through our senses, pretty much like a data scientist. But before any analysis or insight can follow, data must be captured. Capture the data by observation, by observing without judgement or bias, i.e. neutrally.

2. Refining Your Energies:

Think of simple ways of refining and enhancing your energies. One of the ways to understand this is to think- how to purify your energies.

Cleanliness leads to Godliness, they say. Start with your room and clean it. A cluttered room emanates cluttered energy, rubbing you off with cluttered thoughts/feelings. So keep your room, your house, your clothes, and your body, clean. Eat fresh and simple foods. And now you know how to eat them, ie, mindfully.

Then proceed to your thoughts. Let negative thoughts pass by. Don't dwell on them. Don't give them space to make a home in you. Invite inspiring and positive thoughts.

Next, come to your feelings. Can you stop hating someone you hate for a bit? Try it. Try to keep your calm when something irritates you. Let your aggression pass by. Don’t give negative feelings the fertile soil of your mind to blossom. You’ll notice these feelings pass by pretty much the same way as the clouds pass by. Know that these feelings are momentary. Instead, send people good vibes. Send love to your partner, parents, or friends. Embrace gratitude.

Next, proceed to actions. Do things that you like doing, more. Avoid doing things that harm you, or generate feelings of guilt and regret. Do things with care. Love yourself in ways you like to be loved. Help someone if you can. Be polite whenever possible. And smile more.

This is just the start of Yoga- being more mindful and heartful. Keep growing this attitude, and you are already on your way to Yoga.

Yoga as a practice has several techniques to enhance this attitude efficiently. For instance, they say each Yoga Asana or posture has information of its own. As we attain those postures, not only are we working on our body flexibility, balance, and strength (which are frankly the by-products), we are actually increasing our awareness. We get to know something more about our bodies. Similarly, Pranayama gives us insights about our energy, or Prana, apart from tuning our mind-body system to a finer frequency of energy by purification through proper breathing and breathing in a rhythmic fashion.

If you want to learn the ancient yet extremely relevant art and science of Yoga and bring it into practice, check out our daily Yoga practice course called Abhayasa Yoga, by clicking here.

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