Back to the basics

ARTICLES – THE HINDU

Yoga can help you get back to the uncomplicated truths of life

I told someone who wanted my time that I was tired and would like to retire early. He remarked that I was a yoga practitioner and should not get tired. This misconception that one who practices yoga is infallible is common. It must be remembered that one who practices yoga is also human. Yoga is not a magic potion but a process of moment-to-moment and day-to-day learning, unlearning, healing and growth. One learns to be aware of one’s limitations and accept it rather than living in the illusion of being able to do everything.

Yoga helps one to realize when one is tired so that one takes enough rest to enable the body to recuperate instead of pushing it to the point of break down. The aim of my journey is to stop trying to live up to the illusions others have created about teachers or gurus. This simply satiates their desire to put another individual on a pedestal. It is a quirk of the human mind to constantly look for something beyond itself that can be put on a pedestal.

It is also the same mind that is quick to pull the same person down from the pedestal. Anyone who is even a little popular would have experienced this. The mind is fickle and that is why the whole training in the Yogic system is to `One Point’ the mind. The mind is one pointed on the eternal principle of goodness. This becomes the resting place for consciousness i.e., this principle of goodness shining through people becomes the anchor rather than the personality.

Any person in the healing profession, be it a doctor, psychotherapist, healer or yoga guide, would have seen that the patient wants to absolve himself of all responsibility for his/her health. There is tremendous pressure on the healer to magically transform the life of the patient. The illness could be minor or major, physical or psychological. Any healer needs to start taking responsibility not just for his patient’s health, but also for his own by setting aside relaxed time for himself/herself. Else, there will always be someone who needs his or her time.

Life points us back to the basics, the uncomplicated truths. You need enough sleep, to relax over a meal, drink sufficient water, get enough physical activity, have good friends and a congenial work and home atmosphere. It’s each person’s responsibility towards himself to create such an environment. This happens with restructuring one’s priorities and putting things into action. This should be emphasized to the patient as well as to oneself (the healer).

One needs to start taking responsibility for one’s health. Else, one feels one can do whatever one wants to and later go to the doctor to set right the wrong that has been done. After indulging in junk food, junk emotions and junk thoughts, one creates a junk life. The quality of life suffers. Yoga is a system, which ultimately points us back to ourselves. We are not only saving the world, but also ourselves.

- MAITREYI

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