Yoga has been part of my life since school days, but before last year I never realized I was doing it all wrong and how harmful it was for my body and mind. Something extraordinary started happening to me around two years ago. Suddenly, the questions which had always intrigued me were becoming very intense. I am sure most of us would have asked these questions at some point in time. Questions like – who created the universe? How is the earth, the moon or the solar system functioning so perfectly? How does a sperm know it has to fuse with an ovule and how does just a single cell produced from this fusion become a human being?

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This was the phase when I started withdrawing from family and social life. People started feeling I was depressed as I was also going through a divorce from a very short-lived marriage.  But I knew it was a lot more than that. Far bigger…yes, I was depressed, but not for the divorce but because of the helplessness of human beings who believe themselves to be the most intelligent animal and yet they knew so little the mysteries of this world.

First, I started finding solutions through science. Saw countless TEDs and read Stephen Hawking, but that made me feel more frustrated as they didn’t have the answers for me. Now, I started sharing my condition with a few friends. A fellow gym member advised me to meditate and in fact, took me to her Guru. Being a rationally thinking person was completely against Gurus but I decided to go. There is no harm in trying. I learnt a basic meditation technique and started practising it. My experience during these meditation sessions were unbelievable to my own self. I started meditating for hours and it was difficult to come out of it. Sometimes, memories from a long time ago started flashing during meditation. Mind you… this was not the mere recollection of memories but actual flushing. Things and people whom my conscious mind had forgotten years ago were well stored somewhere in the subconscious and I had started accessing them. Now, I had tasted blood and wanted to explore more about what else is stored in this tiny little brain which I don’t know consciously.

I learnt a basic meditation technique and started practising it. My experience during these meditation sessions were unbelievable to my own self. I started meditating for hours and it was difficult to come out of it.

However, I knew this technique would not take me further so I started visiting different spiritual organizations. But, most of them were either too adherent to their philosophy or looked like a cult to me. I had started feeling that I will never get external help and then one fine day a face flashed while I was about to sleep. She was my professional contact and I had never spoken to her anything personal. She is an author who translates ancient Sanskrit text to English. I gathered courage and called her. I told her my condition and she was the first person I could find who was able to relate to me. She advised me to do one of the courses like inner engineering, Vippasna or Art of Living. Also, she said that more than doing these courses what matters is whether you practice whatever yoga is being taught in the program on a regular basis. I picked one of them and then there was no looking back.

During the 7-day program, only I started feeling a different kind of calmness within me. There were moments when I would be completely thoughtless (like a mental chatterbox has shut down). During one of by prayer before a meal, I experienced a vibration in my mooladhara chakra (it has happened many times now). This all was shocking, surprising and unbelievable for me. I never believed these things to be real, but now they were happening in my own body. Later, I learnt advance Hatayoga practices. This kind of yoga is aimed to prepare once body for higher possibilities.  I have been practising them very religiously. In last one year, I have realized there is a huge inner world which is completely unexplored by most of us.

The first noticeable positive effect of yoga was on my health. Also, effortlessly I was losing weight. Unlike, that crazy weight lifting at the gym here I was enjoying yoga.

Once I started experiencing these things there were major changes happening in my external life too. The first noticeable positive effect of yoga was on my health. Also, effortlessly I was losing weight. Unlike, that crazy weight lifting at the gym here I was enjoying yoga. I started noticing minute details and my concentration had improved. I became very sensitive about what kind of food I am eating. I can actually feel what effect a particular food item was causing on my body. My relationships with family and friends improved. I could understand them a lot better now. I felt liberated from many compulsions like unnecessary shopping, parlour visits, watching YouTube videos, etc. It is completely a new world almost like a rebirth. And still, it is just the beginning….

These tools are available to all of us, but we need to be very careful where we learn them as wrong yoga can cause far bigger damage than benefit. One basic precondition for yoga is an empty stomach. I see things like Beer Yoga, which I am sure can cause severe damage to the body and mind. So, just be careful and once you learn it from a right source don’t forget to practice it daily.

My job requires travelling and still I haven’t missed my yoga practice for even a single day. That’s because I know what yoga is doing to me. If you experience the benefits once, you will not quit for sure.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

Picture Credit: Jared Rice Unsplash

The author preferred to stay anonymous.

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