Yoga se hi hoga: Believe the experts!

The theme for this year’s International Yoga Day celebrations (June 21) is “Yoga for Humanity”. Expert yoga practitioners and gurus from Tricity and beyond dwell on what yoga means to an individual and to humanity as a whole.

Rajendra Yenkannamoole (HT Photo)

RAJENDRA YENKANNAMOOLE, FOUNDER OF VASUDEVA KRIYA YOGA

What does yoga mean to you?

It helps to connect to a higher purpose in life. It helps to become physically strong, mentally stable, intellectually sharp and spiritually connected.

Yoga is important to humanity because…

Yoga helps to connect to a higher purpose and to think beyond oneself in a selfish world. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict can also be attributed to the inability to see beyond oneself. Humanity is lost when one is unable to rise above petty selfishness. When you engage in selfless actions keeping everyone’s well-being as important if not more so, you will develop your personality and become a lifelong source of inspiration.

How were you introduced to yoga?

I was introduced to yoga by my guru Paramahansa Swami Maheshwaranand ji in New Zealand in 1994. He helped me see that yoga is a tool that can enrich our lives as well as the lives of others.

How has yoga changed your life?

Yoga gives me a boost of energy, which helps me run 19 Vasudeva Kriya Yoga centers and my job at a multinational company in Melbourne.

Tips for beginners

Remember that you are the most important person in the world. Keep the prime time of the day to yourself. Allow 15 minutes a day early in the morning. It will enrich your work and family life.

Mona Verma

MONA VERMA, YOGA TEACHER

What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga is about health, strength and conquering the body. It erases the difference between body and mind. It leads to peace and purity, it leads from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light and from death to immortality.

Yoga is important to humanity because…

Yoga teaches peace and instills positive thoughts, which will reduce violence.

How were you introduced to yoga?

I started practicing yoga in May 2011. My guru Col Surender Anand and Vinod Bajaj introduced me to several yoga techniques. I realized that yoga harmonizes mind and body and helps lead a pure life.

How has yoga changed your life?

Yoga has improved my fitness level. Previously, I had severe allergies, but since I started yoga, I have not suffered any new attacks. It fills me with positivity and has expanded my social circle. I have met many wonderful people through yoga. It helped me deal with my anger, helped me gain confidence and ease my mind. My eating habits changed and a feeling of contentment enveloped me.

Tips for beginners

Do yoga under the right guidance. Have faith in that. Yoga works on your mind when you work on it constantly. Always be aware of your breathing and keep smiling. Be regular and respect your body’s limits.

Dr. Akshay Anand

DR AKSHAY ANAND, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ANNALS OF NEUROSCIENCES AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE CASE REPORTS

What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga gives me a purpose in life. It is my daily health tonic, which helps me cope with difficult intellectual activities, multi-tasking and daily exhaustion.

Yoga is important to humanity because…

It improves social bonds and increases oxytocin levels.

How were you introduced to yoga?

I was introduced to yoga by my father when I was 12 years old. After performing a few asanas with him, I felt rejuvenated and lighter.

How has yoga changed your life?

Yoga has made me more generous, positive, healthy and stress-free. It helps me come up with new research ideas.

Tips for beginners

Start with Anulom Vilom, Bhastrika Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Abdominal Breathing and Shav Asana. You will be transported into a new energy field for inner enrichment.

Vinod Bajaj

VINOD BAJAJ, VP (TECHNO-COMMERCIAL), JAI PARVATI FORGE LTD, DERA BASSI, YOGA TEACHER

What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga is a way of life. It brings inner peace through meditation, regulates body functioning through breathing techniques, and improves body posture through asanas and stretching.

Yoga is important to humanity because…

Yoga brings people together through compassion, kindness, fosters a sense of unity and builds resilience.

How were you introduced to yoga?

By the yoga experts at Bharatiya Yog Sansthan in November 1998.

How has yoga changed your life?

It allowed me to live a punctual, disciplined and stress-free life. It has helped with natural detoxification and helped me cure diseases such as diabetes and improved blood pressure, heart function and nervous system.

Tips for beginners

Beginners should perform breathing techniques and minor exercises to improve their flexibility.

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