After joining an all-women chakra retreat in the hills, I signed up for the first batch of Ananda Yoga Teacher Training at Ananda Delhi. I was not quite sure if I had made the right decision as my body wasn’t in the best condition: I had issues with my knees, and my body wasn’t anywhere close to being athletic. Now, four years after my training, I look back and can’t thank God enough for inspiring me to do the course. Although I had a practice of some basic asanas before, Ananda Yoga opened up new vistas for me.
The fact that there was no need to be “picture-perfect” resonated with me right away. In Ananda Yoga, I realized my baseline was my body. The preparation through stretches and warm-ups made me aware of my body: first physically and then also energetically. It helped me ease my own expectation of forcing myself into a posture.
As I began this conversation with my own body, with each passing day, I experienced changes that I never imagined – improved flexibility, great energy, feeling of upliftment. One’s body type and age were no obstacles. And there was always a variation of the asana available if the original felt challenging – and that too without diluting the benefits of the asana.
In Ananda Yoga, each asana has an accompanying affirmation, which helps deepen the experience of that posture. The focus starts from the physical part, the alignment and then expands to the energy flow and the feeling that the asana brings to us. Very holistic – I feel that is how it must have been taught in ancient times.
Let me share a particular experience – Previously, I never enjoyed Surya Namaskar, as I always felt it to be very physical in nature. I prefer something more subtle. Using the body as tool, through Ananda Yoga, I was able to bring calmness to my mind and a feeling of stillness. With that experience, now I look at Surya Namaskar in a very different light. In fact, it is now one of my favorites. I still find it physically challenging, but I am not limited by that. I can connect to the energy flow, the affirmation helps me to bring right awareness to make the practice even more enriching and fulfilling.
Now, I am one of the yoga teachers at Ananda Sangha. And I feel most happy to share the joy with others through my sessions. I feel so grateful for these blessings.
Beautifully expressed. The article reaffirms the faith in this ancient science. It’s certainly an area I would like to explore.