With our term in Hyderabad, India coming to a close, my Global Studies teacher, Nick Martino, encouraged us to learn more and experience the practice of yoga. Following are my notes from class, my personal reflections, and even some poses we practiced as a class.
“Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” -Desikashar
Reflection: There are no barriers in the world; we are all just another entity of the universe. My person is as important as another animal or plant living on this Earth, as well as substances throughout space.
“The term ‘yoga’ connotes the basic unity and interconnects of all of life including the elements, the breath, the body, and the mind.” -Michael Stone
Reflection: Although some activities are in a group, we should not focus on that. Do what is best for you and look within yourself, not on the outside of others. Often our decisions are based on what we think is appropriate, and this thought process is directly linked to what is “socially acceptable.” Once we realize that this is just am invisible man-made barrier we can further our connections with one another and the world.
So… what is yoga?
Thoughts: I have practiced a few different types of yoga in the last few years for meditation, strength, and relaxation. Yoga was a way for me to think without thinking, if that makes sense. When I practice familiar poses, or attempt new poses, I better understand all the capabilities my body has. I think this realization helps me be in a better state of mind. During the beginning of the semester here in India and last semester in Boston, I practiced yoga regularly. The feelings and peace I was able to experience helped me understand the meaning of importance. In society today, I have realized, we focus to the point of frustration and therefore, we live stressful lives. Yoga allowed me to take a step back and see this situation from an outside perspective. While there are tasks we need to complete and deadlines we must meet, both are useless unless we give our all, and our all is unable to be given if it is filtered through a stressed mind.
Could yoga be a tool? How can we take advantage of this art?
Yoga helps us find balance.
How can TGS help the world regain balance? Can we use yoga to help us find this balance? How can we apply this skill?
“Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations in consciousness.”
Reflection: I know who I am and what my capabilites are. I am in control of myself. Yet, I understand that myself is changing with every step I take; a process that should be looked down upon less, and instead accepted and respected, for this is what allows us to grow within.
What happens what you practice yoga for a lifetime? Samadhi.
Goal: “Help yourself, you help the world.” -Sifu Shi Yan Ming
If you would like to learn more about yoga and how it relates to Indian philosophy/belief systems click here to visit more of my work and follow this link to visit the work of my good friend Cameron S.