One Hundred Days of Yoga
What Yoga taught this student about stillness of mind, self-compassion and strength.
Etymologically, the word ‘Yoga’ stems from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, meaning to bind, join or focus one’s attention on something. It also represents a greater union — that of the soul with the Divine.
In this blog, I wish to share my experience of practicing Yoga for over the past 100 days. I took to Yoga as a form of exercise, both physical and mental. Though I began practicing it without much expectations, I was in for an awakening…
A typical Yoga session involves asanas (different body postures) to train one’s body, pranayama (prana: breathing, ayama: expansion) to train one’s breath or life force, and meditation to access one’s higher self. In its truest sense, Yoga helps you discipline your intellect, emotions and ego (ahankara), so you are no longer burdened by their weight and can regard the world with perfect balance. Here are some lessons I have imbibed from my Yoga practice —
Self-compassion: The art of letting go of the outcome and delighting in the process
In B. K. S. Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga, he describes Yoga as deliverance from the pain and sorrow our hubris causes us —
‘A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi [finds fulfilment].’
While the Western concept of ‘hustle culture’ has many of us fixated on performance, growth and delivering results, the still, silent art of Yoga calls us to surrender such desires and remain equally poised in the face of success and failure. It calls us to be compassionate with ourselves, no matter what external metrics of success may indicate.
‘Work for work’s sake, not for yourself. Act, but do not be attached to your actions. Be in the world, but not of it.’
― Bhagavad Gita