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The power of yoga. May 31, 2018

Posted by globejam in This is not bad. It's worse!.

yogaclassI better write this quickly, lest I change my mind. I hope it’s not too late already.

I signed up for yoga lessons over a month ago and have been wanting to gush about it ever since. As you know, there is no fanatic like a recent convert, and I don’t want to miss my chance to evangelize yoga and its benefits before the initial euphoria evaporates. Which tends to happen to everything that enters my life. If you don’t know me, take my word for it. So you can understand why I am in a hurry.

Yoga has been truly transformational. Three days after I started my yoga, several of my friends asked me if I had had a facial done! Apparently my skin was glowing, and the dark circles around my eyes that suggested I was more Procyon (raccoon, for those not familiar with scientific names) than Homo (Man, lest you assume something else) were lighter. Amazing. I hadn’t even started all the asanas in earnest and already things were beginning to turn out wonderfully.

Fifteen days later, I was able to touch my toes without bending my knees. A miracle, considering it has not happened before in my life! I am becoming more bendy overall (which must come in useful, some time) and have more energy and feel a lot less stressed. Yoga, where have you been all my life? Reader, reader, you must take up yoga immediately. It is truly transformational. Did I say that already? Anyway, it is. Believe me. Before I change my mind. Chill. I am just kidding. It’s true. If you don’t believe me ask Modi. Or any of his Bhakts. Or FMCG magnate baba ramdev or the aspiring FMCG competitor squeaky Sri Sri, or even our most well dressed and stylish Sadhguru.

Anyway, back to my experience. This yogashram I go to is a calm, serene place. Classes are held on the terrace of a 3-storey apartment complex that has been covered by metal cladding. It is very quiet and most suitable for yoga classes. There are no strict rules or any other in-your-face religiousity that some of the yogashrams tend to shove down one’s throat.  Not too much, anyway.

This particular yoga school seems to be run by devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. There is a picture of him in one corner, but beyond that, he does not seem to weigh-in heavily in matters related to yoga. As babas go, I think this chappy was all right. From all accounts, he did not proclaim to be a God or a messenger of one. All he did was ask people during his time to give peace a chance, long before Lennon penned those iconic words. Not to be confused with the Puttaparthi guy who was a mediocre magician with an extraordinary head full of hair, at best.

That others have usurped him for their own ends can’t be blamed on him, I suppose.

I apologise, for I am digressing. Happens a lot when I am in a hurry. Some people have tried telling me I am in a hurry all the time because I am constantly digressing and not the other way around. Who knows? Though that sounds absurd, one can never tell. The world does work in mysterious ways. There I go again.

Coming back to the yoga, my class starts with chanting OM a few times (as a breathing exercise, ostensibly) followed by a short prayer. It’s in Sanskrit and I get a feeling that it means something along the lines of “be kind to us and to all those around us”, though I don’t quite follow the language. Let’s just say, I have conveniently assumed that it is largely secular and peace loving in the interests of my own peace of mind and the need to attend some yoga classes.

This is followed by a warm up routine consisting of two sets of 12 Surya namaskarams done at a rather brisk pace. For those uninitiated, Surya namaskaram is a series of 12 positions that one segues through and is a fantastic method of limbering up.  You must, must, must try it.  It is truly transformational.  Really.

After this the teacher guides the students through a bunch of asanas that differ from day to day. The class ends with a 5-minute breathing exercise, followed by brahmari – another breathing technique (you have to close your eyes, place your fingers on your face just so and hum like a bee. Its quite soothing, you must try it. Must. Must) and another short prayer. This one also sounds quite harmless, and altogether secular. Hey! Some delusions are all right. Give peace a chance, ok?

Things have been going well and I am feeling better and better, though some of my friends are suggesting that much of the excess energy I seem to have gained is being spent on lecturing others on the benefits of yoga, but that’s just their nature. They are a sarcastic bunch who have not understood yet the power of yoga. Let us forgive them, for they know not what they say, and all that. See. That’s yoga for you. Lets people be and promotes universal brotherhood to boot.

Just of late, though, I have developed a niggling pain in my shoulder and upper arm. I knew I should have written this article earlier. All these unnecessary details would have not surfaced. Pchah! Anyway, I think maybe one or two of my cervical vertebrae are pressing on an odd nerve here and there and this is preventing me from doing the Surya namaskaram. I have been taught some special asanas and mudras (ways in which you hold your fingers together) that are sure to make this problem go away.  I am hoping they work quickly.

However, that is not the biggest problem. That is just a round-about cause for a larger problem. And that has to do with my having to stand separately and do these special exercises while the others are doing their Surya namaskarams. My class consists of a couple of men and ten-odd women, mostly in their 50s and older. Despite clear instructions (one of the few rules) that they should wear dresses that cover their modesty whatever the asanas, most of them wear their usual regular churidars. These are decent enough at regular times, but not at all appropriate for doing Surya namaskarams that involve a lot of bending forward, flexing the back, and other mild contortions.

Therein lies my problem. I have no more than a passing interest in old saggy tits and I would much rather do without flashes of them when I am en-route to a more enlightened life. Sadly, however, whichever way I turn, there they are. Let me assure you that I am a firm believer in the Seinfeld school of thought that says “Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. Ya get a sense of it and then you look away”. Unfortunately, he has not factored in the possibility of multiple suns, having restricted himself to an earth-like solar system. In my case, everywhere I turn, another pair is rising, if you know what I mean.

I am worried about my reputation. What if someone thinks I am feigning pain to take a peek?  OMG!  I tried closing my eyes, but the teacher insists that unless I can see what I am doing, I will not be able to hold my poses correctly. That was plan-A screwed. Plan-B was to stand right in front of my wife and do the asanas, but she is also finding my fixed stare a bit disconcerting. Besides, constantly staring at her, despite her high-neck t-shirt, is thwarting my progress along the path towards spirituality.

Anyway, all these sudden, jerky neck movements that I am forced to employ to avoid the glare of the sun, so to speak, are not helping me with my niggling neck problem and I am beginning to believe that maybe it may never go away.

This a call for help. If you can suggest a solution, please do so. I don’t want to stop my yoga journey just yet.

Leave your suggestions in the comment section. Sigh!



1. Padmaja - May 31, 2018

Lol! Enjoyed reading this!!!

globejam - May 31, 2018


2. You know who - May 31, 2018

Wear dark shades , you can still look ( at your mojo rising and not really feel guilty about being the homo that you are ), just don’t go groping in the dark!

globejam - May 31, 2018

Lol. Dark shades in yoga class? Homo sapien. Complete your sentences.

3. Praveen - June 1, 2018

Take a private one on one class!

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