Back to Yoga – immunity & beyond

As shared earlier, learning pure yoga was on my bucket list for some time, both for physical benefits, and also spiritual growth.

What is the use of practicing yoga if it is not Ashtanga Yoga? Yama, Niyama, Asana…. to Samadhi

While I ticked some other items on my b-list, including learning music while in the Middle East, yoga remained a proverbial mirage!

Finally, thanks to a friend, got introduced to a yoga trainer from Bihar School of Yoga. For the last three-plus years, we (wife & me) have been learning yoga.

As an adult I have discovered a need within me to be a good student. (Why, some other time?)!

Early mornings, at home, private classes (a need, thanks to some of my old injuries), at a pace that worked for us (coaching approach) and, with a good spiritual orientation at that.

We were introduced to abdominal, chest yogic & so-ham, mantra breathing, focus on Chakras, pranayama, diet, managing stress (I had some stressful moments, at work, last year), posture, and #YogaNidra.

Check out this video on Yoga Nidra and please subscribe to Anuj ji’s #YouTube channel.

There are a few things we should experience in life – cycling, swimming, riding a bike, driving, diving, para-gliding. Also music, art. (Would you add anything to this?) The sooner we learn these, the better and easier?

I would now add yoga to this list.

If we have not learned and practiced pure yoga, so that it impacts positively at all the 5 (Pancha) Kosas, we have not lived a full life. We owe it to ourselves, at mind-body-spirit levels. Running, sports, mountaineering, to iron-man, all are great, not comparing. There is a spiritual experience in all of these. You should still try Yoga, just as you should try swimming & cycling.

COVID, Lockdown

Then COVID happened, and lockdown. After 3.5 years, we took a break from the classes. I was oriented towards classroom sessions, as a student and also as a mentor/trainer. Thanks to my ‘student’ coaches, we quickly migrated our classroom to online/live sessions.

Did not make that choice as a student for yoga and something else!

I continued to practice, more to maintain minimum fitness levels. Immunity is an urgent need now 😃 I seem to have gained an inch around my waist, not checked weight yet. As the lockdown continued, thanks to some nudge from the trainer, we deduced to go online w.e.f 1st July, three times a week, early mornings, as before.

  • Ida & Pingala: A few days ago, I came across this video by Sadhguru on ida & pingala. So when I was asked to focus on my breathing, two separate lights entering both nostrils, one blue & red, and ida-pingala… I knew this is the holistic yoga I wanted.
  • Some of the easier asanas, which have gone into unconscious competence, were corrected too. For example the bow & arrow pose, I was not putting the weight on the front leg.
  • These small adjustments have helped me improve my yoga practice, and ‘bend my body’ :)

Nothing is a coincidence. The student is ready, the teacher manifests. In this case it was Anuj Agrawal. Grateful!

One week into the session in July 2020, we all are settling into the routine, especially our dogs 🐕 , seemingly reluctantly!

A week into the new season, the Yoga teacher introduced some important variations – chest breathing, for example. Those breathing and exercises have helped me feel better already and stronger (immunity, COVID!)

I have been practicing all along during the lockdown. But the intensity was missing. That is what a trainer helps us with. In the second session, he pointed out about my breathing getting faster, ‘something on your mind’! Both were true. Bringing some variety in asanas by the trainer helps to keep the mind focussed.

Challenges remain, minor though. Doing kabal baati, Jack started ‘checking out’!

It is still about discipline. But it is also about the quality, intensity, and focus, to maximize benefits at all levels. It is also part of my #deepwork, as a leadership coach and an @ICFHQ mentor coach.

  • What do you do as part of your #deepwork?
  • What are you doing to strengthen your immunity?

Stay safe. Stay blessed.

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