yoga

Beat the blues.

nirjaghosh“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” BK Iyengar.

Mondays. When better to write about feeling stuck in a rut and unmotivated than in bleary weather and on a monday?

I fast. For a plethora of reasons, like being able to meditate better, giving my body a break, to my personal shoutout every week to Lord Shiva. I find it helpful and restorative to cathartic. There is a multitude of reasons one can fast for, but every person has a specific way. I eat only dinner and cooked the Sattvic way. I will be writing about Ayurveda, its incredible simplicity and benefits, and my favourite tips in the next post.

Yoga isn’t just asanas and physical exercise. It is a way of living. It is diet and a state of mind. The asanas are but a tool to help us get there better. Even though I love my inversions in public places as much as the next person, I have come to realise (the hard way) that unless my mind is happy, no amount of core strength can help bring me joy.

I fast and work and stretch and live my life on a (relatively) empty stomach because loosening the strings of dependence on the most basic of things is life-altering in tiny sublime ways that can change your life. It opens up windows to your personality and character that you didn’t know existed. It is all very helpful and terrifying at the same time. It helps you stay on course. It helps you stay grounded. And most importantly, it offers you peace.

It is amazing that five years of one day a week fasting has offered me the will to go vegan (my favourite meal at 20 used to be curried chicken liver), to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher and practitioner, move to new a country, learn new languages. I can’t honestly say that fasting alone has brought me these challenges/ changes, but I like to believe that doing things that seem like a pain in the bottom and an incredible inconvenience, can and will reveal parts of your personality to you in the most amazing ways. In the most desperate of situations, life will offer you a path. An option, a choice. And that path will change your life in the most fantastic, ‘I can’t believe this is me now’ way. I was desperate five years back, and I found a tiny sliver of hope with my prayers and fasts on Monday. It was small and little and it changed my whole life to the point of who I am now would blow my 24-year-old self’s mind. (self high fiiiiive).

So, I am fasting. It is Monday. My tummy is growling because I have the privilege to choose to go hungry, and for that I am grateful. It is a reminder that a lot of people don’t have the things that I, sometimes, take for granted. And finally, I am okay with being uncomfortable, maybe if only for a day – it is to help me get my head out of my own butt and think beyond myself and my primal needs.

Get uncomfortable. Get hungry, get heartbroken, get broke. Try and do something you never thought you could and watch life help you blow your own mind.

Do you fast? I would love to know if you do, and why. Coffee drinkers who have been able to quit, I would love to hear from you as well!

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 fast friendly food – made with shaved coconut, milk, sugar and lots of love!

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Uncategorized, yoga

Just go with it.

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I have never been the biggest fan of travel and while everyone I meet or know just wants to pack up their bags and explore a new place, I believe I am happiest when ‘unpacked’ and settled in a place, unless I have my entire family and all my friends to travel with. I am the proverbial elephant in a world teeming with bumblebees. Not that I mind, elephants are awesome.

Not that I do not appreciate the thrill of seeing new places; there are certain spots on the planet I definitely wish to visit, I believe I am missing the “urgency to travel” or the wanderlust gene.

Well seeing as I like being in one spot with all my clothes and books and my beloved blender in my apartment, all convenient and routined, I have to travel. A lot. I travel for work, I travel because my family is full of bumble bees, and mostly I travel because my people are just so happy on flights and airport lounges nestling the idea of approaching a new place. I am not. But I distract myself with “airport style” and other such inanities. Another reason I don’t “dig” this constant movement is that it really affects my practice. I have been practicing Hatha asanas for almost 12 years and now the venture into Ashtanga has really kicked me hard. Hatha is beautiful and restorative and long. Ashtanga is quick and pacy and not exactly the key definition of restorative. Both are exquisite and life changing as is any physical practice that is followed over time, but there is something about Ashtanga before sunrise that feels like a mind and body cleanse. It has helped me in ways innumerable but I am most grateful for it’s effect on my bouts of chronic pain. And that balance gets hurt when I travel. For one, jet lag will confuse you regarding Brahmamurta. And then there’s the exhaustion and your minds innate resistance to anything that’s good for you. In the past six months, I have been to twelve cities in four timezones and with a terrible lot of groaning in the mornings.

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I love my life and I love my opportunities and I am forever grateful for my blessings but do any of you Yoga practioners out there ever struggle with discipline and focus? I would really appreciate tips. Maybe the re-transition to a vegan diet will be the boost I need?

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