#SAYING YES TO YOGA:
THANKS TO NARENDRA MODI, PEOPLE IN most parts of India (and hopefully in the convenient time zones of the Indian diaspora elsewhere) will be inhaling and exhaling in yogic unison from 6.45 am onwards on June 21st (tomorrow). Although #Patanjali wrote his yoga sutras in the 2nd century before Christ, it took a Narendra Modi to leverage his position as the premier of the world’s largest democracy to drive home the benefits of practicing yoga. It is indeed a great example of how the belief in a good idea or practice can indeed be propagated effectively when such belief is held steadfastly by a person in power. One fervently hopes that the momentum for practising yoga regularly does not fizzle out with the conclusion of the countrywide group exercise tomorrow.
AT THE VERY MINIMUM ONE SHOULD BE CONSCIOUS of the power of breath control and how vital breath is to our lives. Being conscious of our breathing is in itself salutary to health and the pranic exercises when undertaken regularly would undoubtedly enable us to lead more relaxed, mindful lives.
IF WE HAVE NO DIFFICULTY IN ACCEPTING Physical Education/Physical Training as an essential part of education, we should not have any objection to the introduction of yogic exercises as an integral part of Physical Education right from kindergarten. Exercise in groups induces a tremendous sense of energy and euphoria and I personally experienced this while practising the sudarshana kriya in groups associated with the Art of Living not so long ago.
MY CURRENT EXERCISE ROUTINE is limited to an hour’s brisk walk every day but I now think that a few simple yogic exercises will only enhance my sense of well-being. I must now pull out the yoga mat which is stashed somewhere at home !
THE PUBLICITY BLITZ FOR YOGA HAS PROBABLY eclipsed the fact that June 21 is also celebrated as #World Music Day. It also happens to be summer solstice – the day when the sun is the farthest from the equator. As in the case of Yoga, the sense of well-being induced by music is indisputable. India is indeed a unique place where several forms of music co-exist and flourish. This has also made “fusion music” possible, the wrath of the purists notwithstanding. I am delighted to be able to listen to all forms of music and enjoy them immensely. I do make it a point to listen to music for at least 30 minutes every day. On a given day, it could be a melange comprising of a composition of #Mozart, a #Thyagaraja kriti by #Maharajapuram Santhanam, a rendering of raga Megh Malhar by #Rashid Khan, a film song by #Shreya Ghoshal, rounded off with a popular number from #Taylor Swift.
MUSIC IS LIKE OXYGEN FOR ME AND I consider my iPod as a life accessory. I can only paraphrase the concluding words of #Anthony Storr from his memorable book Music and the Mind : “Although music is not a belief system,…its importance and its appeal also depend upon its being a way of ordering human experience. Great music both arouses our emotions and also provides a framework within which our passions “enjoy themselves” as Nietzsche put it. Music exalts life, enhances life, and gives it meaning.Great music outlives the individual who created it. It is both personal and beyond the personal. For those who love it, it remains as a fixed point of reference in an unpredictable world…..music has been something for the sake of which it is worthwhile to live on earth…it is an irreplaceable, transcendental blessing.”
SO, MAKE IT A POINT TO LISTEN TO A FEW MINUTES of music just as you allot some time for exercise. You will be “moved” anyway !!
ONE DOES NOT WITNESS A FRENZIED celebration of Father’s Day as it is in the case of Mother’s. Probably Mothers are far more attached to their children than Fathers are – the intensity of the childbirth experience being a principal reason. For me the overwhelming thought as a parent, as a Father, is simply this : we are in a position to defy death, in a manner of speaking, as we leave behind a little of ourselves in our own children. Was it Wordsworth who said “The Child is the Father of Man” ? #Dom Moraes called his autobiography “My Son’s Father”. As a father of two children, I can only endorse with all honesty what the poet #Ogden Nash said :
Being a Father/Is Quite a Bother/But I like it rather !!