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IMG_5974How did Sri Sri Yoga begin?

have always had an interest in yoga from early childhood, so as my practices grew my interest also grew in yoga. After meeting our spiritual master Guruji, my interest became even deeper and I began to understand yoga at a deeper level altogether. Before it was just a physical exercise and a relaxation for the mind, but after meeting him and seeing him I realized yoga was much more than that, and that is how my interest grew. Finally, as my practice became much stronger, I wanted to share this with everybody, and with the blessings of Guruji, that is how Sri Sri Yoga started.

 

How was Sri Sri Yoga different from what you were doing before?

Mostly, my practice before was on the physical level. There was more emphasis on making the body flexible making the body strong. When you do all those asanas you experience some relaxation at the mental level but yoga can go beyond that. It also connects you to inner being which is beyond the thoughts, beyond the feelings and emotions. And once you connect to that level you see the beauty of yoga, the power of yoga. That is how I came to realize, and it was very simple for me because Guruji lives at that level, at the level of inner being, so watching him and seeing him really made me understand what yoga was.

 

Many types of yoga place an emphasis on the body. What do people need to understand in order to broaden their experience of yoga?

They are not just the body. Yes, you feel that you are the body because that’s all you can see about yourself. You see this big, big body; you can touch it, so emphasis goes on the body. The whole world basically revolves around the body, trying to make it look younger, make it look beautiful, live longer, so there’s a lot of emphasis on that and that is what attracts people who don’t have an understanding that they are more than the body. That’s why people are coming with all these different and weird and wonderful names of yoga, even though what they are teaching has nothing to do with yoga, but they use the name yoga because it attracts people.

 

When focus is on the body you immediately see a result. What can attract people to stay long enough to see that yoga is more than the body?

That’s where the proper teaching of yoga plays a role. If you go to a teacher who understands yoga in a proper way that teacher will teach in a proper way, give you a proper experience of yoga. If you go to a teacher who is mostly on the physical level that is the experience you will get. So it depends very much on the teacher. All the good schools of yoga they are basically teaching the same elements – postures, some breathing, and some relaxation. How they teach, and what is their emphasis, makes a big difference. If their emphasis is physical that is what their students will experience and that is where they will stay. But in Sri Sri Yoga our emphasis is not just on the body, even though we have lots of good postures that are very effective, very good for the body. But we take students beyond the body, make them experience their inner being, so they really feel so good about themselves. They realize, “Oh I am not just this body there is more to me.” It’s like discovering a big palace when you are living in a small room all your life. You are not just living in a small room; you are a big palace. When you feel the expansion of the mind, of the inner being, the small room becomes just like a beautiful palace.

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