Interview on my Yoga Journey in the IIMB Newsletter, July 2017.
“Yoga off the mat!”
The word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, Yoga means the union of the individual consciousness or soul. Yoga is roughly 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge. It is a package for happy and peaceful living. It is more than just a physical workout.
In this month’s feature let me introduce to you Kranthi Kiran, PGP 2006-2008, a yoga enthusiast and currently leading the project management office – Asia Pacific region of Kluber Lubrication India Private Limited (Freudenberg group) where he shares his much inspiring story behind creating a peaceful life where he has been successful in radiating a calm energy and has also inspired people to live a life in motion through various workshops, to live a life that leads with wellness instead of ego, from yoga to fitness to style to active travel.
So, how do you achieve that?
KK: My daily Yoga Practice- On the mat and the principles applied off the mat. Yoga helps me in keeping my body active and stilling my mind. It helps me in bringing clarity to my everyday activities, being a witness and seeing things as they are not as you want them to be. To respond and not to react. And using breath as a tool, Yoga brings awareness and allows me to slow down and be in the now all the time. In fact, our thoughts are the heaviest objects that we carry in our body. And every thought we carry in our mind and every unresolved emotion we hold in our heart manifest in our physical body, in the way we sit and walk and the practice of Yoga allows me to be aware and take immediate actions to free myself of them.
According to you, what are the various aspects of Yoga?
KK : Yogic philosophy has eight limbs ( ashtanga ) – Yama ( social conduct ) , Niyama ( personal discipline ) , Asana ( postures ) , Pranayama ( breath control ) , Prathyahara ( Sense withdrawal ) , Dhaarana ( Concentration ), Dhyaana ( Meditation ) and Samadhi ( state of ultimate bliss ) and one is incomplete without the other. For me, Yama and Niyama are the principles I apply every moment and I believe they are the most important aspects of Yoga. However, all limbs must be combined and integrated so as to develop a holistic practice. The practice encourages one to start from the external Yama with emphasis on social interactions, then moves to your Niyama in life with respect to your self-inquiry and discipline. Then, we head to asana, the physical practice carrying absolutely no thought or rather being aware of these thoughts and arresting them. The practice of Pranayama works on slowing down our breath and allows us to experience the beautiful connection between our gross body (sthula kaya) and subtle mind (sukshma kaya). Prathyahara teaches us to not let senses control our decision making process and instead urges us to master them.
What does Yoga mean to you?
KK: Yoga, for me is a lifestyle. Yoga is a path I have chosen to bring unity in all dimensions of life activities – in my manas (mind), vaacha (speech) and Karmana (action). I continue to walk on the path of Bhakti ( love and devotion to my ultimate purpose ), of Gnana ( wisdom ), of Karma ( service ) and of Raja ( self-realization ).
How do you define the practice of Yoga?
KK: The practice of Yoga is a mater of intense personal discipline and requires one to get their priorities right in Life. One must constantly seek for new ways of seeing this world and be open to embrace all that Life has to offer. This can only be achieved when we still our minds. Yoga for me is not limited to what I practice on the mat. That us just my preparation. Instead, Yoga for me is more about what happens off the mat and how I apply these principles in the real world, in my every social interaction and in my every activity. Yoga is about living life consciously and with full awareness. To participate in this world in all ways and yet remain detached (vairagya) to the outcomes is my endeavor.
How does the practice of Yoga help us in the current age?
KK: We are living in a hyper connected world and are constantly being fed with new bytes of information every moment. Our minds are always occupied and don’t really have time to reflect upon the information that is coming our way. The practice of Yoga enables one to slow down, bring focus to life and enable clarity of thought so that we choose the information that we really are looking for and not be distracted. The practice if Yoga allows to gain mastery over mind, body and senses using breath as a tool.
The practice of Yoga helps us to develop the right posture, through integrating breath and body awareness in our every movement. The practice of Yoga also helps us to connect deeply with our bodies and this awareness allows to feed only when we really need and thereby causing weight loss as well. We must allow every cell in our body to breathe and move and this is what regular Yoga practice can greatly help.
What are the reasons for practicing Yoga everyday?
KK: Mind Expansion. By always seeking new experiences, I have made my mind function at its best all times in all situations. To find peace amidst chaos. Yoga for me is about transcending both body and mind and living in a world of no opposites! Where every path and any path is my path as well and also to participate in life and yet be unaffected by it!