By Siddharth Choudhary, Educator
Yoga is not just a physical exercise; it is a path to inner peace, self-discovery, and holistic well-being. At the Neev Literature Festival 2023, author Roopa Pai shared her profound insights on making yoga accessible to kids and adults, drawing from her teaching practice and delving into the rich history and philosophy of yoga.
Building on Existing Knowledge
Roopa Pai emphasized the importance of building upon people’s existing knowledge of yoga. Yoga is not something foreign or esoteric; it is a practice that can be integrated into our daily lives. By recognizing and respecting individuals’ starting points, Roopa encourages a more inclusive approach to yoga.
Origins of Bhagavad Gita
One of the highlights of Roopa Pai’s discussion was the origins of the Bhagavad Gita. She shed light on Ved Vyasa, the sage who compiled this timeless scripture. The Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, is a cornerstone of yogic philosophy. Roopa’s narration transported us back in time, unraveling the essence of this spiritual text.
History of Yoga
Roopa Pai also touched upon the fascinating history of yoga, dating back thousands of years. Yoga, she explained, is not merely a modern fitness trend but a time-tested tradition that has evolved over millennia. It’s a science of the mind and body, passed down through generations.
Bhoj Reciting Prayers to Patanjali
Patanjali, often referred to as the father of yoga, played a pivotal role in codifying and systematizing the practice. Roopa Pai recounted the story of King Bhoj reciting prayers to Patanjali. This historical anecdote showcases the reverence that yoga has commanded throughout history.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a collection of aphorisms, serve as a guidebook for yogic philosophy and practice. Roopa Pai highlighted the profound wisdom contained within these sutras, emphasizing their relevance in our modern lives. They offer a roadmap to inner transformation and self-realization.
Stilling of the Mind
One of the core principles of yoga, as discussed by Roopa Pai, is the stilling of the mind. She beautifully illustrated this concept by likening the mind to still water that reflects perfectly. Through the practice of yoga, we learn to calm the turbulence of our thoughts, find mental clarity, and discover our true selves.
Unlocking Potential and Managing Emotions
Roopa Pai concluded her talk by emphasizing how yoga can help individuals unlock their full potential and manage their emotions effectively. Yoga is not just about physical postures, but also about cultivating emotional intelligence and resilience. By integrating yoga into our lives, we gain tools to navigate the complexities of our emotions.
In summary, Roopa Pai’s enlightening discussion at the Neev Literature Festival 2023 brought to light the accessibility of yoga for people of all ages. She drew from the rich history and philosophy of yoga to show that it’s not an abstract concept but a practical and transformative way of life. Understanding the origins, principles, and potential of yoga empowers us to embark on a journey of self-discovery, inner peace, and emotional well-being. As we still our minds, we can reflect and shine brightly, just like the tranquil surface of a still pond. Yoga is a timeless path that offers us the tools to unlock our potential and manage our emotions, ultimately leading us towards a more fulfilling and balanced life.