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I Finally Decided To Take The Plunge!
Many of you always ask me what I most enjoy writing about: is it the massage related topics, product reviews, or topics related to meditation and spirituality?
Today we’ll be looking at a program I never in a million years saw myself doing, Isha’s classical hatha yoga program, Yogasanas.
For those of you who don’t know, Yogasanas is a fairly intense set of asanas or postures done in a very intricate manner with absolute care and precision. Of course there’s no one better to talk about it than Sadhguru himself, so check out the video below! (Source: Sadhguru YouTube Channel)
To be completely honest, I was shying away from adding another hatha yoga practice to my already time intensive yoga routine of 2.5 hours every day.
Why Did I Decide To Take Yogasanas?
So why did I take the plunge?
However, I did give it a lot of thought because the last thing I wanted was to learn a practice only to not be able to consistently maintain it. If I was gonna take it, I was going to be doing it every single day, rain or shine! This much I had decided within myself.
So what’s the secret to this?
I’ve been able to maintain all 3 of my Isha practices – Shambhavi Mahamudra, Surya Kriya, and Yogasanas (3 months and a bit) – without missing a single day since being initiated into them. I don’t say this out of pride, but more so to inspire you that this is very much possible!
I didn’t do it yesterday, nor the day before, nor will I do it the day after today. I’ll do it today, and that’s that! Most people get bogged down with the past/future and they start planning all that rubbish beforehand. Don’t do this, it won’t serve you! Focus on right now in this very moment.
I know you’re probably yearning to see my review of Yogasanas, but I felt it very important to share the above. If you can maintain discipline, anything and everything is possible!
Part 1: My Experience Of The Yogasanas Program!
This wasn’t your “usual” Isha hatha yoga program. 3 months earlier means we were in the thick of things with the pandemic, and so all local Isha programs were cancelled here in North America.
We confirmed the dates about 3 weeks in advance to allow for flexibility in case one of us requires to adjust based on our busy schedules. The location was at his home studio, and it would be over a 3 day period: Friday evening, Saturday full day, and Sunday morning.
This worked perfectly because I could be done work on Friday just in time for the evening session, and then be done the program by Sunday morning so I have more than half the day to enjoy what’s left of the weekend before Monday comes around.
During the day of, I made sure to eat very light so I could easily get into the postures. A lot of people I’ve talked to had told me that Yogasanas can be pretty intense, so I did kinda know what to expect.
As we went from one posture to another, I quickly began to realize what intense truly meant! While it was definitely intense, it wasn’t torture. It almost felt like my mind and the rest of my being could do so much more than what my body was able to at the time.
It’s a weird feeling and one I’ve never experienced before to be honest. Because I wanted to keep pushing myself, I really enjoyed the transition from one posture to the other even if I wasn’t able to get into the postures completely.
Friday evening wrapped up nicely and the only shortcoming was I hardly slept that night. I blame the hotel mattress for my tossing and turning!
Come Saturday morning, I was up bright and early (6:30 AM) to do 1 cycle of Surya Kriya and Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya before going to the studio to continue with the program.
The Saturday sessions were split into 2 parts: a morning session, and a late afternoon session. We continued where we left off and by the time we concluded the second session, I was pretty sore.
Sunday morning brought about the conclusion of the program and the opportunity to ask questions. By the time we were done on Sunday, I felt quite a bit different than before the program. In just those 3 days, body was a lot more at ease, mind was definitely much more balanced, and there was a sense of vibrancy about how I felt.
In summary, my experience of the program was quite fantastic and as I look back at it, I realize that I did a great deal to prepare both my body and mind beforehand.
Before the program I was doing many cycles of Surya Kriya in a day and doing Shambhavi twice daily as well. As such, I feel I was far more focused throughout the program and therefore able to imbibe much more. When I took Surya Kriya, it was definitely not this way.
I’m sorry but I cannot share the specific details of the various asanas we went through. The reason is you if you’re truly serious about it, you must experience if for yourself. And even if I did share, you will try to learn the same from a video or book, which is not the way one should do yoga.
If there’s anything more specific you’d like to know about my program experiences, drop a comment down below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you! Overall, the experience was awesome. This was my 3rd Isha program and yet again, just like Surya Kriya and Inner Engineering, Yogasanas was absolutely fantastic!
Part 2: My Experience Of Practicing Yogasanas Daily (For 3+ Months!)
Attending a program for 3 days is one thing, maintaining the discipline to practice every day is something else. It’s now been just over 3 months since I took the program, and I’ve done the practice once daily. Below are a few things I’ve noticed in these 3 months!
#1 The Body’s Need For Food Has Dropped Considerably!
One thing that was quickly evident within weeks of practicing Yogasanas is that the body’s need for food dropped considerably. Even before Yogasanas, I was not much of a compulsive eater, most times going with 2 meals a day.
This is fantastic because it has brought about a new sense of freedom. I’m not compulsive about food, and can do without if for several hours. This makes it all the more awesome when I want to enjoy my food. For example, the other day I treated myself to a sushi meal, and enjoyed it thoroughly!
#2 Caffeine Urges Have Dropped Significantly As Well!
I can drink coffee/tea if I want to, or simply not! Caffeine urges had significantly dropped after practicing Surya Kriya and Shambhavi, but Yogasanas really took it to a whole new level. To the point I can no longer have more than half a cup of tea or I tend to feel sick!
Nowadays if I drink coffee/tea, it’s because I choose to, not because I need to!
#3 An Imbalance Between My Right Side & My Left Side!
The more I practiced, the more I began to realize that my right side (specifically my lower body from the hip downwards) was significantly less stronger and less developed than my left side.
I could feel it as I got into the postures. Because of this imbalance, for at least the first 2 months, I was restricted in how deeply I could get into the postures. Of course, this has corrected itself in a big way very recently and I feel much more comfortable now!
#4 Energized Throughout The Day, Especially After Practicing!
My morning routine is typically 3 cycles of Surya Kriya, and Shambhavi. My evening cycle is Yogasanas and Shambhavi. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and do Yogasanas and Shambhavi in the morning and vice versa.
This comes up to 3.5-4 hours of yoga a day. I’m not a fan of paying much attention to duration, but just wanted to mention it here for those who might be curious.
This particular routine has served me tremendously well. Mid-day naps are very much a thing of the past, and once I’m outta bed in the morning, I don’t go back until bedtime at night.
I will point out, however, that my sleep quota hasn’t dropped from what it was. I usually sleep anywhere between 6-7 hours a night. One strange thing I still can’t figure out though, is I feel more energized if I start my day at 5:20 AM as opposed to 7:00 AM. Very weird to me!
An Experience Is Just An Experience!
Experiences are great because they make for good conversation starters, and of course they can inspire you or maybe even deter you!
Also my experience might be totally different from someone else, and there’s absolutely no “right/wrong” with this. It is what it is, leave it at that and move forward. The more fixated you become with experience, the more deluded you risk becoming.
I Hope You Are Sufficiently Inspired To Take Yogasanas If It’s Something You’ve Pondered!
3 months is still not much practice to share all that much, so I’m definitely excited to see what the next several months behold. If they bring no experiences, I’ll be totally okay, if there is something new, totally okay with that also!
What’s next for me? For now, nothing in the immediate horizon, but Shoonya and BSP are definitely on my radar for the next few years. Let’s see what the future brings, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying these 3 practices and they have become a part of me in a huge way!
If you’ve completed Yogasanas, please drop a comment below and feel free to share your experience. For those who have unanswered questions/doubts, please also drop a comment down below. Hope you all are keeping safe, and we’ll see you in the next one!