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Confronting Abhinivesh

Abhinivesh, one of the many causes of suffering, is a concept we can relate to through our daily experiences. It refers to the fear of death or the strong desire to cling to life, even when it may not be fulfilling. Why do we fear death when we are alive in the present moment? Consider how a baby instinctively stops at the edge of a table while crawling. Could this fear of falling stem from past experiences with death? Perhaps it’s a memory imprinted in our subconscious. We often playfully talk about our loved ones being reborn. My grandmother adored my brother immensely, even in her final days referring to him as her own son. Her attachment was profound. When our niece was born (my brother’s daughter), we all felt as though Grandma had returned with her😌 मेरी दादी, भाची के रूप में वापस आ गई भाई के पास. Could it be that we’ve lived multiple lives before, forming strong attachments to our identities and bodies? We can better understand this through our past riding experiences. Even if you haven’t ridden a scooter in a long time, you can still ride today with minimal practice. Is it because of practice or past experience? Muscle memory ? Absolutely. That’s precisely what I’m trying to convey. Yoga teaches us to silence the mind and attain liberation. Yet, attachment to material possessions, relationships, or even our own egos can hinder our progress. Living a fearless life undoubtedly requires fearlessness, particularly regarding death. However, achieving this state is challenging. Maharshi Patanjali’s Yoga sutra “Swaraswahi Vidushopi Tatha Rudho Abhinivesh” says that even knowledgeable/wise individuals can be strongly attached to their existence or identity. This means, Understanding yoga principles alone may not be enough for liberation, as people can still be tied to their identity even if they grasp them intellectually. In simpler terms, even highly intelligent individuals, like CEOs who can distinguish between flattery and honesty among their colleagues, may still prioritise bolstering their ego. I am taking the liberty to define Abhinivesh simply as “fear”. In today’s world, despite medical advancements and trust in modern medicine so much so that a diabetic person freely eats sugary food items. Life expectancy has doubled since independence. Then what do we really fear? What are we afraid of? – Are we afraid of how we’re perceived? Feeling the need to conform to certain appearances because of our roles, like dressing a certain way as a school principal or speaking a certain way as a yoga instructor? – Do we fear change? Sticking to our current job because it’s familiar, even if we yearn for something different, simply because it’s comfortable? Is not this fear of change, keeping us stuck in familiar but unfulfilling routines? Trust me I have seen as well experienced this. – Do we fear societal expectations? Whether it’s owning high-end cars or wearing branded clothes? – Are we afraid of physical harm, restricting our children from play out of fear they may get hurt? – Fear of Missing Out, commonly known as FOMO, refers to the anxiety people feel when they believe they might be missing out on something exciting or interesting happening elsewhere. I read somewhere “FOMO is like being stuck in a game of musical chairs, except the music never stops and the chairs keep multiplying.” – Are we afraid of being judged? लोग क्या कहेंगे? छोटे कपडे, बहुत ज्यादा attitude, कुछ ज्यादा ही social etc. The constant worry of what others will say or think can hold us back from giving our 100% in everything we do. Managing fear isn’t enough; we must strive to overcome it. Maharshi Patanjali offers solutions tailored to the intensity of our suffering. In my next blog, I’ll delve deeper into Patanjali’s teachings on overcoming these causes of suffering. Stay tuned! Meanshile listen to Piyush Mishra’s famous song “आरम्भ है प्रचण्ड”, sharing 2 lines here मौत अन्त हैं नहीं तो मौत से भी क्यों डरे ये जाके आसमान में दहाड़ दो ! Yoga Practitioner, Preevi Jain

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India, the Mystical Land of Spices

Many know this country as the land of spirituality, spices, crazy traffic and copper-skinned people. But is this all that India is? I expect your answer is no, because India is much more than this. I arrive to the city of Pune and the immigration officer smiles when he sees my passport from Brasil. The Uber pick-up point of the airport is already busy. Dozens of taxi drivers honk to each other inside a building garage, looking for their passengers. Driving through the city in the middle of the night is supposed to be calmer, so I go looking at the window the new scenario that waits for me. I see thousands of “Auto-Rickshaw”, also known as “Tuk-tuk” in the West, plus thousands of scooters and many trailers as to be street food places in the daylight. Some big buildings and also some small wood shacks. Unfortunately I also see a lot of trash among the streets. Temples with amazing colors and LED lights around, showing that inside there resides a hindu divinity to be adored. I get to the family house early in the morning with a pure energy of joy and appreciation. They receive me with a welcoming ritual that includes painting two dots on my forehead: one yellow and one red representing respectively purification and prosperity. A cup of water is served in a copper made cup, very fresh and perfect for the occasion, since I was absolutely thirsty. The weather in India is extremely dry and I feel the difference right away, leaving my home country of 95% humidity to this of 15%. We talk a little bit and they present me to my bedroom for the next seventeen days, right in their house. They make sure I feel comfortable and say “please, make yourself at home”. My first thought is “wow, this is so nice of them, trusting a stranger like me to live in their house, eat at their table and interact with both their parents and daughter”. I go to sleep and when I wake up at lunch time, Mama Rajendra has prepared everything with the help of other ladies that come here daily and serve the food on the table, together with spices and water. Food here is served on a steel tray, separating the space to the bread – Chapati – and the other dishes, that include rice and a broth with a bunch of spices and vegetables. But don’t be limited to it, there are plenty of options and variety on Indian cuisine, which I am loving to taste. It is delightful. Now, my first challenge takes place: eating with the hands. Indians do not eat with cutlery as western people; they make a shell out of their right fingers and eat the things, using the bread as an eatable spoon to place the liquid food. To me, it is very strange, since I grew up with my parents saying how impolite it is to eat using the hands and that I should always use fork and knife. Here, I take the help of a spoon. Many might say “oh this is so unhygienic”. But I tell you: open your mind and respect other people cultures and the way they have been living way before some group of European people told the world how to behave. Well, I came to Pune to take a Yoga course and learn about the Indian culture. This experience is definitely teaching me that and broadening my horizons. The course starts with a practical session at 6:30 AM. We practice together at the studio for one hour, learning the execution of the Asanas and how to deep breath as a Yogi, focusing on our bodies and keeping a smile on our faces (to be honest, in this part I struggle. I’m always very concentrated and closed faced!). After, we have time to do some lecture or meditation and at 8:30 Mama makes breakfast. Everyday is a different and delicious dish. At around 11 AM, I have my individual session with my guru dr. Vikas. We talk about the fundamentals of Yoga and the theory. How to apply the peace of mind that Yoga brings to our day-to-day lives, being conscious of yourself and the others around you. I learn about detachment. I see in the presentations the biological explanation of some phenomena that have happened to me during meditation and feel very glad, also a little bit proud. But most of all, grateful! At 12:30 or 1 PM, we have lunch. Every meal comes with a prayer first. We pray for God and for those who made the effort in the plantation fields to provide us with food. We honor every single person in the food-making process and thank God for the opportunity of having food on our tables. Later in the afternoon, the students are supposed to take their individual practices, repeating what was done in the morning and adding other Asanas that our bodies might ask for. It is also desired that we read books on spirituality and learn some concepts. The rest of the day is about dinner and some outdoor activities. One day we had a non profit Ayuverda event at the studio, where families could come with their children to receive preventive medication for immunity and well being. I was amazed to see how many people came in one day; children of every age, even 4 months old babies have been there. Everything is natural and they don’t make any use of chemical medication. They trust that, if you maintain your organism clean and healthy, no disease can strike you down. Another case concerning myself, was the fact that I got a cold (maybe from the weather, maybe from the airplane or the trip) and I asked dr. Shwesta if I should isolate myself, really concerned about others health and not wanting others to get sick, as we would do in Brasil. She said I should not worry about

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Super Woman

Interestingly I wanted to be the one. A super women, whose house is spotless, whose job is highly respected and offcourse she gives 100% in her job, A mother who is always available for her kid, A daughter and daughter-in-law who takes care of their parents and offcouse a perfect sis for my siblings(I know for sure this I am 🙂). Little about me, I am an IT professional. My career journey is not in one straight line but its broken into breaks and different fields. I worked with IT for 10 yrs. Took 10 yrs break and back in IT again. While I was on break I learned to take care of myself. Did fitness related courses and started my own fitness club with my sister. After a year the COVID had hit the world. We had to shut down our business and we shifted to Online model. During this time, I started practicing and playing Kettlebell lifting game. All the learning was fun and challenging and sometimes stressful. Eventually, I have realized that I could do more. I started leaning Yoga even though it does not really matches with my behaviroual characteristic,(so it seemed to me) I started to enjoy. When I say Yoga, it means more than just Asan and Pranayam. So it started happening, with Yoga practices I started to become aware of my actions and my feeling. Well, not aware, but actually I started paying attention to those. I learnt many things about my self like how easily I get influenced. How easily I get distracted, how much I was comparing myself with people around me, how much attention I was seeking…the list goes on. And most importantly, How I never appreciated myself. I always felt I am an under doer, under performer. And anytime if I sat myself down and ask, what do you want. I never had any answer. Not even vague. The practice of Yoga continued and lot many questions started to pop in my mind, like what do I really enjoy doing? What is that one thing I can do for rest of my life. Why do I get anxious about my work? What is Ishwar? Why people die and lot others. Let me be honest, YOU will never get answers to all the questions because thats’s for the best but you should always ask. In my brief exploration of Yoga, this is the insight I’ve gleaned from my personal journey 1. It does not matter how much you earn and progress in life if you are not enjoying. 2. Only earning money can not be goal of your life. Human beings need more than that. 3. It is not wrong to prioritize yourself. After all you can pour into other’s glass only if your’s is not empty. 4. Creating a joyful atmosphere around children is paramount, as it fosters their development in numerous ways, far outweighing the significance of intellectual prowess. And, it goes without saying that you should be happy. 5. When feeling anxious, consider worst-case scenarios and prepare yourself accordingly as a means to manage your emotions. 6. Some questions are better not answered but it does not mean the question should not come/raised. We are on this earth to learn and experience. Maximize that. 7. Other people’s progress should/does not affect your life. Comparing yourself is pure waste of time. Imagine a Cheetah wants to be a fish. Or vice versa. Does not seem right. Does it? 8. Every now and then, appreciate yourself for whatever you are doing/trying. Dont wait for other’s validation. 9. Organize your wardrobe when you’re feeling down—it can greatly boost your mood. The messier the wardrobe, the greater the potential for enhancing your sense of well-being. Worth a try🙂 10. Surrond yourself with happy people. Don’t be jealous of them. 11. Your happiness rests solely in your hands. There are no ifs or buts—period. 12. Recognize our human nature; if you aspire to excel, focus on self-care—it’s the one aspect entirely within our control. As I articulate these thoughts, I feel a sense of philosophical insight—a transformation fostered through my Yoga practice. It’s important to note that perfection isn’t the goal here; rather, improvement. Your progress directly impacts the well-being of your family and loved ones. Life doesn’t demand seriousness, but sincerity. I hope you found something of value in what was shared here Thank you, Preevi Yoga Practitioner

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Flexibility of Mind

It’s been a while since I am learning and practicing Yoga and I often wondered why we really need to focus not just on flexibility of the body but also on the flexibility of the mind. Flexibility means the ability to change to suit new conditions or situations. We can infer that as the ability to think about things in new or different way. When it comes to physical flexibility we can easily observe that in any sportsperson. As they have to bend their bodies in different directions as per the demand. Or in day to day life, if you can easility bend down to tie your shoe laces or pick up things from floor etc shows you are physically flexible. But where do we see flexibility of the mind and why it is important for the growth? मन एव मनष्ुयाणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः । बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मक्ु त्यैनिर्विषयं र्वि स्मतमृ ्॥ mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandhamokṣayoḥ । bandhāya viṣayāsaktaṃ muktyai nirviṣayaṃ smṛtam ॥ As the mind so the person. Bondage or liberation are in your own mind. If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that. Now, to understand whether we are bonded or liberated, we should be open minded. Which essentially means you must have flexibility of mind here it described as attitude. Lets talk about where we can observe flexibility of mind. For example You are a chef, and your friend told you that there is a faster and better way to cook potato. Now the immediate though could be that, I am the chef I know better. But if you have flexible mind, you would listen to your friend’s idea, you will try it and if you find it useful you will continue to use it. Say due to nature of work, you keep shifting to new places. Yes, its a tedious task. You can either be frustrated or accept this shift. By accepting, you are open to learning and experiencing new places, things and ideas. IT professional always keeps finding new ways to automate processes and also how they can save time on manual work. This way they can be more productive, can work on other projects or do some other activity like gyming/playing sport etc. When do you see that your mind is not flexible? 1. When you have set ideas – you think that your idea is the best idea. Your way of working is best. And there is no better way. 2. When you want everyone to follow you. Because you think that is best. For example, chef thinks he has the best ideas for cooking dish and hence never tried new things. 3. When you want your child to study in a certain way e.g. you think by reading 10 times he will remember stuff but not realizing that he won’t understand the applicability of it. Like doing addition in particular way, Kid might got better way to do it. 4. When you think you are following the best diet practice or 5. When you think your Yoga practice is best or 6. When you think the life goals should be what you think it should be or 7. When you think, how people must dress or 8. When you think, that your way is best way to warship or 9. When you when, your way is best way to fast or 10.When you think, people should follow a particula routine only 11.When you down upon someone without knowing their personality or achievements The list can go on. Now the problem with not having flexible mind is multifold but biggest one is that it won’t allow you to progress. If you have set mindset about everything, there is no room for change and hence no progress. Having flexible mind is not easy, sometimes you have to keep aside your ego, for example to learn from a Kid. Lets say, you are a working woman. You and your mother in law cooks a vegetable differently. Everytime she cooks, even though you like the taste you dint like the way she cooks. Now to solve this, there are only two choices 1. Either you cook all the time which seems not feasible as you are working 2. You learn to appreciate her efforts and accept that everyone wants to do work with their understanding and their own style. Imagine if someone forces you to change your style of working, will you like it and do it? Also, if there are 5 people in the house you can’t make everyone do things you want them to do. Or can satisfy 5 other people with their expectations? Now the set mindset is not limited to cooking, it can be in any field. For example, you think that, people must save for XYZ amount for future if they dont want their retirement will be difficult. But there is someone who does not want to save and want to see the world before he or she retires as that gives them happiness. None of the approach is wrong as they find pleasure in different things. A lot of times I heard people saying you must chant only this or that Mantra. Thats the best. But not everyone feels connected with what you believe in. Not everyone is seeking the same thing as you do. Some are in search of wealth, others might be in search of knowledge. No one is right or wrong. We all have freedom to do whatever we want to achieve in life. We all have something to learn from each other. Understanding that is flexibility. Preevi Yoga Practitioner, Student at Swasti Yoga Center

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Add Yoga To Retain The Beauty Of Body And Mind

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