Importance of Yoga

Creation has emerged from stillness. The ultimate purpose of yoga is to gather that stillness because it holds Creation in it,” says Yogi Ashwini, founder of the Dhyan Foundation. The yogi, who advocates yoga “in its truest, purest form”, was in Bangalore recently to conduct a ‘dhyan’ workshop. He spoke to Prithvi Manjeshwar. Excerpts from the interview:

What is the significance of being in a ‘still’ body state while practising yoga?

The stillness is the state of shunya (zero), which is neither negative nor positive. Zero comes from the Rig Veda. It is where Creation has taken place — everything is inside it yet it signifies nothing. Once you attain the state of zero, you are everywhere.

What about New Age yoga?

Yoga has come to us from the great rishis who documented it almost 5,000 years back. Today, everything is commercialized. Our brain functions only at 5-7% of its capacity, which is enough for us to enjoy the pleasures of the five senses. Yoga takes us beyond those five senses. However, people are so busy satisfying their five senses that they miss out on what is beyond that. Hence, they don’t understand the essence of yoga. Yoga is not about standing on one’s head or doing complicated asanas; it is about stillness.

Can you tell us a bit about the Dhyan Foundation and how it will teach the real yoga?

It is run by volunteers who do unpaid community service. The Foundation feeds 5,000 people every day across the country, runs a school for the underprivileged in Gurgaon and even provides clothes to the homeless. This because we feel that whatever you have, you must share with others to ensure there is regular movement and flow. Else you will stagnate. Life is flow, stagnation is death.

As for the real yoga, when you associate yoga with maya, read money, it loses its efficacy. The rishis who passed it on to us did not do it for money. So, people who teach yoga as a money-spinner do not understand its very basics. Somebody who is tied to maya is in no way equipped to take you beyond your five senses.

Can yoga be a substitute for medicine?

There are no diseases in our body, only imbalances. The body has to be in a state of ‘sync’ within itself. If it is not, you can’t practise yoga. Sanatan Kriya works on all layers of the human body and helps attain that state of balance. Yoga actually is for healthy people and not for the sick. It is not an alternative to medicine, because if it were to be, then both Ayurveda and yoga would not have been mentioned in our vedas. The fact is that yoga and Ayurveda serve different purposes. Ayurveda is preventive in nature whereas yoga is for evolution.

How long have you been practising yoga?

For more than 25 years. I am nearly 50 now and want to carry on with it as long as I can.

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