Saturday, March 15, 2014

The journey inward

Joined this Yoga class two month ago and I am enjoying it.  The classes are at walking distance from where I live and I chose the early morning batch thinking that there won’t be much rush. But I was wrong. People do get up before sunrise (unlike me)  



On the first day when I saw these contraptions hanging on the wall I asked myself “where have I come to?”


But when you see how these ropes are put to use you realise how it helps in stretching different parts of the body.



In fact, after attending for about two months I realised that this Yoga class is something different and the basic principal on which it works is “stretch your body” Something that we forget to do in our daily lives.
Every student who attends the class is ready with a blanket, a belt, a brick and a bolster (all provided by the class)


The brick is not an actual brick but it’s made of wood.

The belt is put to good use especially when you have to stretch and straighten your lower limbs.



In case you are wondering about those chairs in the above picture, they are also a part of the prop. Notice that they have no back rests.




There are more appendages and props that I have seen and I am sure I will see them in use in due course. It is not right to ask “what is this used for?” 



If you look at the wooden block on which his left leg is resting (picture below) it is smooth and curved, ensuring that his heel does not get hurt.  


The class starts with a small prayer.


There are classes dedicated for all age groups: senior citizens, teenagers, ladies and for children. I shot these pictures while the class was in progress as I did not want to disturb anyone nor did I want them to pose for me.




There is a difference in being in a pose with the eyes bandaged (as compared to having your eyes closed), another appendage that is used to concentrate with your mind. The bandage will help us see better as introspection gives better actions - physical, physiological and emotional intelligence. So the journey takes you inward. The institution is rightly named Shriyog (the journey inward)   


While I took a break in between classes, I saw these birds outside doing the balancing act on a small twig to get to their favourite flower.


And this guy was hanging on his hind legs to get his choice fruit. Maybe he does have a clear view of the classes from the window.


They do have an open library and I found some interesting books in their collection.



I like some of the thoughts of the Guru. Like “Giving does not impoverish, withholding does not enrich”


And this one “Life is immortal, death is mortal”


For that matter, I like the board which is placed at the entrance:


And those small graphic displays at different locations, like the one above indicating where the footwear has to be kept.
At the entrance there is a small idol of Hanuman with a bell hanging


When the class is in progress emphasis is given to explain which muscle in the body benefits by each pose. And to understand where the muscle is, they explain with these visual aids.



One of the best things I noticed in the class was that the instructors/teachers were sincere and made all efforts to see that you did it the right way. They allow you to perform within your limitations.


While in Shavasan, a light instrumental or Carnatic music is played in the background which soothes the mind and helps you to relax.
As I attend the early morning class, I can “sense” the dawn breaking by listening to the different bird calls outside the class. As it gets brighter each bird has its own time slot of tweeting. I was particularly fascinated by the call of the white browed fantail. You can hear it here. (Click here)

Is this bird new to Pune? Or is it that it was always here but I never “listened” to it before?

Maybe, by concentrating and listening with my inner mind, I am slowly being aware of the surroundings and the nature. 
You can get more information at their site  www.shriyog.in


43 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

What an amazing sounding class - thank you.

Joy said...

I joined yoga class last year in a gym and it really stretched my body although it was different from what you are doing there.
Now , I just do some of the exercises home.
quite interesting post and nice captions.
thanks by the way for visiting my blog.

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

This looks like a wonderful class - although I think my first reaction to the ropes in the walls would have been similar to yours. My gym is packed at 5 am, so I'm not surprised by the popularity of this class. I love the quote about giving and withholding - food for thought...

George said...

These sound like amazing classes. I'm glad yoga has helped you hear the sounds around you more clearly.

TexWisGirl said...

how awesome! i have no doubt this is a good thing for you!

Augustine Xavier said...

Yoga class with a difference. Good mixture of all ages. Looks like the squirrel also has been attending the class did an extra stretch to get its food. Liked the post Joe. Good Health.

A Cuban In London said...

Very interesting. I ahev incorporated some asanas in my dance classes whenever I teach them. Pupils really appreciate them, especially the combination of African drums with yoga poses. Lovely photos. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Linda said...

This is really interesting, great photos. Yoga and tai chi are both very good.

Rajesh said...

Wow! this yoga class is very differerent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,
Wonderful to know that the two of you are taking care of your health. Also great to see that there is a mass awareness of good health.
Thank you for sharing.
Warm regards to all - P. Kutty

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Thanks for your visit and comment on our blog.
All the best for you and your family.
Best regards from Poland/Michał and Piotr

NatureFootstep said...

Yoga class spoiled my back. Bad teachers I guess.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've done yoga in classes in the past and really enjoyed it. It does make one feel stronger and more more peaceful. I will have to find a class near me to begin again.

Sharad Kulkarni said...

Hi Joey...good to note you getting engaged in this activity. By the way whwre is this Yoga class?

Haddock said...

Hi Sharad, this is at Wanowrie, very close to Salunkhe Vihar road.

Christine said...

most interesting post, those ropes are intriguing, thanks for sharing!

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Enjoyed reading this post and seeing all the pics. It is so motivating to read especially when you mention the quotes and the sincerity with which the teachers are teaching everyone. At my side, I have been longing to join a proper yoga centre but I don't have any close to where I stay. Hoping that a centre like the one you mentioned comes up soon.

Draffin Bears said...

I enjoyed seeing your photos of the yoga classes. I also enjoy doing yoga.
Happy week
Carolyn

Arti said...

Fabulous coverage of the class with all the pictures and description, you took us along. I have been searching a good yoga class for some time now, hence i read this with greater interest. Looks like a bit tiring but I am sure it'd be totally worth the experience. For how long will you be attending the classes? I would love to hear your experience once you finish with the course and perhaps a review on whether its recommended for others to take it up as well. That would be real helpful.

Sarah Laurence said...

What amazing contraption! I feel stretched out, just reading this post. Thanks for visiting my blog. It's so nice to connect with you!

cleemckenzie said...

I've practiced Yoga for many years, but never used those props. They are interesting and I'll ask my instructors about them. Who knows I might get to try some of them out.

Sher A. Hart said...

I think I'd like Yoga, but I'm afraid I'd break something because of my osteoporosis. Very interesting post, and knowing what you observe while becoming more aware makes me interested too. I had to listen to the bird call. I should pay more attention to my surroundings.

Gail said...

Hello ! thanks for visiting my blog ! I have practised yoga since about 1991 and love it ...although I have never used most of those props you show ! I enjoy a gentle practise and love the fact that after my weekly class I feel so at one with the world (Yes I know I sound like a hippy !!)
Om Shanti
Gail x

Rama Ananth said...

There is so much information. I really like this type of classes where they use props to stretch the body
I have seen some classes in Malleswaram having these kinds of props.
Most of the yoga classes don't encourage the use of props, and would expect us to bend and stretch on our own, which is quite boring, for by the time we are able to come anywhere close to bending or stretching to our full potential, it might be months or even years, and who can say for sure that we would still be there.
I wish I could find classes which use props in whitefield. The pictures of the birds are really cute.

Dee said...

Dear Haddock, I found this posting both enthralling and informative. Thank you so much for telling us about the varied tools used to help a person stretch. I'd like to find a class like this here in western Missouri, USA. Peace.

Patrycja (photoopassion) said...

Świetne są te ćwiczenia, Ci ludzie na zdjęciach mają na prawdę niezłe umiejętności .
Pozdrawiam photoopassion ( Patrycja ) :)

Meera Rao said...

Aren't you lucky to have such a yoga class close by! I have practiced yoga for many years --mostly by myself at home and have really benefited from it. Hope you will come to love and enjoy the classes ! Great collection of photographs :)

Lady Lilith said...

Looks like that yoga class gives you a real workout.

Cubic Zirconia 4A Quality Stones said...

I like this post. This is really an informative post.

Indrani said...

These are some unique yogasanas. I have never learned or done anything like these. Definitely a great way to stay in shape.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wowser -- I have taken Yoga classes for years but have never seen anything this advanced. Probably a good thing.

manitaneja said...

Thanks Joe , for a very informative post....this is very beneficial...I could not imagine ever being able to lie down with just a brick supporting the base of my spine...a great memory of our first term...

Sneha Divakar said...

that's an interesting type of yoga class. never come across that kind of stretching anywhere. looks like fun for sure!

Im A Chickadeegirl said...

Today I discovered your blog (as a result of your visiting me this morning in Canada). I have only read 3 posts so far but, already I have seen and learned so many new things about other places and ideas that are worlds away from mine. Thank you! I can't wait to read and see more!

Heather Hawley said...

this really makes me want to pack my bags and head for the airport. Seeing another country through your eyes makes me want to travel and even live in a different country. Your photos are amazing. thank you for sharing

Haddock said...

You are most welcome Heather (its a lovely country)

Haddock said...

Most welcome Chickadeegirl, and do tell me after reading the other posts too.

Haddock said...

Yes Mr Taneja, the brick sethu bandasan has made a lot of difference to my back problem.

Haddock said...

Good to hear from you Arti. I will continue the classes as long as I can physically attend the classes :-)
As for recommendations, it depends upon the individual taste.

Haddock said...

One has to do it the right way under proper guidance.

Anita said...

I feel myself getting closer to the day when I will try yoga. I've known of it for years, but it was not encouraged much in the US because people thought of it as some sort of strange worship. Nowadays, more and more are trying it. Just seeing all the positions and apparatus gives me a sense that I would like what it does for my body.
Good luck with your classes!
Are you a birder? I listened to the bird recording that you included. I've always liked birds, but just now am I beginning to actually learn and identify them.

Haddock said...

Oh yes Anita, the birds are just wonderful and one can spend hours gazing at them and their habitat.
About 4 years ago I wrote a blog about a bird making a nest.
http://joezachs.blogspot.in/2010/10/new-around-here.html

padmaja said...

The birds are so beautiful.. for some reason, I got the updates of all your posts only today, I was thinking you had stopped posting! Now I am catching up with one by one.
Yoga with props scares me because I had a severe torn muscle that never healed for a long time.