“Do NOT think about those brown monkeys jumping from one tree to another” said the Master and he left us to focus on our daily Yoga practice. We were a bunch of 20 participants learning Hatha Yoga under the able guidance of Master Raman ( name changed ).
Do NOT think about those brown monkeys jumping from one tree to another
While Yoga itself had started to have its positive effects on each part of our body by reducing the overall stiffness and keeping us active, Master Raman always pointed out that the key benefit of Yoga to be much deeper in reality.
He always described to us the play of body,mind and energy that would really help us be focused for day to day activities. While the theories were extremely difficult to even comprehend, all I could understand was that Yoga was beneficial for me to an extent that it kept me physically agile.
I started learning with Master Raman about 10 years ago. Master Raman kept shedding the Light on Yoga ; Through this time, I realized that Yoga made me more flexible, increased my stamina, built some lean muscle, kept my metabolism active and in all made me feel good.
Yoga made me flexible, increased my stamina and had a calming effect on my mind
In recent times, I realized that this practice had started to have a calming effect on my mind. It made me peaceful in a way. Never mind ! Coming back to the jumping monkeys; Master Raman had asked me to NOT focus on the jumping monkeys in my mind, but all I could now see is these apes jumping from one branch to another in a forest full of innumerable trees. The rest of the entire Yoga practice was completely ruined in a way. While we did the Surya Namaskars, the monkeys jumped in the mind. When we tried to focus hard on Salabhasana, the monkeys jumped even more. Last but not the least, when we lied down for the corpse pose “Savasana”, the monkeys jumped in the dead man’s simulation too !
As soon as the practice ended that day, I went to Master Raman and told him about my experience. He laughed loudly.
Master Raman had a peculiar personality; He was about 5’6 inches off the ground with a medium built body. He sported shoulder length hair like the Yogi’s do. The hair was all silver and black now with the body years accumulated. Master Raman had vegetarian food preferences and he was full of life, probably more than a lot others I daily interacted with.
Even though a vegeterian, Master Raman had more energy than a lot of people I met each day.
He always seemed to be at peace with everything happening around him and loved to joke with us too. Needless to say, He was a very effective teacher. So, when he heard my experience, all he said was, If you were thinking about the jumping monkeys when you practiced, Were you really in the present moment? Life is a string of experiences, he said being lived one day at a time.
Life is a string of experiences: To be lived one moment at a time
Every experience is always lived in the present. Your memories are from the past, but they are also experiences lived at a point in time. Your worries and aspirations in life however are of the future. While the past has already been lived, and the future non-existent currently, the only situation you are left with to experience, is this very present moment.
The only experience you can ever have, is “this” Present moment
If you are a Yoga practitioner already, Here are a couple of products you should definitely consider buying:
- Light on Yoga: The Classic Guide to Yoga by the World’s Foremost Authority – This book has detailed explanation about innumerable Yoga postures. BKS Iyengar has already provided detailed text on which postures can help you deal with what kind of health ailment. The manner in which the book has been written, allows you to take your Yoga practice ahead on your own based on the guidelines in the book.
- Strauss Yoga Mat, 6mm (Blue) – I have not personally tried this Yoga mat out. But in an age where user reviews matter, this Yoga mat has over 90 user reviews. I think it is a good buy.