Everyone who loves to shape their own lifestyle would agree that aiming for great health and fitness of both the body and mind is an important step. On top of that, aiming to reduce the cost of living and the dependance on others should also be factored in. With fitness it is also great to remove the potential for us to get distracted or lazy with our health. Saying this, I believe the method fitness we should incorporate into our lives must have the following characteristics :
- It can be practiced on your own
- Requires little or no equipment
- Costs no money once the skills have been learnt
- Works our whole anatomy in multiple directions
- Provides out bodies with more energy than it consumes so we do not feel fatigued
We can incorporate our regime into our daily routine this way with only our own commitment preventing us from being healthy.
Personally I have chosen Yoga, along with running as the core to my fitness regime along with the other activities I do in my busy life. However, Yoga is not purely a physical method of fitness. Yoga is a complete lifestyle. In fact traditional Yogi’s will say life is Yoga. Asana’s, which are the physical poses that most in the west believe is what yoga only is, is in fact only 1 part of Yoga. The 4 chapters of Yoga Sutras, which is the framework for the yoga lifestyle only mentions Asana poses in 3 of 196-200. Of these, it only refers to a comfortable seated position. This shows that the poses in Yoga are only a small part of the whole lifestyle, in fact most of these poses came after the Sutras were published by Patanjali in the second century BCE. Yoga is a lifestyle that is designed to free the practitioner from all suffering by improving the health and strength of the connected body and mind.
My interest in yoga and meditation was mainly inspired from athletes such as Dean Potter. Dean Potter is an amazing rock climber, BASE jumper and Slack Liner. He pushes these already extreme sports beyond their limits with amazing control over his mind and body. When I originally had the desire to start yoga and meditation I had no idea how closely linked the two are. My goal was to have better balance to be more efficient and better at my favourite sports, as well as balance the mind to help me deal with fear and also make better choices when considering to take risks. I had no idea yoga and meditation would completely flip my lifestyle upside down and send me on a different path. I set the goal to become well practiced at yoga and meditation before I start BASE jumping along with other demanding activities I have planned. So from that I ended up in Goa India. I could not think of a better way to learn the Yoga lifestyle than in it’s home country. I found a course that fully qualifies me in the west, but sticks to many of the core concepts of the traditional lifestyle. The course covers the Asana’s which are the physical postures, Philosophy, (Ayurveda which is Asian traditional holistic health/medicine), chanting, meditation, anatomy and much more. This course really enforces the idea that Yoga is as much a philosophy as it is a science.
I chose to stay in the cheapest bungalow I could find that is very simple, naturally no hot water however I think it is beautiful. It would not be right to learn Yoga with too many of the developed worlds comforts. We have decorated the bungalow with items we have found locally to make it a comfortable space for a month. We are fortunate the bungalow is right outside the Shala that all my meditation, Asana and other classes take place.
Before the course started there was a Hindu opening ceremony called a Pooja. I knew the course would be physically and spiritually demanding but this ceremony along with the course introduction really set in this vibe. The ceremony included chanting and offers to the hindu gods. I received a special red tie around my wrist along with the red dot of dye on the head we see many Hindu people sport in their daily life.
In my next post I will share more of the details of the course which includes a strict regime of waking up before 6am, showering, no eating, no talking, not using any computer devices and being in the Shala ready to chant and meditate by 6am.
Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.