CHENNAI: Mahendra Kumar (52), a resident of Chennai’s rather iconic Mylapore area, reaches the Marina Beach at 5.30 am every day for his daily dose of yoga. It’s a routine that he has followed rigorously for the past decade.
Ironically, his tryst with yoga all started with a crippling back pain. “I might have known a few asanas before but I came to know about yoga extensively only after I visited Baba Ramdev’s centre in Nageshwara Rao Park on Luz Corner in Mylapore. I got to know how the asanas and pranayam help rejuvenate our body. The more I learned about yoga the more it attracted me,” said Mahendra.
He practices yoga every day for an hour. “Every asana has a purpose. It focuses on different aspects of your body and mind. But we should perform the asanas the correct way. That’s why I would recommend to people to learn yoga first and then practice on their own. There is a lot to learn in this field. These are not just exercises. It’s a way of life,” he added. Even though Mahendra belongs to a Jain family who had come to the city from Rajasthan 60 years ago, he is the quintessential Chennaiite. A businessman by profession, the quinquagenarian, is as fit as a fiddle. “Yoga has given me renewed energy. I feel more active than ever after I started doing yoga regularly,” he said.
Mahendra, a father of two, could not interest them into taking up the same passion as his. “They are more into badminton,” he laughed. “I have never forced anyone to do yoga. It is up to them. I can only tell them why it is really good,” Mahendra added.
Use 100% of your brain
Yoga is an important part of our lives. I feel everyone should practice yoga. Why else is Modiji trying his best to popularise it? It is not easy to make International Yoga Day a trend. People abroad go for yoga workshops and camps to experience it. We need to realise the importance of yoga. We can only use 15% of our brain. Yoga makes us capable to utilise the full potential of the brain. If we can control and utilise our brain fully then we can do whatever we want, says the Mylapore-based businessman.
The art and science of healthy living
Yoga is defined as a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science that focuses on bringing harmony between the mind and the body. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root Yuj, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’.
As per ancient Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga is believed to lead to the union of individual consciousness with that of the universal consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man and nature. The origins of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, however, some researchers have also stated that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old.
Yoga does not follow the rules of any particular religion, belief system or community. The first ever International Day of Yoga was observed around the world on June 21, 2015. Nearly 36,000 people, including PM Narendra Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, were a part of the celebrations in India.