We live in a unique society where we may have some social disparities, but our culture is still what we have in common. My column hopefully reflects the fragment of India that we all experience in our day-to-day lives. I wield satire as my weapon of choice, and I try to put down on paper not just the way I see things but also as a light parody. The man of the house isn't really a one-dimensional character, who just exercises though that is what it may come across to a regular reader of this column, nor does my son wreck the house everyday (well he tries to mess things up daily but succeeds every fourth day), and I am really not a grumpy pessimist who moans at everyone but what I truly am (in a work-in-progress kind of way) is a believer who believes in only two things, science and yoga.
There is a great book called Yoga and Kriya by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (disclaimer-I have never met the gentleman and he doesn't know I exist) and since it's 957 pages long I am merely giving you the cliff notes: Well I guess this is a mix of my notes and the sacred tome's anyway.
Imagine that our minds and that of other people we encounter are just computers.Our behavior is the result of programming. The programming consists of everything we see and experience while we are growing up and therefore each person has a different program. When you meet someone and they perhaps are not behaving as you would expect; you have to step back and realise that it has nothing to do with you and they are just following their programming but that is difficult to do so because as humans we take everything personally.
Everyday we get up in the morning and reel under a barrage of perceptions; why did she say that? Does my boss not like me? Why didn't she invite me to that event?
All these thoughts stay in the brain and create mental dust. Our brain is this complex filing system and all our files are in reachable places, but sometimes you go in to get a file out and you get this dust of perceptions on your hand instead, and your perceived notions taint everything. Our reactions are also then based on this twisted version rather than the actual reality.
I use yoga as a tool to perhaps just joggle my mind out of the set programming that I have developed over the years; to change my immediate responses to stimuli and basically to fix what's broken and enhance what works well.
Okay so this is all the theory part, but if I just tell you to step back from yourself, you can read about it, you know it's the right thing to do but can you do it? No! It's pretty much impossible, but there is a technique that does allow you to reach into your mind clean this dust and put your files in order of priority; it's called breathing and meditation and doesn't take more than seven minutes. It consists of Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Anulom vilom and two minutes of intimate contact with your subconscious mind. There are enough Youtube tutorials that demonstrate these techniques and I also don't want to eat into the business of the few genuine and mostly bogus babas out there, but once you learn these, I can perhaps tell you a step-by-step sequence that I practice in order to clean my mental cupboard.
It helps me deal with people in a less abrasive way (God knows I need that skill in my repertoire) and makes me feel 100 times more confident then if I went without my daily practice.
For the practical course, catch me next week and if anyone starts calling me Baba Twinkdev for real, I will hunt you down and smash you in the face and say sorry, my programming makes me prone to violence.