The well maintain green lawn, just next to polo ground, surrounded by army buildings in typical red and white color, the adjacent Hothan Hall, beds of red roses, and pink and yellow flowers, the gentle sun and the lively company of ex-army families was a memorable setting to experience Yoga for the very first time.…Right on the schedule, the Yoga group of Faiz Ghar, Lahore, spread their mats on the well mowed lawn. It was their annual recreational trip where I and my daughter were invited as guests. I was a novice at Yoga and was hesitant to join the activity. Finally, the encouraging words and smiles of the groups convinced me there was no harm in trying. And, for everything, there is always a beginning.
I looked at the bright faces; the quiet, peaceful and fresh atmosphere whispered something into their ears and an urge of meditation was imprinted into their eyes. There was a friendly conspiracy between them and nature. Influenced by it, I also spread my mat on the grass. And, following others I sat like a Yogi, up straight and both hands on my knees.
Before coming to this point, I had a different image of the yoga instructor…He must be a man of 50 years….quiet, kind, cool and self-absorbed…wearing a dhoti and vest like Hindus, engaged in meditation and yoga…But I was surprised to see the yoga instructor, Shamshad. He looked like around 40 years. Lean, medium height, kind faced with trimmed small beard, long hair tied up in a ponytail, and dressed in cotton pant and T-shirt, he appeared as a very active, well-versed, polite and knowledgeable person.
The session started with the talk of Col. Wajid, who shared his research on Yoga. He told us that Yoga prevent us from too much and pointless thinking, ego and illusion that messed up our everyday lives and caused us pain, stress and disease.
Now, I was expected the Yoga to be started, but Shamsad stood up, and said, like every session there is a story in the beginning. He related a story where a king tested his three sons in order to choose the future king among them and gave them 1 sack of wheat individually to take care of and leave the country for some business. On his return, he found his eldest son got his wheat grains spoiled because he had kept them into a locker for safety purpose. The second son sold his wheat sack and bought a new wheat bag on the return of his dad. The third one used his wheat grains to sow the new wheat crop and he showed his crop to his father. So, the king chose his third son to be a king.
At the end of the story, Shamshad concluded:
Same is the case with humans. Some of them don’t use their abilities and talents and they destroy themselves. Some of them act like the 2nd prince, they just maintain themselves but don’t grow. And, the last group of people use their capabilities and potentials to grow, while turning their dreams into realities, and, building a cherishable and meaningful life for them.
For a successful life, we need cleansing on each and every step. We need to free us from stress, holding on the past, demons, and mental and physical ailments. And, yoga does the miracle for us. It gives our mind an endless power to be cured and healthy again.
It starts with meditation:
Shamshad asked us to sit straight with hands on our knees and closed eyes.
We took some deep breaths in the fresh air.
We freed ourselves from all the evil, like stress, and, pointless and harmful thinking by emptying our minds.
Shamshad asked us to unburden our heads, shoulders, arms, chest, back, and so on…and we did. I felt as if we did so in the form of waves where all the mental and physical tension and anxiety melted down in minutes.
Now, we were ready for the other two steps, physical postures and workout. By the end of yoga, an absolute soothing feeling rushed through the whole body and I felt myself fresh, strong and energetic. All the stress and depression was gone! I looked at life with a fresh and positive perspective and rediscovered the ambitious real me that was lost in the dust storm….
Wow! Thanks to Yoga trip!