4 years back, I had gone through a series of accidents. Yes. A series. Each in a gap of few months, just when I thought I had recovered from the previous one. The grand finale to these was when I was hit head-on by a Sumo jeep coming on the wrong side of the road, post which I was bed ridden for more than a month.
When I could gradually start walking, I went through a condition which no doctor, senior orthopedic, neurologist could diagnose, even after I took a dozen of tests, scans and x-rays. I used to go through an excruciating radiating pain on the right side of my body, from top of my head to my toe. It was like the sciatic pain, but from head to toe. If you’ve ever seen someone who has gone through it, you’ll know what I mean. The pain used to surface at random times during the day. Even to cook a meal, drive my bike, have a discussion at office, or just to stand for a few minutes turned out so difficult, as even a little stress on the body would kick-start the pain. It used to seem as if some of the cells in my brain just kept bursting out. Some doctors said it could be a case of ‘fibromyalgia’ and I just need to deal with it. I felt horribly helpless when I googled what it means. Tried ayurveda, homeopathy and naturopathy too. All this gave a temporary relief that lasted till I took the medicines or followed the diet or exercises, but would relapse when I stopped even for a few days.
Some doctors recommended that I just rest and don’t do yoga, others told the contrary. So, I was pretty confused as to what I should do, all that I wanted was to get rid of the pain.
Most of the days, I spent lying flat on the mat, at home and even took breaks to do the same at office. I felt horrible, depressed, stressed that I could not do what all others did – my colleagues, my schoolmates, my fellow Art of Living teachers, and everyone else in the world of my age did… The pain just intruded in all my daily chores. I went through this pain syndrome for more than 2 years.
When one day… I happened to meet Kashi bhaiya, the IIT-an turned yogi…
*Flash back: September 2005*…
My first acquaintance of Kashi bhaiya was 10 years back, when I was emotionally pushed into an advanced meditation program by my then friend, now husband. I was one amongst the 1000 other participants who had assembled early in the morning to learn yoga, 20km away from the Bengaluru city, on a weekday.
He moved from one posture to another with grace, poise and elegance and an enchanting smile. The best part was when I realized that I had started mirroring his smile and managed to stretch out more than what I possibly thought I could with my usually stiff body!
During the 5 days that he had taken the morning yoga sessions, it felt like I was almost taken to a different world where I experienced deepest rest and stillness from within. When I opened my eyes, I felt so fully refreshed and energized. The experience that I had was inexplicable. This made me get inquisitive – about yoga and about him. I was looking out what was different in Kashi bhaiya that his sessions were so deep, though I already knew some of the asanas that he tau
I love the way he explained the meaning of verses from ancient Sanskrit texts. Later, when I got to knw that he is one of those lucky ones who gets to do the private early morning yoga sessions with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, gets some intimate high level dosage of gyan from the ancient scriptures directly, in person from him, it was no wonder that he is so good at it. Also, he is one person who I have heard, Gurudev himself calls a ‘yogi’! 🙂 Isn’t that amazing?!
During one of the QnA sessions about what diet he follows, he replied – “what is the point of doing yoga if you can’t eat chocolates?”. He loves pizzas, pastries and all kinds of sweets as much as he loves doing yoga.
This has till date been one of the main reasons why I continued with The Art of Living… that I can eat what I like!!!
I would call him a techie-yogi. On one hand, he is a deeply centered yogi who literally ‘lives out of a suitcase’, be it at home or while he travels. On the other, he has his techie-self on taking yoga to mobile apps, YouTube videos, websites, social media with his latest in the market, cutting edge technology mobile phone.
Though Kashi bhaiya is one absolutely down to earth, always approachable, can catch him anywhere to get the answer to your question, anytime you meet him, he is also the International Director of The Art of Living Yoga, his name is Dinesh Kashikar on records. He is invited year-on-year by countries in the Far-East to Far-West to train yoga teachers who teach at various Yoga Studios & Yoga Centers – he makes yogis out of yoga teachers! He also teaches the Art of Living Yoga Teachers’ Traning Program, Vedic Wisdom Program, Happiness Program and the list goes on.
When I met him again after 2 years of pain, I asked him with doubt, if I can do yoga and will it really help me with my condition.
He immediately replied a with a firm ‘Yes! Of course!’. He prescribed and encouraged me to do the advance level Art of Living Yoga programs, including the Art of Living Yoga teacher’s training program – Haha, yes. The beauty of Art of Living Yoga is that I could even do it with an injured hip!
Through the programs that I did, I went through so many doubts and pain. The affirmation he gave, the amount of belief he had in the techniques and of course on Gurudev’s grace, boosted my faith that I continued the yoga regime taught.
Just in a month of practice, I recovered completely from the still undiscovered medical condition that I went through!!! The prescribed ‘pain-killer’ actually worked! 🙂
When I think of it now, I feel so awesomely grateful. Else, I would have never imagined that today, just one and a half years down the line of having that fragile hip and health, I would be looking at my 9 month old baby’s smiling face!
He is coming to Chennai next week, taking a 5 day-2 hour Art of Living Yoga program that you can do as a beginner, as well as attend if have already been practicing yoga. I am really waiting to repeat the program with him, though I have done the program several times before and now even teach it. But, I know it’s going to be special… 🙂
Dates that he would be here for the program: 3 – 7 August 2016.
Program Fee: Rs. 500 (includes 5 days, 2 hours of yoga sessions and getting to meet Kashi bhaiya 🙂. uff. That’s like dirt cheap man!)
Am waiting… As I wait, I invite you.
To know more about the yoga program and to register for it, you can visit the program page, by clicking on: tiny.cc/yogachennai
If you are in Chennai, please do yourself a big time favour by experiencing real restful bliss. 🙂 If you are not, and you really empathise with what I shared, please share it with your friends, as you may not know who might secretly benefit! Well, I never wanted to share with anyone what I went through, when I was actually going through it.
Let’s move together in experiencing the ‘infinity’’… (You might get this last sentence only if you read my post twice) 🙂 B-) Let me know if you got it! 🙂
Have you had a similar experience with yoga? Please do share it by dropping your comment below…
P.s.: Illustrations by – yours truly, me. 🙂