Living Yoga and Other Hobbies

In the past, many people who had enough free time took up some kind of hobby. Nowadays, with technology and other distractions, hobbies are far less popular. However, some people still collect, make or study things just for fun. One popular kind of hobby is any form of exercise, as it improves one’s health while also giving them a break from daily life. There comes a time in one’s hobby life when they consider taking the next step and making more of the activity than just a hobby. It is not always a success, but if it does work, that person can then lead a very fulfilling lifestyle. For example, to go from a novice or low level in something like yoga, to actually making a living out of it. Now, living yoga might not be every yoga fan’s cup of tea, as it may be oversaturation and therefore no longer a hobby. But for most it would be wonderful to enjoy one’s work so much.

Pure yoga nepal
Imagine doing something that is so beneficial and relaxing for an occupation. To take up yoga teaching would involve more than just quitting a job and starting yoga courses for your customers. It would require reaching a high level of the art in advance, and also performing pure yoga for a reasonable length of time. Then, once the appropriate level has been reached, one can start to teach. Living yoga really would be a great lifestyle in circumstances allowed it. Of course, there are other hobbies which can lead to careers. For example, scuba diving is for most people a sport that can be practised just once or twice a year. But there are also plenty of people who become addicted to it quite quickly and want to move up the ladder of different levels, until reaching Divemaster or Instructor.

living yoga
Normally, making a hobby into a career is a big step and it is usually only possible if that hobby can be taught or instructed. Yoga and scuba diving are just two simple examples, but there are plenty of others, such as hang gliding, golf, mountaineering or climbing. Of course, one must bear in mind that to maintain a constant income one needs to have regular customers and this can often require moving away from one’s home town or country. In addition, after a year or two, many people become bored of the activity that they once loved.

yoga courses

Beginner Yoga for Men

Exercise has become even more important in recent times, mainly due to our lifestyles and diets. Many years ago we didn’t have escalators or lifts or 12-hour days working in offices. In addition, our diets contained far fewer substances that cause the build-up of fat. Combined, these factors cause the need for more exercise. However, exercise is often not fun, can cause injury and is mostly inconvenient. Swimming is the best, but it requires a pool, time to prepare, swim, and shower and change afterwards. Jogging is a good cardiovascular workout, but damages knees and other joints. One of the best solutions was created thousands of years ago in what is now known as India. Yoga is proven to be a wonderfully healthy and effective form of exercise that can benefit experts and beginners alike. Moreover, it can be performed at any time of day and in almost any place where there are two square metres of floor space. For the beginner yoga may appear rather intimidating, but with good advice, some respectful training and a little patience, one can advance swiftly to become proficient, and at the same time healthier.

beginner yoga workouts

Unfairly, yoga is often regarded as a woman’s activity, or only performed by men who are less masculine than those in the gym or on the football field. Those men who are broad-minded enough to at least give yoga a try will soon realize the benefits and be able to perform in the gym, on the football field, or even in the bedroom much more effectively in a very masculine way. Nowadays courses and rooms that focus purely on yoga for men are becoming more available and more popular. Beginner yoga lessons are gentle on the muscles and joints, and do not leave the new students with any form of ache or pain. The improvement process is smooth and gentle and one does not become an expert overnight. Those who try too hard too early will only set themselves back further. This could also be said for any other form of exercise.

beginner-yoga

Of course, one needs to learn a little about the activity before trying to arrange their feet behind their head. A good teacher will be patient and understanding. A good school will have plenty of yoga pictures showing examples and a list of yoga workouts for all levels to practise.

beginner-yoga-for-men

The biggest step, especially for men, is the psychological one that restricts the taking up of yoga. The stigma of being thought of as a leotard wearer or a hippie is far from easy for any man to swallow, but that first hurdle is the only one that is difficult to pass. After accepting that it is beneficial in so many ways and discovering that other men, real men, are already performing yoga to help their performances in other, manly, activities, one can relax and enjoy a long and healthy life.

Kailash Yatra Coupled with Darshan with a Mahayogi

Yoga Retreats and TTC in Nepal and India: Yoga Teacher Training Courses Nepal, Retreats and Workshops Varanasi and Everest, Kathmandu Valley with Yogi-Nomad

Pilot Baba, a Mahayogi and  revered Hindu spiritual leader, was known as Kapil Singh before he turned to spiritualism. He was a pilot of  the Indian Air Force and during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, he flew several sorties over Pakistani territory. Reports say his bombings killed many. But he decided to leave that life after he had a near death experience while flying a MiG aircraft in 1966. read more….

Practicing Yoga Positions

Yoga Retreats and TTC in Nepal and India: Yoga Teacher Training Courses Nepal, Retreats and Workshops Varanasi and Everest, Kathmandu Valley with Yogi-Nomad

“More and more people are turning to yoga to improve their health and vitality, but even though the many exercises and different yoga positions can offer some very powerful benefits, there is still work to be done to establish vibrant health in your life.”

Yoga Retreats in India

 Yoga is an ancient spiritual concept that originated in the East, namely India and Nepal. Yoga is a reference to traditional physical and mental practices that have been used for thousands of years in India and the East and is now benefitting the lives of yoga practitioners throughout the world. Despite its philosophical look it has a physical basis that equals the spiritual. Yoga is a series of practices, action, method and technique that calms the mind and channels energy in positive directions.

 It is still not established as to precisely how long Yoga has been with us, but Yoga experts have so far concluded that the history of Yoga spans between 4000 to 8000 years ago to the present day. The earliest yoga findings have been found at the Indus Valley civilization’s sites, and these were active  around the Indus Valley region in India circa 1700 – 3300 BC. Of course, there will always be new discoveries and Yoga findings and no one as yet could give a definite timeline for this ancient tradition.

 Several seals were discovered at the Indus Valley civilization sites in North West India that showed people in meditative yoga like postures. Many experts agree that these seals were depicting a precursor of modern day yoga. One of the most well known and famous seals discovered in India was discovered by Sir John Marshall and is called the Pashupati seal. It depicts a three faced figure seated on a throne in a version of the Hatha yoga, a cross legged yoga posture. Both heels of the yogi sit directly under the scrotum and the yogi’s penis is erect, with the testicles clearly visible. The position of the heels is an advanced Tantric yoga known as Bhanda. This yoga method has been traditionally used redirect sexual energy and can give the practitioner spiritual powers. The figure on this seal is thought to be Shiva. On the right hand side of this figure a large tiger rears upwards facing him and some suggest it represents the yogi people and the Himalayan region, whereas a depiction of elephant on the Shiva seal represents Eastern India, the buffalo represents Southern India and the rhinoceros represents the regions to the west of in the Indus River.    

 Whatever the exact starting date of yoga is, one thing is very clear, India has had a long history with the practice of yoga and still today it is considered the primary place in the world to study and practice yoga. Many yoga practitioners wishing to take their yoga studies further often go to India for teacher training courses at the numerous workshops there. There are many teacher training courses in India that take place in workshops at ashrams and yoga retreats in India throughout the year.  And the number of yoga teacher training centres in India is growing yearly as the world grows smaller and more people are heading to India the spiritual heart land of Yoga, and learning how to pass on the yoga light itself, by teaching others this ancient practice from India.

Yoga practitioners who travel to India to practice yoga often beeline for the holy city of Varanasi and join one of the many yoga ashrams or yoga retreats that have established themselves there. For many westerners the ultimate yoga experience is to become part of an ashram in Varanasi, experiencing Indian culture first hand and practicing yoga to their heart’s content under the skillful guidance of experienced yoga teachers in a workshop.

 Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities where time and has stood still in many ways.  For several thousand years and still today Varanasi is one of the most religious areas of Northern India for Hindus and many will go there to be buried in the holy River Ganges that flows through the city.  Varanasi has been a centre of Indian philosophy, yoga, mysticism and Ayurveda for so long that many hard core yoga practitioners feel it’s almost a necessity to practice yoga in a Varanasi ashram to achieve a high level of yoga ability. Teacher training courses (TTC) and workshops are also available in many of the Varanasi ashrams and retreats and there is a constant stream of westerners travelling to India and in particular Varanasi to take their yoga practice one stage further and become a teacher of yoga at a teacher training centre. At Varanasi there is a great traditional of teaching yoga, learning yoga and practicing yoga and this tradition still carries on today in ashrams all over the city.

Yoga teacher training courses (TTC) in Varanasi and all over India are usually completed at ashrams or yoga retreats. An ashram is a place where students of Indian philosophies can go to study with experienced teachers and with as little as possible disturbance from the outside world. Ashrams in Varanasi are also called yoga retreats and a yoga class is called a yoga workshop.

Everyone is welcomed at ashrams in India, from beginner yoga practitioners to more experienced people that are taking teaching training courses in yoga workshops, hoping to one day become a yoga teacher themselves. Teacher training courses (TTC) include being taught how to understand, correct, assist, encourage and guide students in yoga. As well as this, the teacher training courses teach people practical teaching methods for yoga workshops, such as making yoga lesson plans and teaching educational techniques to explain the principles of yoga.

The widespread use of yoga throughout the western world is largely due to its health benefits, and many westerners with chronic health problems are now practicing yoga as a resort to tackle these issues.  Many people are now aware of the physical benefits of practicing yoga which include improved flexibility, greater strength, better concentration and improved posture.

The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings and is actually derived from the Sanskrit verbal root ‘yuj’ which means to “yoke” or “join” with the supreme spirit. A fair translation would be that yoga helps a person to absorb and reach a state of union with a divine spirit using the spiritual and physical practices of yoga.  Yoga is a scientific practice that teaches people the method of uniting the individual soul with the Supreme soul.

For more information about Yoga retreats and yoga teacher training courses (TTC) in Nepal can be found at Yogi-Nomad.org .