My name is Yogacharya Rakesh, one of the founder-teachers of Samyak Yoga, Mysore India. I have studied along with Yogacharya Arvind in Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, a traditional Yoga-Vedanta Gurukula system of education for seven years. This is a traditional education system where you live with the teacher and learn the way of life. I have started practicing Yoga at the age of 16 under the guidance of my Guru Dr Ramachandra Bhatt, who is also the chief Acharya (main teacher) of Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore.
Yoga Interview with Samyak Yoga
Samyak Yoga: What is your favorite yoga practice and how does it benefit your life?
Answer: My Yoga practice has evolved over the years from practicing a particular asana style to go deeper into the subtle teachings Yoga has to offer. In the first few years of my Yoga practice, asanas were the stronger attractions and practice was defined by the style of asana practice I did. However, it evolved as time passes. Asana practice has become a vehicle in exploring what Yoga has to offer.
I always believed that practice on the mat should reflect in the way you lead your life. My Yoga practice has been one of the biggest influencers in transforming the perspective of life. As approach towards life changes it also helps in understanding oneself on the mat.
Samyak Yoga: What does Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga has to give the world that is unique?
Answer: One of the biggest contributions of Hatha Yoga is the stillness that it offers. Hatha Yoga by its approach is more about grounding the practitioner. In the world where the attention span is so short, the practice of Hatha Yoga makes you more attentive and rooted. Hatha Yoga by nature does not have decorations in its practice. Due to this, it helps in developing humbleness. It is more suitable for those who are ‘Sattva’ dominated by nature.
Vinyasa Yoga on the other hand is more of a moving meditation. There is an in-built stillness in the movement. If you are mindful in your movement, you can see the stillness of the mind. Therefore, though the method of practice is different, the goal is again to develop the stillness of the mind.
Samyak Yoga: According to you what are the greatest health benefits of Yoga?
Answer: Being mindful. Of course, there are a multitude of health benefits in terms of physical health. However, mindfulness is one of the foundations of building positive health system. The approach of Yoga is not to cure the diseases. It can be a by-product of it. The core principle of Yoga is to work on building the positive, light-filled life that can get better every day.
This in turn helps in reducing the stress level, increases the immunity system, enhances the ability to deal with illness, increases compassion and empathy and general health of the system.
Samyak Yoga: Which technique is more beneficial from Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation? Why?
Answer: Meditation is the most important one among all. It is for Meditation, we practice Pranayama. Proper Pranayama practice enhances the breath-mind system. It is for Pranayama and Meditation, asanas are practiced. Asana Practice is a vehicle to enhance the ability of Meditation practice.
Meditation however, is not an act. It is the result of mindful practice. You can not do meditation. You can only concentrate. Your complete immersion in the object of concentration makes you lose the identity of you being the subject, the process of concentration as well as the object of concentration. More often it occurs in life every day.
Through the practice of Yoga, it becomes a conscious act and the stillness of the mind which we define as meditation occurs.
Samyak Yoga: Important Yoga props and accessories you recommend for Yoga learner or beginner.
Answer: Yoga props can increase the ability to practice the asanas properly. An improper practice is not only inurious, but also can create improper patterns in the practice. Thereafter to unlearn these patterns will be a difficult task.
Use of props such as Yoga straps, blocks, chairs, bolster, cushion, even the proper use of wall will definitely enhance the practice of asanas.
Samyak Yoga: What advice would you give yoga beginners to motivate themselves?
Answer: First of all, you do not have to be flexible to start the Yoga practice. Yoga has no pre-requirements to start the practice. Everyone will have different levels of practice. As you continue practicing, you will start appreciating the abilities of the physical body. It will be quite evident how efficient body can be. The proper functioning of the physical body brings lightness, increases your immunity and ability to cope-up with different situations. It also helps in better breathing. The lightness of the physical body, proper usage of the breathing brings more lightness of the mind. Overall, it increases the efficiency of the human system.
Samyak Yoga: Please share some information about your brand, books or about your website.
Answer: I am one of the founder-directors of Samyak Yoga. I along with Yogacharya Arvind founded Samyak Yoga in 2011. We have been teaching Yoga Teacher Training Courses under Samyak Yoga. Over 1100 students from around 80 countries have participated in the courses offered by Samyak Yoga. We are located in Mysore, South India on the bank of Cauvery river offering residential courses in 200 hours and 300 hours (advanced yoga courses). We have also taught Yoga Teacher Training in Paris, Bali, Cambodia, Dharamsala (North India), as well as in Kerala (South India).
As we are located on the outskirts of Mysore on the bank of Cauvery river, it is easier to completely immerse in the practice and philosophy of Yoga. Hence we are “Best Eco Friendly Yoga Center – 2019” by Orpits – Kolkata.
Our student intake is limited to offer individual attention to every student. Every student is unique and a teacher should be able to observe, understand and offer practices suitable to each student. Hence, we are also awarded “Most promising Yoga center – 2019” by Silicon India.
Samyak Yoga: Say few words for our readers.
Answer: Practice of Yoga should make you experience the beauty of life. body-breath-mind coordination is a fundamental requirement of a healthy, conscious life. Practice of Yoga offers this coordination systematically. Yoga is not a belief system. It is a practice system. It stresses on the experience instead of belief. You will need to change anything. It just brings more awareness in your actions. Better awareness brings clarity in life and this in turn helps to explore the bright side of life.
Hence do not think much. Take a Yoga mat to start your journey. See you on the mat.