Yoga has given us the possibility to live a conscious life
Thanks to karabas.live for sharing the experience.
The leaders of the Ukrainian band, well-known in Europe, shared their spiritual experience on International Yoga Day.
Today, for the fourth time, humanity celebrates the International Yoga Day. This spiritual practice, or rather lifestyle, has been increasing in popularity in Ukraine for years. The greatest yoga fans on the local musical scene are the members of the band ATMASFERA.
Their concerts are prayer, ritual dances and congregational chanting of mantras, all in one. With this exotic and special self-presentation on the scene, Atmasfera have gained the interest of listeners in many countries – for many years they have been welcome guests at European festivals.
For Yoga Day, we have asked the leaders of the band, the sisters Kalindi and Yamuna, to tell us how yoga has changed their lifes.
I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years. It all started with my parents, who became vegetarians, when I was 8 years old. My parents have always been interested in spiritual development, and so Mum started practicing bhakti-yoga, and Dad became fond of Buddhism.
From childhood on, fundamental questions came to my mind: “Why am I here?”, “What is all of this for?”, “Am I eternal?”, “What’s up there beyond the edges of the sky?”
For a long time, I was sceptical about yoga. When I was learning in the conservatory, it seemed to me that music was my purpose in life, the supreme beautiful which is possible. At that time, I had a certain circle of association which I was dependent upon. I cared about what my musician friends thought about me. I wanted to feel “comfortable”. My sister and me were always seen as strange due to our vegetarianism anyway. And here was something strange, foreign, not Ukrainian. Yoga did not fit into the local framework at all. It was easier to be like everyone else in order to be accepted by society.
Only 6 years later I developed the desire to understand what is the essence of bhakti yoga. I saw positive changes in my Mum. She had become different… More buoyant and happy. This realization was wonderful.
I remember how one time I was walking on the street and caught myself thinking that at that moment, I was feeling somehow better then ever. I started analyzing and realized that at this moment I hadn’t been thinking about myself. The root of my unhappiness and depression was my self-centeredness. It’s a paradox: We think that the more we will care about us “loved ones”, the happier we will be. But the secret is that it’s the other way around: The less we think about ourselves, and more about others, the happier we are. Yoga has helped me see my egoism and my self-centeredness. It teaches us how to work on one’s own imperfections instead of looking for them in others.
Meditation has helped me to distance myself from my fears and understand that their source is egoism, fear about my status.
The process of bhakti yoga is not just physical exercises as many people might think. It’s an ideally designed system, a spiritual practice, which has given me the possibility to understand what is the essence of my life and which gives a clear instruction on how to attain real happiness and self-realization. The confusing mixture of puzzles which had been in my mind got sorted into a complete and logical picture. I now had the opportunity to know what laws exist in the material world. To receive a special instruction what to do with my life.
Most people live on planet Earth and don’t know this instruction. Each of our actions has certain consequences. Yoga also brings the understanding that love is what everyone needs and that it doesn’t divide people into religions, skin colors and nationalities. It’s like food without which you cannot really exist. For me, yoga has become like an instrument which brings me closer to such love.
Yoga gives me the possibility to live a conscious life. Before I started practicing, I had many different fears, already from when I was a child, and I even had stagefright before my performances. To be honest, this really depressed me and I was thinking a lot about the nature of fear and where it comes from. When I started to do yoga, meditation and increasingly realize my eternal nature, all these fears started fading into the background.
I would not say that the fears have disappeared completely, but when something comes up, I understand why and what to do with it. Meditation has helped me distance myself from my fears and understand that their source is egoism, fear for myself, for my status, fear of the unknown, fear to lose what I have, fear to not be accepted. That is fear for myself and my extended self: “Mine”, “my family”, “me”, “me” and again “me”…
We don’t have panic-fuelled fear about our neighbor or the old lady in the tramway. Overall, we don’t care what will be with them. Or at the most, something comes up inside and we feel sorry for five minutes?
When I started meditating, I started seeing myself from a distance. This is so important that you make some time every day to meditate. That you can be alone, distance yourself from all problems, from the noise of the city and even from your mind and go into the depth of your heart. There you can realize and see so much. This helps you understand what you are here for, why do what you are doing and where to go further.