In my first innings with yoga years back, I took it up as a form of exercise. Inspired by my octogenarian yoga master, I tried and soon gave up saying I am too busy, only to realize later that the real reason I gave up — I did not connect with the purpose.
I grew, along with my company. It took a lot from me mentally, physically, emotionally, and I started equating my existence and identity with my company. At one stage, I realized that I need to guard myself against the “I” phenomenon, and then, a leadership program at Isha Foundation changed my outlook. It made me question the way I was leading my life. I looked into myself and got connected with my inner self. One of the things I saw there was how humble appreciation and the joy of recognition in response are beyond ‘give and take’ or material benefits, contrary to norms of the world outside. This time, I was able to connect with the purpose of yoga and experience the real benefits.
No more do I see yoga as mere exercise. Once I experienced the other dimensions of yoga, my lifestyle – food habits, quality of sleep, and other physical activities — changed. It brought about a positive change in my leadership. Taking my team along, I could define the purpose of the company beyond business aspects like products, services, differentiators, technology, and people. I matured with improved clarity of thought, deeper reflection, patience, humility, consistency in thoughts, words, and action, and mental and physical alertness. I could stop attaching intentions to others’ words and actions and improve relationships, replacing reaction with a response. That we are a constant work in progress, made me understand and accept the difficult fact that I don’t know most things and there is, and will always be, so much more to learn. It took me time, but I improved as a person, and could, without being judgmental about others, address their behavior or personality. Once I understood the depth of yoga’s principle – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, I actually started transforming myself. My perception of life changed.
As Sadhguru says, we will be able to handle upgrades and downgrades in life better, if we work on upgrading our internal software. He also says you cannot separate work from life. There is just life – work, family, pleasure, are all part of it. The purpose of yoga in life is to improve the quality of life’s experience. Finding the purpose or the ‘why’ is the key to engaging wholeheartedly with anything that we intend to take up. Once the larger purpose is understood, we can deal with the mundane in a completely different manner. The purpose, however, is not to be confused with a goal. Unlike a goal, it doesn’t have an end date. The purpose of yoga is to align your body, mind, emotions, and energy with the universe, which may take several lifetimes to accomplish. The purpose is to elevate your consciousness. This understanding itself is so humbling; our ‘perceived failures’ are nothing in comparison.