Welcome to a new series on the website. Every week we’ll be publishing one chapter of Namit Kathoria’s great e-book Yoga Sutra – The Seeker’s Story. This book is full of wonderful insights and teachings on Yoga and Meditation, and I think it will be very beneficial and enjoyable to all.
I would like to thank Namit for agreeing to have his e-book published on the website and for sharing his great knowledge of yoga with the rest of us so freely. This week, we start with Chapters 1 & 2. Below is an index of all the chapters, so you can see all the interesting topics there are to look forward to :-).
Chapter 1 - My Story
Chapter 2 - The Village
Chapter 3 - Yoga
Chapter 4 - Creation
Chapter 5 - Reason
Chapter 6 - Magic
Chapter 7 - God
Chapter 8 - Karma
Chapter 9 - Spirituality
Chapter 10 - Breath
Chapter 11 - Posture
Chapter 12 - Meditation
Chapter 13 - Balance
Chapter 14 - Eight Branches
Chapter 15 - Philosophy
Chapter 16 - Illusion
Chapter 17 - Light
Chapter 18 - Pride
Chapter 19 - Happiness
Yoga Sutra – The Seeker’s Story
Chapter 1 – My Story
Hi my name is Jake and this is my story. I once met a great man, a spiritual man in India many years ago who changed the way I see life.
I remember him and his insights into life fondly. I miss him, I miss his wisdom and I miss his sense of humour. I hope that by sharing with you the insights into life that he gave me I will remind myself of the time I spent with him in his village.
I remember the smells, the sounds, the calm and his laughter all as if it happened yesterday. I wonder sometimes if he thinks about me, if he remembers that he has a student who learnt great things from him just as I remember that I met a great teacher who truly taught me how to smile at the inner beauty of life.
This is my story of the yogi and this is my story of what I learnt in India all those seasons ago. All the happiness I have felt in my life since has been from my encounter with him.
Chapter 2 – The Village
I had been looking for so long, trying to find answers.
My whole life I had been wondering where do we all come from? What are we doing here in this world? Surely our lives are about much more that just going to work and eating?
I remember seeing all those sullen looking faces on the tube trains at home in London. I wondered if we had all misunderstood our reasons for being on Earth. I was sure that we are here to experience happiness and not sadness. Well I had these few weeks off from work and I was now enjoying myself exploring in some of the beautiful villages in the spiritual country India. The food in India was so nice.
My sister had been to India the year before. She had told me which foods to avoid and which to have and how to stay healthy but most importantly she told me about a very special village she had come across. She said that it just stood out and that it had so much natural beauty and so much peace and that I had to go there.
Well it took me a lot of bumpy rides to get there but I finally arrived. This village had a beautiful lake in the middle of it and it was at a bit of an altitude so the air felt really clean. All around were trees and everything smelt so fresh.
One thing I really like was that the pace of life here really seemed slow. People really had time for each other and always stopped to talk. It was so different to London. I decided definitely that this is where I was going to stay for the next few days if not until the end of my trip. I looked around to see if there was a hostel or hotel where I could leave my backpack and carry on exploring.
I found a small grocery store and asked very slowly ‘Is there anywhere nearby I can stay for a few days?’
The shopkeeper looked at me strangely. I then continued ‘Hotel, hostel something like that.’
‘Not in our village’ replied the shopkeeper ‘but you might be able to stay with the family across the road, sometimes they take a guest and the lady of the house cooks nice daal!’
‘Okay’ I said. I remember thinking that this may be more interesting than staying in a hotel.
After speaking to the family and leaving my backpack in my room I headed off back to the lake. I found a lovely tree by the side of the lake and lay down in its shade.
‘Ah life here is so relaxed’ I thought to myself. ‘Maybe this is all it was ever about?’ ‘Just the simple things. The best things in life really are free – the sound of the water, the sunshine, fresh air, an insect biting me on the neck.’ I chuckled to myself whilst lost in my thoughts.
Whilst in my half dream state I heard something rustling quietly behind me. I looked around and just by a ruined column I saw a kind looking Indian man dressed in patched up trousers and an old t-shirt upside down in a headstand.
‘Hey dude you might fall!’ I screamed at him.
The man raised his eyebrow – or lowered it actually seeing as he was upside down.
‘I am quite okay thank you.’ He replied.
‘What are you doing?’ I enquired.
‘Meditating.’ said the man who I now presumed to be some kind of yogi, that is someone who practices yoga.
Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows.
‘It helps me think,’ replied the yogi.
‘How so?’ I enquired further.
‘By making me feel relaxed.’ he replied.
‘Now wait!’ exclaimed the yogi who promptly shut his eyes. He really appeared very peaceful. His whole face changed. I could tell he was practicing some kind of meditation.
Several minutes later the yogi came out of his headstand and sat down next to me.
‘Nice to meet you.’
‘Nice to meet you too.’
‘What are you doing here? Not many travellers come to our village.’
‘Looking for a strange man who occasionally stands upside down’ I replied.
The yogi now chuckled to himself. ‘Really?’
‘No’ I replied in a firm way so as to make it obvious I was being sarcastic.
‘Then what are you doing here?’ he asked in a gentle tone.
‘Looking for answers I guess.’
‘To what kind of questions?’ asked the yogi now looking really interested.
‘I guess I really wanna know what is the meaning of life?’
‘Now that is a question!’ replied the yogi.
‘Come tomorrow at this time and meet me at the temple ruins just over there.’ The yogi pointed to the lovely temple nearby. It looked quite old and quite magnificent too. There was so much in this village that I was liking. It was no surprise that my sister had fallen in love with it too.
‘Okay’ I replied. I have to admit he had tickled my curiosity a bit now. I had this image of Indian spiritual teachers being quite wise and knowledgeable and understanding some of the deeper things in life. He seemed like a simple man and I think that was part of his charm to me. I definitely wanted to be his friend if nothing else.
[Stay tuned for Chapter 3: Yoga next week]
About Namit Kathoria
Namit Kathoria has a Bachelors Degree from King’s College London in Pharmacy and a Masters Degree in Clinical Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast. He is also a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and has worked the Pharmacist Advisor to NHS Direct. He hence has a vast knowledge of health which he applies to his yoga teaching. He has studied yoga across the world including various parts of his native India including Dharamshala, Rishikesh and Mysore. He currently teaches yoga retreats in Spain at Yoga Sutra Shala in Sayalonga. To read more please visit www.retreats-yoga.com.