Friday, July 15, 2011

Nagin Sanghavi - a 93 year old teacher - how does he do it?

I have sat by Nagindas' side for 3 talks now and today & tomorrow one more each day is coming.  He chose two subjects: Hindu god's & goddesses and what their mythology means (with stories!) and the philosophy of Yoga - more about the 8-limbed path of yoga - what being a yogi really means. (not the physical exercise - that's a start)...

As I watch and listen to him speak, I am so amazed by his powerful delivery of words.  He talks about the power of the practice of yoga, self reflection, practice of improving yourself each moment, observing yourself and taking good care of yourself.  He speaks about true yoga being all of that and more in order to make a difference in the world around you.  He talks about where different aspects of yoga have come from many religions, but yoga is not a religion.  One surprise we heard was that Christianity added the aspect of service to others as a practice.  That this was not a part of yoga before Christ.

That these Hindu gods are for us to emulate.  That they are or perhaps were, real human beings that became gods because of their gifts:  wisdom, generosity, a willingness to give everything, power....

I am most touched by this 93-year old man, who emulates a true yogi, yet says that he is not one.  He still gets angry, upset, he says (although I have not seen it in the two days I have spent with him so far).  He is simple, humble, yet when he speaks, it is with a really powerful, booming voice & great authority.  And strength.  His posture is perfect when he speaks.  His words are delivered with precise intentionality.  His mind is more sharp than I can comprehend.  Just when I think he might be at a loss for words because he pauses, he delivers a powerful sentence that has me once again, looking at myself and having me ask my self - am I patient?   Do I practice without ceasing?  A true yogi is that, practices for a very long time with out ceasing.  Practicing by observing thoughts, actions, emotions, and trying always trying to improve.

Two more opportunities are coming this year to listen to him: today at 11 am at Yoga Prairie studio, and tomorrow at 3 pm at Om Collective studio in Minneapolis.  (see for more info)

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