On the occasion of Fourth International Yoga Day on June 21, 2018, Sri Aurobindo Society organized a yoga session from 4.30 to 5.15 p.m. on Yogasanas & Pranayamas in the Society Hall in Pudhucherry. The demonstration was given by Kiran, a practitioner in the field of Integral Education at Sri Aurobindo Society and Yoga Shiromani, along with her 13 dedicated students.
Kiran has been conducting yoga classes for over the past 10 months (September 2017 onward) at Sri Aurobindo Society and has around 20 students taking her classes regularly. More than 25 people from all walks of life attended the Yoga Day programme.
Gayatri introduced the session with a quote from Sri Aurobindo’s writing which follows:
“In Hathayoga the instrument is the body and life. All the power of the body is stilled, collected, purified, heightened, concentrated to its utmost limits or beyond any limits by Asana and other physical processes; the power of the life too is similarly purified, heightened, concentrated by Asana and Pranayama. This concentration of powers is then directed towards that physical centre in which the divine consciousness sits concealed in the human body. The power of Life, Nature-power, coiled up with all its secret forces asleep in the lowest nervous plexus of the earth-being, — for only so much escapes into waking action in our normal operations as is sufficient for the limited uses of human life, — rises awakened through centre after centre and awakens, too, in its ascent and passage the forces of each successive nodus of our being, the nervous life, the heart of emotion and ordinary mentality, the speech, sight, will, the higher knowledge, till through and above the brain it meets with and it becomes one with the divine consciousness.” – Sri Aurobindo
Following the introduction, she listed the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual benefits of yogasanas that include, among numerous others, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and pulse rate; improving spinal curvature; helping prevent loss of bone density; providing a deeper appreciation for the present moment, or mindfulness; improving symptoms of certain neuropsychiatric disorders; fostering a greater sense of appreciation of each experience for what it is.
Apart from a collective demonstration of various yoga postures with background music, the participants also gave individual ones. Finally, the entire sequence ended with a fabulous tableau which was applauded by the audience.