By Das Sreedharan

The United Nations has confirmed June 21 as International Yoga Day after our prime minister suggested the same during his UN speech last year. This announcement definitely created a worldwide momentum in the direction of this Indian spiritual gift to the world. It was indeed a fresh start for our new generation and yet another big reason to understand India as the home to mystical science.

In a fast-paced and stress-filled urban life, many working professionals take up yoga seriously and it has made some difference to those who practice every day in the midst of their busy schedules. Restaurant workforce needed this badly too. Inspired by positive changes at work and encouraging initiatives by some yoga teachers to combine food and yoga, we developed two creative yoga retreats at Florence house near Brighton. That was an eye-opener to appreciate the popularity of yoga as people travelled from different parts of the world for a weekend. Live cooking and conversation made a tremendous difference to in the mood of the people. We added soothing Indian music to make the sessions more holistic.

Obviously healthy and tasty nourishment adds stimulus to the overall transcendence when the individual is closer to knowing his self. Some yoga masters today understand the power of spices and the feelings that go in Indian cooking. They say, “Through balanced food and yoga the mind will sustain its ability to impart more radiance to life.”

We found interesting people in groups like this who may have thought yoga could be a secret capsule to remedy their problems without any efforts in day-to-day life. A guru explains, “The significant step is to choose yoga for life ahead of material gains or opportunities. It’s a selfless quest to find your own roots and enjoy a blissful existence. You need to apply a meditational discipline every moment.”

Like in every part of the world, we had colourful events in many parts of London during the yoga day. In fact, we were invited to join a group in Hertfordshire to make their event attractive. It was more like a corporate celebration for publicity than helping a yoga cause. Some of these people appeared confused about the purpose of yoga as they take it, in the same way, like as they run their business. Chef Prasad and crew planned their own yoga at Hanover green. It was simple and beautiful to be around normal people.

The Divinity of karma, new hope, improved performance the ease at work and selfless giving are all features and outcomes of yoga. A healing smile replaced short temper, generosity liberated stinginess and serenity pushed ego out for good.