Yoga Mail

By Vijaya

In order to not be stunted in a certain limited idea of growth, world and self, realisation of truth has to happen. Who gives this realisation? Life does and so does the Master of life. At what age better than those confusing, unsettling teenage years?

Teenagers are often not taken seriously. They are told what to do all the time and not listened to much. If we look back, the hardest path to thread in life were those tumultuous years. Hence, blessed is the growing child that gets the right guidance at the right time in its life-journey.

Times have changed and so have the issues faced by students. Somehow, when right knowledge with the right kind of emotion and attention have not been given over a long period of time, it’s a tendency in teens to form walls around themselves, become uncommunicative, and in extreme cases, rebellious. When someone shows love, compassion and respect; gives attention and talks to them about the path of wisdom, awareness and inner growth, which they probably never heard of, their beings are surely shaken up. This will definitely have a deep impact in their hearts and minds.

Master Manisekaran does not need any introduction. Seated on the stage with more than 120 students from 4 different schools around the Tangkak, Johor area in front of him, he was in his full element, injecting a lot of sense into these students, directly addressing their issues… giving solutions, courage and yoga-based motivation… For in yoga itself all knowledge, techniques and solutions for all human issues are already present, including for teenagers.

Yoga was introduced as a powerful tool to grow peace, safety and security within and around themselves.

Thus they did a full set of Joint Exercises, Surya Namaskar, Yoga Nidra, Asanas, ranging from simple to advanced – which included Bakasana, Head-to-toe pose, Side-angle Bakasana, Hanumanasana, Kukutasana and Sirsasana – Kapalbati (cleansing) and four other important Pranayama techniques. With all these, they also learnt the philosophy of yoga.

The students followed keenly every asana that was done and were all ears on every message Master delivered. Most of them had no experience with yoga before and we could see how it was challenging, but at the same time, had an awakening effect on their blooming bodies and minds.

Some school teachers, parents, Malaysian Yoga Society youth-wing leaders (Sreenivasan, Abi, Reasigan, Vinay and Sri Ram); the great volunteer-cum-karma yogi Puan Pushparani, Priya, Milhe (from South Africa) and me, were there assisting him. Master touched on many of the teenagers’ issues in this time and space, and spoke very clearly on the dangers of becoming slaves to the evil influences of the world.

He does not mince his words when delivering his messages. With a force akin to piling (for the base has to be strong to hold the structure), he explained to them about their role and need to put themselves on a steady path of growth to become humans who are looked up to by the society and not the other way around. The dangers of falling into the traps of gangsterism, boozing, clubbing, smoking or drugs… are ever present, and the message was to be very strong individuals who can say “NO” to things and experiences that will lead their lives down the drains.

The teenagers were told how the laws of karma operate so they realise that “what they put their hearts, minds and efforts to sow”, is what they get to reap. Good begets good and bad begets bad. A wise child there, among the 120, that had heard and realised, is that adult – one day in future – will be at the forefront of his/her chosen field and life.

The mini camp, held from 7.30am to 1.30pm at SMK Tun Mamat, Tangkak, was organised by a dynamic team of teachers and the Hindu Sanggam of Tangkak, Johor. Let’s see what some of the students shared:

  • I understand now what the term Karma means and though I have done things that may have caused others hurt or something I’m not proud of, I will be more aware of my words, attitude and actions from now on. I’m determined to change myself.
  • I have done yoga before by watching YouTube, but today I understood it deeper and realise how important it is to incorporate breathing with the asana, how long it should be held and how to do it in a proper way.
  • I do yoga and meditation regularly with my family and my father is a PHD student who is also doing research in yoga. He often shares with us the importance of yoga and encourages us to practise daily. My sisters and I follow that advice, and it has helped us greatly to concentrate more in our studies and maintain good grades in school.
  • I understand the meaning of doing service and I hope to grow up and do service to my family and society, and become a good person and a good leader.
    I will be more aware of the words I use and will not use bad words anymore.

There was a lot of sharing, awakening and realisations. We have accomplished our mission in Tangkak, Johor, for now. Hopefully, there would be follow ups. But I’m sure, amongst those children, some at least, saw that leadership quality rearing its head within them. We are off to other places now, continuing this “Seva” (service)… something that Master said all of us need to do, for service to mankind is service to God. Let’s stay humble and do our very best.