True Yoga?

Yoga has become a fad the world over. You or someone you know is probably attending a yoga class. Right?

But, how many know whether their yoga teachers are actually qualified? Yes, a yoga teacher needs to be properly trained. This sometimes involves months of initial training, but years of work with a guru. A yoga teacher should not just have done a weekend or week class somewhere before starting his/her own class.

Many people are not aware that yoga is actually a science. It does not only involve body exercises. It encompasses wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not meant to make a person lose weight. Neither is it meant to be done in fancy gym outfits. If that’s what you’re doing yoga for, then I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong. You’re also being disrespectful to an ancient Indian knowledge that is now recognized by the United Nations as an intangible cultural heritage.

If your teacher/trainer has not done a proper yoga course with a legitimate guru then I’m sorry to say, but you could be doing yourself considerable harm. Fly by night yoga studios, trainers and teachers are popping up everywhere these days. But did you know that this is no longer allowed in the US? People must now have proper credentials before they can teach yoga.

That’s because if yoga is done incorrectly it can actually cause more damage to your body than good. If you have been attending yoga class and find that you are now aching, then my friend, you have a teacher who knows not what he/she is doing.

Yoga postures are called asanas. These must be done in a certain way for them to be most beneficial. If they’re randomly chosen according to a teacher’s liking then it will definitely spell trouble for your body down the line.

If your teacher does not mention even one word of Sanskrit during a class – aside from Namaste of course – then he/she hasn’t learnt yoga by a proper guru. Naming asanas as dog pose, tree pose etc has become common. But if someone trained in yoga wholly is teaching it, he/she will not revert to such words or names as he/she will understand the importance of doing yoga correctly.

Asanas are only a tiny percentage of yoga. Yoga as a whole includes asanas, meditations, sadhanas and a whole lot more. Yoga is meant to give you a complete balance in life.

There is nothing wrong with doing yoga. But there is definitely something wrong with taking people’s growing appetite for wellbeing, exploiting it and then attempting to do classes without the necessary knowledge, just to make a few extra bucks.

Find out from your teachers where they studied, how wide is their knowledge of yoga and test their knowledge of asanas. If your teacher does not even practice meditation but is busy teaching yoga, then you’re in the wrong place and may be on the road to causing considerable damage to yourself.

Lastly, respect for the ancient knowledge, its origins and its torch bearers are vital. If one is merely doing asanas without being aware of any of these, then the point of yoga has been lost on such a person.

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Let’s talk about love baby, let’s talk about you and me…

These lyrics run through my head as I ponder ‘love’. I’ve been watching people and realizing that this world is becoming a place where people utter the words ‘I love you’, but their actions don’t really reflect it.

Everybody says ‘I love you’, but do they really mean it? How do you know anyway?

If you believe that love is the chemistry felt between two people, or the ever present people in your life then sadly you are wrong.

If you have not been through the spiritual mill, you’d be forgiven for thinking that love is the chemical reaction that runs through your body at the touch, look and thought of someone. You’d forgiven for thinking that love is someone who is always there. You’d be forgiven for thinking that love is someone who is always on your mind. Hell you’d be forgiven for thinking that love exists between people just because they are family or friends.

Love is space more than anything else. Love is allowing someone to be who they want to be. Love is never giving up on someone no matter what. Love is truth – brutal, bitter, ugly truth. Love is not just about being physically present. Love is about being. Love is about understanding. Love is about small acts of niceties and courage.

In this fast paced world love has become something of a business deal. Let’s be together, but first let’s see what we have to offer each other. Tick all the boxes and hey you’re mine and I’m yours. But for how long can you sustain something like this? At some point a feeling will arise in the pit of your being and nag you until you give in and admit that you’ve done it all wrong and that material comfort does not qualify for love. It saddens me to see how people go about relationships these days, to see that money and material comforts mean much more than actual, real people.

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Change your thoughts, change your life

Your world and your life as you know it is full of infinite possibilities. The trick is knowing how to tap into those. I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again about how you can create anything you want if you’re just positive. Well, if that was as simple as it sounds we’d all be walking around very happy and very successful, but that’s not the case.

So the question is how do you tap into these infinite possibilities. Yes, being positive is helpful, but you have to remember to add positivity into everything you do. Constantly! It should become a way of life. Speak positive AND think positive. It’s not just about speaking positively. You have to also think positively. If done continuously, it would eventually become a part of life. Soon, you will start to notice change happening. Things will start happening for you that you’d always wanted, but could somehow never get. Avenues will open up for you. Automatically. With no action on your part. The universe will literally begin to respond to you.

But when I say positive I mean never talking down to yourself, never putting yourself down or thinking that you could have done something better. If you did your best on something, think that, know that, and then try to better it next time. But never say something like: that was a useless attempt. Or I could have done that better. The more you think that you did the best you could and that that was a great job, the more you will start producing great stuff. If you keep telling yourself how amazing you are, you will be amazing. It is just that simple. And there’s a simple reason for it. Your subconscious and the universe picks up on these thoughts, words and feelings and turns them into reality.

The universe listens and responds to you, whatever you say. So if you cry poverty, you will remain in that situation. If you talk about how your vehicle continuously breaks down – guess what? Your vehicle will always give you problems. If you talk about how much you hate your boss, you will never have a great relationship with your boss. If you talk about how much you love your job, you will always have great days at work. If you talk about how things always work out for you, then whatever it is you try to do will always be successful.

So the solution is simple. Change your thoughts, beliefs and words and change what happens in your life. Once armed with this information, make the necessary changes in your life. Changes begin to happen immediately and that’s because the universe responds to everything. It does not pick and choose. So if you want to have a better day from tomorrow, wake up with that thought. And remember to always be grateful. Being grateful and appreciative for all that you have and for all the good in your life, will automatically attract more for you to be grateful about.

Have fun and enjoy turning your life around!

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The universe has a secret that is just waiting for you to discover it. Thousands of books have been written about it, yogis and sages and spiritual masters have tried teaching it, but still tens of thousands of people remain ignorant to it.

Yes, the universe does have secrets and they’re quite magical. But they’re only secrets until you figure them out and realize that the universe is there to do your bidding – 24/7. Once you figure that out, you’re basically on the road to achieving your wildest dreams and fantasies.

I’ve always been more spiritually than religiously inclined and as I journeyed deeper into the realm of spirituality I found life becoming simpler and simpler. Why? Because spirituality enables and guides you on the path of letting go – letting go of your worries, fears and doubts. And once you’ve let go of all of these there’s basically and quite simply no stopping you. Simply because once you stop worrying and fearing what may happen, you open yourself up to every possibility of what could happen and you then find yourself in a space where you ask and then receive. Sometimes you just have to think about something and the next thing you know it’s right there – all yours.

Sounds too good to be true, you say. Well, the truth is we’re born with the right to have anything and everything we could ever want. But as we grow older we begin to fear, worry, doubt and act in desperation. These things block our paths. Simply because we create what we think and what we believe and the more we ponder on our problems and on everything that could go wrong – which is what most human beings essentially do – we create more of those problems for ourselves. They will never go away if you keep your mind on them all the time. If you think back to incidents in your life you’ll realize that this is true.

The universe is there to give you whatever it is that you want. All you have to do is ask and when you ask make sure not to worry about how you’re going to get it and when you’re going to get it. That is not your job. That is for the universe to decide. Remember once you ask there is no way that you can’t get what you want as long as you stop worrying about how you will get it, when you will get and whether you need to do anything to acquire it. Once you start thinking about those things you automatically create a block in your path to receiving because you are then still focusing on what you don’t have. When you focus on what you don’t have, you’re basically telling yourself, telling the universe that you don’t have something and the universe which picks up on the messages you send it only, will just create more patterns of you not having that. You may know the saying: Ask and you shall receive. Nowhere does it ask you to figure out how, why or when. If you’re having a hard time controlling your thoughts and inner feelings of doubt, fear and worry try a spot of meditation. Open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities, of miracles and power. Try it just once. Aside from the new and wonderful things you’ll create for yourself, you’ll open yourself up to a life free of worry and doubt and that is magical in itself.

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Get Out Of Your Own Way

So my book has finally been launched. And what a lovely success it was. I feel so blessed and loved. So many people turned up to support me and this new, exciting venture of mine. Posting now a Q and A done with me. The first time that I’m on the other side of an article in a newspaper. Not my byline on the page, but a feature on me and the book. Hope you enjoy it!!!

Q and A with Newcastle’s latest author

Yasheera Rampersadh, a former Newcastillian, has launched her maiden book in Johannesburg this week.

Yasheera Rampersadh, a former Newcastillian, has launched her maiden book in Johannesburg this week.

‘Changing your thoughts to change your life.’

This simple sentence encompasses part of the message contained within the pages of Yasheera Rampersadh’s newly-published book, Get Out Of Your Own Way.

A former Newcastillian, Yasheera launched the book on Wednesday in Johannesburg.

Shortly before this, the Newcastle Advertiser enjoyed a question and answer session with this proud ambassador for the town:

Tell me about your life in Newcastle, where you went to school and what activities you participated in.

I schooled at Suryaville Primary School, St Oswald’s Secondary School and then I completed my schooling at Lincoln Heights. I was always a good student. I didn’t always

participate in extra-curricular activities, but I always took part in school concerts and plays.

I realised I wanted to become a journalist when, in Matric, I won a writing competition and was chosen to experience the life of a journalist at Rhodes University for a

week. At the time, the principal didn’t want to let me go because the trip was to take place during first term exams, but my dad made sure the opportunity did not go to waste and told him it’s OK if I don’t get any marks in the first term exams.

I went to Rhodes, loved what I saw and learnt there, and then returned home and started applying for journalism spots at tertiary institutions. I also then worked very hard to make up the lost marks in the rest of the Matric year and finally got accepted to study in Durban.

Your career path as a journalist, how did this influence your decision to write a book?

I studied Journalism at the Durban Institute of Technology. I went on to do my internship at OFM in Bloemfontein and then moved to Johannesburg to work at SAPA (South African Press Association). There I worked in various roles: I worked as a reporter in the field and then worked as morning news editor. In my seven years at SAPA, I was also seconded to Sydney to the Australian Associated Press for a while. I also worked as a Parliamentary reporter in Cape Town and then returned to Johannesburg to start up SAPA’s multimedia operations.

After seven years, I felt the need to move on and joined eNCA – eTV’s 24-hour news channel. I am currently an output editor there. I put news bulletins together, decide

what goes into the bulletin, what order, headlines, interviews etc. I decided to write the book last year.

It’s always been a dream of mine to write a book. But I decided to write a motivational book after I realised the importance positive thinking and self-belief has in achieving your goals and dreams and creating a life that you want, the way you want it. Journalism paved the way for me to be able to write the book confidently. My experience as a journalist helped me create something I knew will be readable and accessible to the public. It provided a platform for me to make my dream a reality.

Publishing is a daunting part of the process for many writers – how did you go about ensuring the book went to print?

I self-published the book. I did some research and found in this information age we’re living in, you can basically do anything yourself – using the internet. I first published the book late last year on Kindle. I submitted a copy to them, which they checked and then okayed and published. I then contacted a printing press in Cape Town. They helped me put the book together and design the cover. I’m still busy talking to distributors about getting the book in stores, but it is being launched in the meantime.

I was lucky enough to have Skoobs Theatre of Books at Monte Casino agree to host my launch. The book should also be in libraries around the country soon.

What was your biggest challenge of the entire process?

The biggest challenge in the whole process is distribution. Your distributor is very important – more important than your publisher. Finding the right distributor is important if you want to get the book on the right shelves. This takes a bit of time – a couple of months even.

Have you other book ideas planned and will they be of the same genre?

I do have other books planned; I want to make this a series. So the second book will be of the same genre, but a sub-topic. I won’t be revealing all of the details just yet. I actually started off with the intention of writing children’s books and somehow ended up with this one.

Why would you recommend a person purchase your book?

The book is about positive thinking and self-belief. It tells you how your thoughts and words impact your life. We sometimes don’t realise how the things we say about ourselves or how the thoughts we think keep us from achieving what we want.

People tend to blame bad luck, karma and even God for all that goes wrong or doesn’t work out. But the truth is you are what you think. You are what you believe you are. So for example, if you cry poverty, you will remain in poverty; if you think you always get the bad end of the stick, then nothing will ever work out for you.

The book was initially intended for students and people starting their lives. I believed the information was important for them to know and understand so they could ‘create’ the life they wanted. I think they should definitely read it because it will help change their thinking, and in turn attract all things good to their lives right from the start. But it’s actually a book anybody can read. If you want to achieve a dream or goal, turn your life around or just start living a more positive life, then it’s a book you should read.

Explain briefly how your experiences helped shape the content of the book, and how it felt to pen something from quite a personal standpoint?

I’ve always been very spiritual. Being a part of the Sai Organisation, I was taught, just like most spiritual organisations, that positivity is important. But it’s not easy to understand this until you’re faced with a situation where you’re forced to look within and introspect. So I started doing this about two years ago. I also started meditation and through that whole process I stumbled upon several philosophical works on the subject. I began to put all these teachings to practice and found amazing results.

I found you can create something as simple as a parking spot for yourself or you can literally define how much you earn. I also found in the whole process of effecting good change in your life, it is important for there to be balance. In other words your spiritual, mental and physical beings need to be well fed. So you must eat right, exercise and meditate.

Self-belief also plays a very important role in it all. Basically we’re not here to find ourselves, we’re here to create ourselves. And the lesson here is you can create anything you want, nothing is impossible. It was quite a difficult task writing something from a personal standpoint because I was not sure what people who knew me would think after reading it. But I put all that aside and decided this information needed to be shared with people. It may already be out there by various writers but this is packaged in a short, precise and simple-to-read book. A few quick pointers and you’re on your way to creating magic!

In conclusion…

I’d also like to say it was not just journalism or spirituality that’s helped me in this process. It was also my parents, Satish and Shirlini Rampersadh and my granny, Mrs Beni. Their love and support over the years played a big role in it all. They are broad-minded and extremely supportive and have helped me grow so very much. They’ve allowed me to always choose the paths I was most comfortable with, even if went against what society thinks or believes. For that, I will always be very grateful. They are encouraging and helpful and I think that gave me the courage to write exactly what I felt and then get it published.

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Eyeing those wrinkles

Right at the top of my shopping list this month is eye cream. One of those overnight-wonder eye creams they advertise on TV hopefully. The never-bought-before-despite-mum-saying-I-should addition to my shopping list comes after I looked myself in the mirror recently and noticed tiny little wrinkles around my eyes. Shock, horror!!! Where did they come from? I’m supposed to still be a young darling. No, really! And even though I think that the wrinkles do add a little character and actually make my smile and my face look better, I still think I gotta slow down the appearance of these wrinkles on my face. But as I think about buying eye creams I also think about all those sayings I used to read about aging adding character and beauty to a person. I kinda see that now. I must admit, I take good care of myself… eat right, work out, read right, dress right so the rest of me is looking sharper and more toned than ever before. I think however that some of that comes from a new found confidence one gets when you hit 30. You suddenly find yourself more comfortable and at ease with who you are and that reflects on your outward appearance. Nevertheless no woman wants to see wrinkles around their eyes each time they laugh. Maybe this is what drives people to plastic surgery and botox. No? Off now on my search for eye creams and I’m no doubt going to return shocked at the prices, but it must be bought.

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