-marga (path) of ananda (bliss)
For the past few weeks I have been researching and practicing yoga for beginners. I have been looking for a yogi to teach me here in Iloilo but unfortunately I have not found anyone yet. But guess what – Facebook has solved my dilemma. A friend contacted me and introduced me to Ananda Marga Wellness Center. But before I get into more detail about Ananda Marga let me explain what “yoga” really is first to diminish the misconceptions about it. First of all, yoga is not a religion – it is a way of life, a lifestyle. Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit which is the language of ancient India where yoga originated, and it refers to the union between mind, body and spirit. Yoga practice involves physical postures or poses that involves stretching and creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. Each pose has specific physical benefits and can be done quickly in succession, heating up the body or more slowly to increase stamina and allow concentration on the alignment of the pose. Although the approach to each pose can vary depending on the type of yoga practiced, the poses remain the same. The benefits of yoga start with general well-being. It takes a broad holistic approach that teaches people a new lifestyle, way of thinking and way of being in the world.
The Ananda Marga Yoga Association is a non-sectarian lifestyle movement and the largest yoga organization in the world. They have been teaching yoga in the Philippines since 1967. Founded in India in 1955 by Shri Shri Anandamurti (aka Shri PR Sarkar), it is registered as a non-government organization (NGO) with the United Nations and is present in over 150 countries. Ananda Marga is unique in giving equal importance to both self-development and social service.
The physical yoga exercises (asanas) of Ananda Marga are ancient time-tested methods for improving and healing the body. Their techniques are classical and non-commercial, uncomplicated and non-competitive. Ananda Marga Yoga is practiced slowly without any pain, stress or dizziness. Exercises are prescribed individually according to one’s own needs relating to the body’s hormones, nerves, internal organs, blood circulation, general vitality, and specific diseases. Everyone has the capacity to do yoga. Even people in wheelchairs have appropriate exercises. Ananda Marga yoga is being practiced by people of various religious and belief systems all over the world. But meditation is even more important than physical yoga. If practiced regularly, one begins to experience its benefits in a matter of two to three weeks or less.
The positive changes vary from person to person like overcoming stress, emotional weaknesses, sleep disturbances, addictions, bad habits. It may also develop concentration, creativity, intuition, personal relations, will-power, and ability to adhere to one’s conscience. And ultimately it directly leads to self-realization.
My friend said he will help me connect with their yogi missionary who will teach me the basics of yoga. I am looking forward to him coming here in Iloilo and I will also be encouraging my friends to join me. Living a stress-free life is my goal right now. I know practicing yoga will provide positive changes in my life. I am also planning to go to Ananda Marga’s Wellness Center in Cebu on or before December and I will bring my Mamang with me. This will be a great retreat for her. To those who are also interested to come to their wellness center you can find their contact details here.
Ananda Marga’s mission is to help everybody to bring to the path of bliss. ANANDA MARGA.