A Student's Experience in Yoga

Mohammed Aftab Alam, New Delhi

I am relating my experience here because as a student and moreover a teenager, I can well understand the problems of most students and the necessity of guru's guidance in their lives. As a student of the Air Force Central School, one of the finest public schools of India, and having been brought up in a good environment, I always thought of rising as high as possible. This ambition to be the best, however, is the root cause of all the problems of student life. Many students have very high aims but they don't know the right way to achieve them. This results in all sorts of complexes, and due to lack of understanding, students lose their self confidence, concentration and most detrimental- faith in themselves. Considering the large number of students today, it is only the rare few who receive good guidance at the right time.

it is high time that students began to realize their own inner strength and potentials, and the guru can help them to do this. The practices of yoga combined with a yogic lifestyle under the guru's guidance can make students aware of the immense power hidden within them, directing their evolution through various stages of awakening. This is the way to achieve true greatness. Yoga has a complete philosophy explaining all the stages of human evolution. You can read about it in various books both old and new, but alt this remains theoretical until you visit the guru's ashram, then only can you experience how practical yoga really is in the ashram you wake from your dream and start seeing the realities. Then you can begin moving towards your aim and you will surely achieve it. When you are mentally and physically fit and able to carry out your duties in life, there is nothing which can check your success. There are many ways to strengthen the body and mind, but yoga is the most direct approach - it gives you discipline and makes you a man. Some people think that yoga is only for Hindus, but being a Muslim myself, I feel that yoga has helped me not only in gaining self confidence and faith, but in making me a good Muslim too.

For the last three years I had been undergoing various mental conflicts. I was religious and many thoughts started coming into my mind about sex and sin which troubled me greatly. Soon I started to develop a guilty conscience. I tried to control all my thoughts but they only sprang into my mind with greater force. I lost my concentration and confidence and was soon at the bottom of my class, instead of at the top. I lost all my interest in sports and games. I was depressed, worried and had insomnia. I started stammering, and several times I even considered suicide.

Finally, a friend inspired me to take up yoga under the guidance of Swami Satyananda Saraswati. I am proud to have spent a fortnight in his ashram and give thanks to Allah for providing me with such a great guru. I am no longer anxious and depressed and I feel that my lost confidence and purpose in life have been fully restored. Through ashram life, plenty of karma yoga (hard work in service of the guru) and other techniques such as antar mouna and yoga nidra, the mental conflicts which were causing me so much guilt have been neutralized. For me, this was the best cure for insomnia and nervous tension, and I am sure that I could not have received better treatment and advice from any clinic. May thousands of people be helped and inspired by the guru as I have been. Asanas and pranayamas are essential, but to get personal guidance from Swamiji is even more important.