My Experience in Yoga

Swami Nityabodhananda Saraswati, Denmark

When I first started to practice yoga some twelve years ago, I was not in a very healthy state. For some years I had been suffering from stomach ulcer as a result of irregular lifestyle and nervous tension. I was trying to deal with my problems through seminars with group therapy and sensitivity training, but I only faced new and bigger problems within myself and others. I was therefore looking for a more effective way.

In 1970 I met my teacher, who besides teaching me all the fundamental yoga practices also taught me kriya yoga. According to the rules of kriya yoga, the aspirant must first of all be in good health, so my first task was to become healthy again. In the past year I had been a victim of different diets and tranquillizers which had made me more depressed and dependent on medicine. When I saw how incapable I was of handling my own situation, and how the food I ate only caused me pain, I was ready to apply myself fully in order to regain my health.

After taking yoga lessons for a couple of hours once or twice a week, my teacher suggested that I should also try the cleansing kriya shankhaprakshalana. I'll is took about a day including proper rest and diet, and afterwards I followed the diet restrictions for a further ten days. After that first shankhaprakshalana, thanks to regular practice of yogasanas and pranayama, I never had any more stomach problems.

Following this personal and convincing experience, I decided to become a yoga teacher in order to help others. I knew that I was not the only one, and that many more people could benefit from the science of yoga.