By Ragini Seth and Hemant Gera
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term "Yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga and yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures or asanas. Outside India, it has developed into a posture-based physical fitness, stress-relief and relaxation technique. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core.
At ISW, we offer yoga sessions as an added benefit to our members. We have regular yoga sessions at our cultural school for the children which is taught by one of our members Alka Yadav.
We started regular yoga sessions on Thursday evenings at 6pm with spring and fall season sessions. Our very first instructor was Bharati Bhakta. All of her classes were very well attended by men, women and some children.
Later Latha Rao took over to teach Yoga in the same time slot. She now teaches a Free Chair Yoga session for senior citizens at 10 am Eastern Time. Parents can join from India too. To view https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85302845677?pwd=WFU0YXlTN2RTaERxaWllTnV5WklLUT09
Hemant Gera, a very enthusiastic ISW volunteer and member offered to teach a daily early morning session. We were very excited to see his commitment and launched the classes every morning from 6:30 to 7:30 am. Several ISW members attended, many stopping on the way to work.
During the current Covid distancing, the sessions were offered remotely and it helped increase the attendance as it was convenient to attend from home, avoided extra travel time and was not hindered by the weather. Folks interested in joining should contact Hemant via email.
We asked Hemant where he learnt yoga. He told us that he is a disciple of Bharitya Yog Sansthan. Sansthan has taken Human service as its goal by setting up its first center in Delhi on 10th April 1967. Bhartiya Yog Sansthan firmly believes in India's cultural heritage and draws its inspiration from India’s greatest human ideal ‘Vasudhev Kutumbkam’ which means “The entire universe is my family” as well as ‘Serve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ which translates into "May all be happy; May all beings rejoice in Joy and Happiness".
Hemant has been practicing Yoga for 10 Years and has benefited from it in many ways including cure of cold, cough, chronic backache, body elasticity, reduction of weight etc. By keeping us healthy to carry out our routine duties successfully in the world, Yoga helps us benefit from the full potential of our life. We can quickly develop a balanced muscular system, elasticity of the bones, and proper blood circulation in the body.
Yoga can also set right the nervous system, the most important in our body, the digestive and respiratory system Yoga can vitalize such important organs of the body like the brain, heart and kidneys, without which life is impossible. Anyone can get these benefits by practicing Yoga regularly for 40 to 50 minutes a day.
We have received many positive comments on Hemant’s commendable commitment to keeping all of us healthy. Here are some of the comments from members who do yoga with him every morning. If you want to join please contact Hemant. More info here
I deeply appreciate your dedication & selfless service in teaching us every day, Hemant ji! Thank you very much. Online becoming very convenient as rain or shine, we can attend the class. Hoping more people can take advantage of this yoga classes
I've been attending Hemantjis yoga class. Healthy and regular. Many people attend now that it's online. Definitely online saves time commuting and 6:30 is an easier time than 5;45 I started yoga sessions to improve my mental and physical wellbeing. The classes start with warming up all muscles and joints moving to stretches through different asana including surya namaskar, standing sitting lying down poses. I tend to hold my emotions in tightened muscles, so I feel release of blockages when I do yoga. The classes end with pranayama. Hemantji's dedication is evident in having classes every day and the instructions and modifications are the best. He also explains the effect of each pose who can do and who can't. This rejuvenates us.
Namaste Hemantji I salute to your commitment for early morning classes. It is great service to community. Thanks
Thanks for your commitment Hemantji ... This is the best way to start the day
Thank you Hemant ji for your your selfless dedication to our health. In this capitalist world, It is almost impossible to find someone like you who gets up every morning at 6.30 am just to ensure we all are healthy. You ask for no money, no fame just our commitment. Thank you so much for spreading your goodness
Dear Hemantji, thank you for your commitment towards teaching Yoga. I really appreciate your efforts . Online class is really convenient too . Thanks a lot