Happy Yoga Day & Yoga for a Happy Day!

Did you know that yoga can change your genes and make you happier? And that’s not just for ‘Hindus’. LWP Founder shares the latest scientific information and reflects on yoga and its connection with religion.

And Now, Yoga (Yoga Day Special)

LWP Newsletter #3 shares discusses the significance of Yoga Day being held at the summer solstice and also the importance of yoga in the world today. It is indeed time for yoga.

A Song for the Neuroscientists (Avadhuta Gita)

Newsletter #2 (11 Jun 2017) with thoughts on the desultory attempts by scientists to understand and interpret mystical/spiritual experiences (e.g. Arun Shourie’s attempt in his recent book Two Saints). Includes a weekly round-up and other LWP updates.

“We Won’t Always Have Paris”

This first weekly newsletter (4 Jun 2017) by LWP discusses the global concern over environmental issues with the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement. A weekly round-up of LWP articles is also included in case you missed them during the week.

Social Media in a Spiritual Context

‘Spirituality’ and ‘social media’ are two words that don’t naturally sit well together for most people. In fact they would more likely be used in the same sentence only to point out the inverse relationship between the two in terms of popularity. But I’m here to put forth a very different view. I believe that social media, while it has wreaked havoc on human minds in many ways, also holds the potential to facilitate our spiritual evolution. Here’s why.

When Gautama became the Buddha

Buddha Purnima reminds us of our highest purpose, to realise our true Buddha nature. Read about Gautama’s enlightenment and what other spiritual masters had to say about the Buddha.

What India can learn from La France in cultural promotion

Their ability to convert a tiny unknown village with little more than a church to its name, into a sought after tourist destination by creating leafy café studded promenades, cute (if sometimes gratuitous) museums and by disseminating ample literature on local history and culture as well as neat maps proposing quaint walking trails, reveals incredible…

Recipe: Grilled Indian Cheese & Veggie Platter

For all you veggies looking for a break from the usual fare and the meat-eaters who think veggie food can’t be tasty, here’s a delicious and nutritious, yet incredibly simple recipe to try! It’s perfect for a light Sunday evening dinner with some plain rice and daal (lentil soup) or as a starter when you have guests to impress. Just make sure you have at least an hour of marination time on your hands!

Tweeting our way to reform

As of May 2016, India ranked as the country with the second highest number of Twitter users (after the US) at 41 million users (as per Statista). For anyone with a healthy appetite for political discourse, this should come as no surprise as tweets have become almost synonymous with official public statements. As someone who…

The only way to deal with uncertainty

We humans don’t like uncertainty. In fact, in a way, all our civilisations have been built as an endeavour to reduce uncertainty – from the granaries of ancient times that helped deal with harvest uncertainties, to the modern day cell phone that provides more certainty about people and things you care about; from corporate structures to…

The Living Ganga

Recently back from a trip to the Himalayas, the birthplace of the river Ganga and on the occasion of World Water Day, I take the opportunity to write about the river Ganga, the life-giving Mother of India.

The yoga of playfulness

Today, on the festival of Holi, all of India celebrates the colour and playfulness of life by drenching each other with water and colour and singing, dancing and making merry throughout the day. As a child, I recall being excited beyond limits on the eve of this festival. Waking up early morning on Holi day, all…

It’s all in your hands, literally (Mudras and more)

In yogic practices, the hands are a very important part of the body. They are the part of the body where the inner energy field can usually be most easily felt. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the hands so special.

Be original, truly

Reflecting on what got me into exploring spirituality, one important aspect was not being able to take as a given, most ‘conventional wisdom’ doing the rounds. You know the witty poster quotations and the inspirational one-liners or often two-word-ers like ‘love yourself’, ‘be original’, yada, yada. Instead of readily accepting these exhortations, I wanted to know why? And moreover, I was a little annoyed at having to take advice from other people in the sense of, why don’t I know these things myself? This kind of questioning led me into a deeper understanding of human life and purpose.
In this post, I want to discuss one of the flighty aphorisms that many of us have grown up with and which, perhaps as in my case, makes you think of a sports-wear advertisement : ‘be original’. But instead of taking its casual, up-front meaning, I want to explore a more spiritual dimension.

Spring of possibilities

Spring is always pregnant with possibilities. We worship Goddess Saraswati at this time to bring out the best in us.

Lessons in trying to save the world

Yesterday, I tried to save the world. Well, just a little bit. Having nurtured a considerable passion for a while about wanting to contribute to a better world, I signed up with great enthusiasm for an event to help with an initiative for the education of underprivileged children. It was a rewarding day both for…

What 6 months of yoga and meditation has done for me

IT’s been about six months since I started practising yoga and meditation regularly. For most people, it’s something that has weaved in and out of their lives over many years and many actually got into it quite early in life. But for me, it was just something I got into quite all-of-a-sudden and that too in my early 30s and so far have consistently stuck with it. I thought that this milestone calls for some stock-taking to see what changes my practice has brought in me. Here’s the top 3 immediately obvious ones.

Effective ways to improve your yoga and meditation practice

You’ve proudly managed to find your ‘quiet time’ in the middle of a hectic schedule. You’ve changed into clothes with more zen-inspiring potential and maybe even lit a candle or two to set the mood. But as you settle in for your yoga or meditation, you can’t get your mind off that work problem, or how rude that cashier was or how you’ll manage to squeeze all your ‘to-do’s into the rest of the week. You know what a meaningful yoga/meditation practice is supposed to look like but your mind is not in a mood to cooperate. Here’s a few methods I use that can hopefully help to guide you back to attentiveness or if you’re having a good session already, to make it more effective.

The pressure to do what you love

Do what you love. We’ve all heard this advice and seriously contemplated it at some point or the other in our lives. Usually while we’re hunched at our office desks at 9 pm, eating a cold desk dinner or while reading stories about wildly successful people like Elon Musk doing exactly what they love or…

The most important reminder of all

Shuffling through the ‘to-do’s and ‘may-do’s, Letting some drop off the cluttered lists; Postponing smiles and laughter to the holidays, Squeezing contentment into corners, if it fits.   ‘Why are we here?’ ‘What is the truth?’ We’d love to know, but maybe later. There’s so much to do today (and every day), We have problems right…

New Year, New Consciousness

January 1 does not embody an astrological or cosmic significance as such, but nonetheless, stepping into the New Year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on life’s journey. 2016 has been a year of big changes on the global front – with Brexit in Europe, the Trump presidency in the US and closer to home,…

Nature and spirituality in South India

October is not a fallen month in South India. Unlike in temperate lands, there is no surrendering of the leaves first to non-verdant hues and eventually to the ground. The trees don’t avert their gaze like they do in Paris in autumn, embarrassed by their state of undress

Commercialisation of spirituality

Ever since the Beatles starting chanting Om and Madonna started doing yoga, eastern spirituality has been quite fashionable and has been becoming even more so in recent years. While it’s no doubt good that people are taking up positive spiritual practices like yoga-asanas, the commercialisation of spirituality is undesirable and even potentially dangerous. With the…

The one thing that grows the more you use it

We usually tend to associate use of something with its depletion. So our natural reflexes are to save, not expend beyond what we believe to be our means and to feel scared to use too much of a thing. But there’s one thing that only grows the more it is used and it’s intrinsic to meditation.

The social impact of Demonitisation – towards a more equal society

I don’t usually write on current affairs but seeing as this current hot topic in India holds the key for great transformation of the society and ultimately human lives, I thought it relevant to share some of my thoughts on it on this blog. For those who don’t know what ‘demonitisation’ I am referring to,…

And now, yoga

~ Excerpt from From Dior to Dharma by Shruti Bakshi. Available on Amazon. ***************Book excerpt start****************** Say what? I was already having trouble understanding the teacher’s German accented French, now I was supposed to understand her German accented Sanskrit! “Sit cross legged,” Michaela leaned over and whispered to me, translating the name of the pose…

Practical Meditation Tips

Do you know when the best time to meditate is? Or what you should wear for your meditation practice, how to sit comfortably and how to prepare your meditation corner? Check out these practical tips.

Empowering the feminine – a call from ancient times

On 2nd Novermber, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev gave a wonderful talk on ‘Empowering the feminine’ at an event organised by the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) in Delhi. It is a topic that’s close to my heart and I feel even more called to the cause after hearing Sadhguru speak about it. Firstly, it is important to…

How the 4 yogas are the same

I’ve recently been pondering over the fact of the different spiritual paths in the yogic system, namely: Jnana yoga (knowledge/meditation), Bhakti yoga (devotion), Karma yoga (right action) and Kriya yoga (control of breath/life energy/prana). These paths correspond to the 4 aspects of a human being (in same order as above): mind, emotion, body and life…

The Divine Mother

Today is the first day of ‘Navratri‘, meaning nine nights, devoted to the Mother Goddess. This is one of the biggest festivals in India, perhaps second only to Diwali, the festival of lights. Having recently done a post on devotion, ‘The yoga of poets’, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk specifically about devotion to…

The yoga of poets

As has often been stressed on the Living-Wise Project, (e.g. see article What Yoga is Really About), yoga is not merely a set of physical exercises or postures. Yoga, meaning union, refers to any action that unites us with Consciousness. Many people may not be aware that there are four paths of yoga: Raja yoga: is the path of…

Why business school grads are wired for misery: Part 1

This series of posts may seem controversial to some, but my intention is not to offend or deride business school grads, who I consider to be the wonderful achievers and doers of our society (after all I am one myself!) but instead to hopefully encourage them and importantly, the corporate world at large to introspect and gain a…

A yogi lifestyle 

In the last few months, I have made quite drastic changes in my lifestyle, having taken a break from work to immerse myself in yoga and spirituality. I thought I’d share some of the changes I have made so far. 1. Food I shared the benefits of a vegetarian diet in an earlier post and I never…

India travel: a lesson from Delhi’s streets

India is a land of contradictions. The new and ancient, the rich and poor and the beautiful and ugly are all tossed up together in a vibrant mix that sometimes makes you gasp in awe and sometimes cringe. After many years of living in Europe, I find myself viewing India with very different eyes when I…

“And now, yoga” ~ Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: Introduction

For anyone serious about exploring yoga as a spiritual process, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is both an indispensable guidebook and an unparalleled repository of knowledge. In just 195 sutras or verses (each verse being usually a single line or couplet), Patanjali has said everything that can be said about yoga as a spiritual possibility. In fact,…

Are veggies living-wiser?

Growing up in a primarily vegetarian country like India, mealtimes right from my childhood days were a diverse affair – sometimes a grandparent would not eat processed rice, sometimes a friend would not eat any meat, sometimes my mother would only eat fruits, sometimes an aunt would not eat garlic or onion and sometimes an uncle would…

What does your mind eat?

Here’s a challenge: at the end of the day, try and recall everything you ate that day, including that stray chip and biscuit. For most people, this requires some effort. Now here’s an even more difficult challenge: can you recall what your mind ate? That might seem like a strange question but just like your…

The real purpose of meditation (what the apps don’t tell you)

Some of the truest words in our day are “there’s an app for that”. I recently discovered how comprehensively true this statement was when I searched for the word ‘meditation’ in my app store. In an earlier article, I talked about how meditation is not something you can learn because it is a state of being…

An expat in Paris: top 3 loves and hates

You know you’ve been in Paris long enough when some or all of the following are true for you: 1. You mentally pronounce new words that you come across, in a French accent and this is a completely involuntary reflex; 2. You are addicted to bread and find it hard to have a meal without it; 3. You…

An expat in Paris: the best things in life are free

Ah Paris…The very word conjures up images of romantic walks by the Seine, magical views of the Eiffel tower, decadent designer wear and luxurious food and wine. As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, there is no shortage of guide books and itineraries of every genre and flavour. But if you care…

Unhealthy work habits to let go of

The essence of spiritual teachings is to live in the present moment, to be in the ‘now’. But how can we apply that to the office, you may ask? Read on. The concept of mindfulness, usually described as a state of being conscious and aware of one’s environment, thoughts, actions and emotions, has been extensively studied in recent years,…