September/ October 2017
Bring the Yoga Back in Yoga. Wise lessons from Vijay Gopala
Yoga International spoke with the sympathetic and sparkling Indian teacher Vijay Gopala during the Yoga Festival Terschelling. Vijay tells about his background, upbringing, father, studies and his complete authentic Yoga education and experiences. Of which one of them was crucial for his change of look at how Yoga was perceived…a Yoga class in Goa, after which he was not able to sleep for 3 nights…
He always thought that people who were interested in Yoga would learn the classical way of Yoga. In the Yoga class he was for the first time confronted with a western style of Yoga practice, in where the asanas were used to harden the body. In Yoga an asana is about how your conscious relates to the outside world. In this interaction you try to bring your awareness to body, breath and mind, in a way you reflect on your body, are completely aware in the body and you built strength in body ánd mind. If you do asana’s without awareness of the whole body, you are in a constant struggle with gravity and you only getting a hard body and a hard/rigid mind. With a hard body you can’t sit for meditation. You are only working on the grossest layer of the self, the body, there is no harmony. If you practice Yoga from the 5 layers (body, breath/prana, mind, wisdom, soul) you strengthen on all layers and learn to live from peace, from love.
Further Vijay explains why there are still wars even though many attempts were made to bring peace on this planet and how Yoga can bring it, if it is practiced in the way it was designed. Yoga is a spiritual way, it is about self experience, it challenges you to be everything. Not to become something like was seen in the western Yoga class in Goa and in many places in the nowadays world. Vijay realized that he had to come out and share what Yoga really is. That is how his mission to travel and share the subject started.
One of the things which came out of that is the established school Yoga Gita where he and his students teach not to reach a target but to experience. It’s important to learn how to be weightless and how proper alignments and adjustment should happen. Yoga is about expressing the Self and not something imposed from outside. So on the yoga mat be aware, put all conditionings, rules , expectations aside. The more you practice asana’s from this state the quicker you get effortless from which the subtleness, comfort and stability arises. Yoga is a path to discover the Self.
KRO NCRV MARLIJN: DE DOLENDE DERTIGER / MARLIJN: THE WANDERING THIRTIES
Op zoek naar mezelf / Searching for myself
Di 15 nov 2016, interview with Vijay starting at 28.50 minutes
Marlijn: Do you think people in the India are more happy than us?
Vijay: Definitely, they are always supported by family. They are always supported by parents. Even here, for many timed I feel astonished, a mother is living few kilometers away from the daughter.
Marlijn: you say that makes a big difference because we live that far away from each other.
Vijay: far away, it is not only geographical distance. Here it is more ‘I’ need my space. ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, is more.
Marlijn: ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, so it is more about ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’
Vijay: the more ‘me’ you are, lesser the happy you are.
Marlijn: Are people in India, from my age, are they struggling with the same things as I do?
Vijay: They know that happiness is not available outside, happiness is inside.
The women when they enter the age of thirty, the most worrying state begins in the West. The quality would have been better, they would have been able to express their life more relaxed, they would have got the space to live the life, not always continuously becoming in the life. From kid, here a lot of pressure is, you become something then you study and you become something. Like this it goes on and on. So instead of continuously exposing to the becoming system where there is no space for beingness or to live in presence. If you see in the marketplace or the public road what I feel is everyone is rushing somewhere. Always it astonishes me, oh where they are moving.
Marlijn: If you look at me, I explained a bit about me living this life; do you think it is funny?
Vijay: when I look at the problems of you: you have everything to be happy but your mind is so much trained that you will find happiness in something else.
Magazine for Yoga (2016): A yoga training of 200 hours?
Yoga is so comprehensive that it is impossible to learn all of it in 200 hours, such as its philosophy, meditation and pranayama. Teachers who followed a 200 hours training will continue learning when they teach, it is a journey. In a Yoga class it’s all about spreading the pure form of yoga. However, in some teacher trainings the use of non-scientific methods and the application of techniques such as Ujjai and Kapalabhati during postures are taught. Those teachings have to be questioned. learn more
Yoga Magazine: From India with love
Three questions for Vijay in where he first answered what Yoga Gita means: song of the divine; Yoga Gita brings Yoga in its original form as it was meant by the Sages. Than how he happened to arrive in the Netherlands, a developed country but yet in the need of inner development as he saw. And at last the biggest challenge in teaching western people, Vijay explains how Yoga in the West is seen from the mind which increased the ego whereas yoga should reduce ego. This original approach of finding balance between ego and a state where ego does not play any role anymore is what needs to be brought to the West. learn more