World Health Day: What the Magic of Yoga Can Do
This time I didn’t say “no” to Mohan when he suggested yet again— “Bhaskar, you should try yoga!” I knew I needed help. I was in a very volatile, unstable mental state and had luckily survived a few crazy suicidal thoughts. I paused for a minute before replying, “Okay, send me the details.” I didn’t know at the time that my life was soon going to change forever.
Flashback – December 2011
Everything seemed perfect in life back in 2011. Employed by a top IT company, a research associate at the prestigious IIIT-Hyderabad, a popular troubleshooter among my colleagues, considered a successful and generous person among my friends and family – I was on a winning horse. Until the day my boss called me up and asked me to work on a Priority One troubleshooting project for an important client. I was part of a team of three members.
Burnout Too Soon
Initially, it seemed like another privilege handed to me. But soon I found myself in the middle of a situation that I couldn’t handle. Four months into the project I found myself grappling with incessant issues, high-pressure customer calls, lack of sleep, along with the demands of my research project. Bhaskar Ghosh was burnt out, all of 29 years old.
I was just angry – but I didn’t know with what! Was it my fatigue or frustration? I couldn’t tell. At some point, my team members said that it was lack of protein that may be causing it, and encouraged me to shift to non-vegetarian diet. I had been a vegetarian by choice for many years then, but I don’t know why, I went with their advice and started on a heavy non-veg diet. That didn’t help at all. Soon, my mental health worsened. Many times, on my way back home from the office late at night, I would think of crashing my bike into the road divider to vent my emotions.
A Costly Prejudice
I had a brief respite when I saw my dream to get married to a wonderful girl coming very near to reality. I was really loving those few months of togetherness, even though it was over the phone. However, this little support turned into a massive blow when my parents broke our anticipated engagement. I was crestfallen. My anger and sadness knew no bounds. I cried and cursed! I could not even look at my parents. I was eating too much, not sleeping well, and I had put on a lot of weight. Thoughts of suicide became frequent and intense.
Earlier in January 2013, Mohan had asked me if I wanted to attend a yoga program with Sadhguru. Mohan was brought in to support our team four months into the project — he was also researching at IIIT Hyderabad with me. But unlike me, he remained utterly calm and sailed through that high-pressure project much easier than I did. Though I admired him and lamented at my inability to be like him, when he asked me to join the yoga class, I ignored him. ‘Another bearded godman with something that will never work for me... ’ After taking a cursory look at the pamphlet with Sadhguru’s photo, such thoughts ran through my mind.
Magic of a Genuine Master
Now, after my engagement prospects had ended, something in me had been completely shaken, and I was looking for a solution, some help! It was getting worse by the day and I knew that day wasn’t far away when I would do something drastic. Sometime around late May 2013, I came across Sadhguru via a friend on YouTube. Without thinking about it, I gave in and watched the whole video.
I can’t articulate what that short talk meant for me. Soon, I started gobbling up Sadhguru’s words. I was literally hooked to YouTube to hear him more and more. The next fifteen days, I knew not time! Whether it was morning or day or evening or night, whenever I got time, I used to watch and listen to him – one video after the other – non-stop! And then I happened to hear him talk about Inner Engineering.
A New Beginning
So, after getting details from Mohan, in May I enrolled in the Inner Engineering program at Jubilee Hills, Madhapur, Hyderabad. The program was in September, which seemed like an eternity to wait in my mind.
On September 3, 2013, I woke up at 4:30 am and saw the sun rise after many years. I reached the venue well before 6 A.M. Seeing volunteers standing to welcome me with gently folded hands, guiding participants with a smile… it seemed too surreal to believe! I looked with suspicion at everything initially. But the music playing that morning, a calm, quiet tune, settled me down. I gave in to what was happening and soon, I started loving the place. Seven days went by like a breeze, with each day bringing a new level of transformation within me. By the end of Day 7, I felt like a load had lifted off me!
I practiced Shambhavi twice a day for the next six months. And later I replaced my morning Shambhavi with the Shakti Chalana Kriya that I learned later. I started to experience an inner sense of calm. Tears of joys just rolled down my cheeks many times during the practices. My irritation and anger reduced considerably. I lost 12 kgs after one year of practice and returned to my normal weight. My dependence on medicines also came down substantially, and my immunity and health improved. I became more fit and active.
Yes! I had started enjoying life!
I started trekking and experiencing nature – the mountains, the dusty soil, the rivers, the people around me on the path – like I never did before! Soon, I discovered the bliss of volunteering too. I ran marathons to raise funds for the underprivileged children of Isha Vidhya schools. I rediscovered my own aesthetic and artistic nature, and realized its importance. And most importantly, I became happier.
Same work, same friends, same family, no girlfriend still… but I was happy! Where did loneliness go? Where did the frustration, anger and irritation go? I think all of them went on the fast exit route, soon to be replaced by joy, laughter and tears of happiness!
Work in Progress
I still falter at times, but because of clarity and more control of my mind and emotions, I stabilize quickly. I am much more open and no longer hesitate to take the initiative or apologize for my mistakes. Still, it is not enough… I am continuously a work in progress.
I am Bhaskar Jyoti Ghosh. I live in New Delhi and work as Principal Applications Engineer at Oracle India Pvt. Ltd. The original concise sharing of my experience is here.