Yoga day is being celebrated in India on June 21 and celebrities like Prime Minister Narendra Modi will practice Yoga to spread its appeal.Yoga, apart from imparting health benefits, is now being acknowledged as a mind science with long term benefits. India’s neighbour, Pakistan is not far away from reaping Yoga’s benefits and institutionalized work in this regard is being carried out by Shamshad Haider more popularly known as Yogi Haider. He has around 10,000 active students in Pakistan and more than double this number consult him on health and Yog matters
His expertise includes all forms of Yoga, including hatha yog, Kundalini yog, meditation and pranayam yog. “It all started in 1991-92 when I was in Saudi Arabia and was rushed to a hospital with appendicitis pain. The doctors wanted to operate which I refused. A Somalian doctor suggested that to get relief, I have to control my mind and body,which I did and was pain free in two days..’’ says Haider. This was the start of journey which included researching and reading books on yoga. He also visted Nepal and India for learning Yoga but his true inspiration was meditation teacher S N Goenka, a Burmese,who taught him vipasana meditation.(narrate some incidents with him).
He started teaching yoga in Pakistan in 2006. Some of the admirers introduced him on social media which increased his audience. Imparting the teachings of Yoga in Pakistan is a brave effort, where it is still comprehended as a sub branch of Hindu religion and only relevant for boundaries of present geographical India. Evidences have established that Yoga originated in Indus Valley and it’s most prominent teacher Patanjali of third century BCE belonged to Multan, Punjab. Due to its vast following in India, one can safely say that it is as much our’s as is their’s.
Yoga ’s message is universal and spirtual in nature. Its teachings are relevant for everybody but yet it isn’t a religion. It’s practice, the heart of which is meditation, cultivates qualities such as kindness, trust, and wisdom. In meditation one should practice awareness and to be awake now, not later on. Meditation has no room for thoughts or desires, hopes or fears, fantasies or plans. If you’re truly meditating, you’re not thinking.
Haider is the founder of Yoga Pakistan and Way of Nature, organisations that teach Yoga and meditation in Pakistan. He only charges nomimal amount (30 to 80 $ for up to one month structured courses) in Lahore and Islamabad where he teaches yoga, stress and anger management to personnel of the Pakistani armed forces, corporate professionals and politicians in his country. He also does television and radio shows.
Yogi Haider being an expert in all forms of Yoga, is tackling and teaching subjects attributed to mind sciences which brings forth insight in the practioner to cure physical and psychological disorders. His talks on stress handling, anger management, mindfulness and living life happily are especially instructive and worth listening. During his sessions, he blends the best of each and garners sessions of ancient motivativating tales of wisdom, asanas, vipasana meditation, deep breathing and relaxing techniques. In these sittings, one just floats, time flies effortlessly with Haider telling the participants that to do nothing but simply be here in the present moment where all the beauty of life lies. He extolls participants that thinking of past and future can never find the solution to any problem as most people’s thinking is repetitive, often negative and harmful.
More from my site