I am from the old school which preaches, “Prevention is better than cure”.
Today’s mechanization gives us no chance for exertion. However, I am most thankful to my Father, who introduced me to this wonderful art of Yoga, at a very young age of 12. He used to take me along with him to “Yogashram”-an institution of Yoga run by a renowned Yogi of his time – Swami Sri Manuvaryaji, in Ahmedabad (Gujarat, India).
Guruji was invited to New Delhi by our former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi to take the place of her Yoga Guru, and ran the Yoga Centers there, quite efficiently, for a couple of years.
At the time, I think he must be over 70 years of age, but the light on his face was amazing! Since, he was a “Brahmachari” – A yogi observing Celibacy for the lifetime, he did not prefer to teach Yoga directly to older women himself. He, therefore, would teach me the “Asanas” (yogic poses), and I would then teach those to the ladies wing. It was indeed a blessing in disguise for me!!
He was also invited to give programmes in the national TV many times, and almost always took me as a volunteer to demonstrate the various asanas.
Later on, after many years, I opened a Gym for the ladies, wherein, I taught Yoga for free, since Guruji disliked charging for it and expected us, his disciples, to follow his principles. Whenever someone would enquire about his fees, he would exclaim cheerfully, " Mafee !!"--meaning "sorry" in gujarati language.
Swamiji is no more, but his Ashram is there for us to take inspiration, and his presence is felt by us, even today.