An interview with Yogacharya Sudarshan Dev, club football-turned-Yoga trainer, Ghaziabad
How has Yoga changed your life?
Since childhood, I had a passion for football. In 2013, when I was playing a match for a club in Lucknow, I got injured. It was so serious that a part of my knee was badly damaged. My career in football seemed to reach an abrupt end. For treatment, I consulted many renowned doctors, almost everyone suggested that without surgery I would no longer stand on my feet. I was afraid of surgery and I was not able to prepare myself for it.
This made me quite frustrated and I became a victim of depression. At the same time, I got an opportunity to go to PatanjaliYogapeeth and do M.Sc.
At Patanjali, I drew inspiration from Baba Ramdev and other Yoga teachers. I developed conviction in the Yoga lessons, and learnt about many of those patients who came to Patanjali and got cured. I felt that if these people can recover then why can’t I?
I started with pranayama and felt the difference within a few weeks. After that I made Yoga an important part of my daily life.
How much time did you take to recover?
It took me only eight months to stand up on my feet and startwalking. However, I was forbidden to run or play football because the injury was quite serious. So I was just asked to restrict to jogging.
In the meantime, I started Ayurvedictreatment and in just two years I was completely healthy. Now I can run like before, play football and also climb the mountains. It's so amazing. Yoga has completely changed my life.
Tell us something about your Yoga Centre.
From the Patanjali Research Institute, I learned and practiced many methods of Yoga and Naturopathy, also cured myself with it. After completing my course I came back to Ghaziabad, and started my Yoga Centre in Ghaziabad. We offer free Yoga training as well as treatment to those who are suffering like I did.
What is your Yoga team like? Tell us a little bit about the volunteers.
I have raised a team of more than 150 trainers and volunteers who are making life good of thousands people through Yoga. They organise activities free of charge in the major parks of Ghaziabad city. Those who are already fit, come to be fit, those who are suffering from any diseasecome for treatment.
Can people of any age group come to your Yoga Centre for treatment?
Yoga is for all, and Yoga keeps everyone healthy. People from almost all age groups who have difficulties in walking, or related to jointscome for treatment. As far as Joint problems are concerned, outstanding results can be achieved for those who have never gone through any joint related surgery.
What would you want to say to those who think Yoga is not for them?
First, I would like to tell them that Yoga is not just to cure ailments - the significance of Yoga is in personality development for everyone at any stage. It is for, and it is beyond any limit of age or class.
Everyone should do yoga. There is no side-effect. It is absolutely free.
What do you think about the modernization of Yoga? Is this the right trend?
Yoga is an important element of our culture. The original form of any culture is important. Contaminating Yoga in the name of modernization should not be encouraged. The more Yoga is practiced in its original form, the better it will be.
Any expectations from the government, or any suggestion for the government?
Our government is doing a very good job for promoting Yoga. My only suggestion is that if Yoga degree / diploma students get better opportunities for employment, enthusiasm will increase in the youth.