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Practise yoga, lead a fuller life edit button Edit

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A.D Pradeep Kumar | calendar 18 February 2024 | 52

Yoga takes care of physical, mental, moral as well as spiritual health.

Total health comprises physical, mental, moral and spiritual health. This state of complete health equips one to take on life's challenges with equanimity. There is no other system except yoga which takes care of all these aspects.

When there is a problem with the body, we can see it. But the problems of the mind we are not able to understand because we have never made a conscious attempt to study the mind nor any educational institution taught us how to do it.

More than 80 per cent of our diseases are psychosomatic in nature. They are basically emotional and mental. Any disease will get aggravated when a person is emotionally disturbed.

Yoga tells us how to handle the mind, the emotions, and what kind of an attitude to cultivate not only to tackle a disease but how to conduct ourselves in life. Yoga can play an important role even in management of diseases.

Yoga emphasises on understanding the mind and its limitations and maintain constantly a higher level of consciousness because of lower level of consciousness we are always in trouble. We can't find solutions to our problems.

While Yoga suggests to us is to maintain the mind at the level of a witness, a Sakshi, maintain an objective attitude towards life. As a result, the individual has a clear picture of what is taking place. But at the present state of awareness this clearly does not occur because of the wrong way of our involvement and wrong perception.

Yoga in that sense can also be considered as training of our attitudes to life, improve our outlook to life, enlarging our horizon, reaching better state of awareness.

What we call Yoga is one of the six systems of Indian philosophy called Drashanas. Darshana means a window from which we can look at the external universe, the way we look at life.

If we want to gain a real understanding, we have to train ourselves to concentrate and to stop all other distractions. So, the techniques in Yoga are related to disciplining ourselves so that we can focus on the important area of understanding our own self.

Hence Patanjali, one of the greatest educationists the world has ever seen in yoga sutras, tell us to completely master ourselves, our thoughts, our ideas, and our physical body so that we can understand and realise what is the highest. If one can achieve this, one can function very ideally in life.

Patanjali's yoga education starts from here defining yoga as chittavritti nirodha i.e., a state where the reactions from chitta or thought waves slow down and eventually stop. Patanjali shows us how to become steady, develop concentration and ultimately dissolve the mind when one becomes the master of mind and the life itself and not a victim of the situations.

Yogic voyage is a swim against the current of chitta vrittis and he has also given various alternatives to understand and overcome the impediments which are the real stumbling blocks in the path of enlightenment.

When we are doing the asanas we have to see to it that it is helping us gain a complete mastery over ourselves. If it is, then the technique is valid. In case the technique takes us away from that understanding, it is not valid.

The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, is trying to hold on to this yardstick laid down by Patanjali. The Institute is using Hath Yoga, Kama Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and to an extent Jnana Yoga to help the individual gain a superior level of consciousness and to gain better control of his own personality. One can effectively participate in life after attaining that state.

Our contribution to the society is the best when we have gained complete control and mastery of ourselves, when we are in a healthy state. If we are disturbed and distracted, we cannot make any worthwhile contribution to the society.

Modern education does not teach us how to handle our mind, emotions or how to develop positive feelings, the right attitude and philosophy towards life. Even such ordinary things like how to sit correctly, how to breathe, how to relax, to be quiet, and to be a little objective have not been taught.

These are some very simple procedures and practices which can go a long way in helping us in living well. Yoga teaches just that: how to lead a fuller life and find peace and contentment for which you have been searching in the outside world and could not find out.

(Note :This article is based on the principles advocated by The Yoga Institute, Santacruz)