INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA TODAY
“Tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara asakto hy acaran karma param apnoti purushah” BHAGWAD GITA
Meaning, one should simply focus on Karma and leave everything onto God. It also goes to show that a Yogi should be focused on the action but not the outcome of that action. It should also be in line with our spiritually orientated way of existence.
VARIOUS TYPES OF YOGA
There are three types of Yoga which are described in Bhagwad Gita: Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Karma Yoga is the path of selfless thoughts and actions, Bhakti oga is the path of devotion to God and thirdly Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge to remove ignorance. All these are essential for living a balanced life.
MEANING OF YOGA
The word YOGA has been originated from the Sanskrit word ‘yuja’ meaning to integrate or bind or to align to unite to act or to discipline oneself to act in a natural way to seek complete self-realization or self-awareness. It means the unity or integration of an individual’s consciousness with that of Universal Consciousness.
YOGA THEORY AND PRACTICE
It is relevant to mention that Yoga Sutras is the theory and practice collated and propagated by Maharishi Patanjali. The Yoga Sutras has a collection of 198 Sutras in number. These were compiled between 500 BCE and 200 BCE. These contain indepth knowledge about Yoga being followed from olden times. His contribution has been recognized as the best for the benefit of humanity. It provided harmony between man and the nature.
LORD SHIVA WAS THE FATHER OF YOGA
The origin of Yoga is mystic in nature. by 5th Century BC, Yoga was very popular. It also finds its place in Vedic Scriptures. But it cannot be disputed that Lord Shiva was the father of ancient Yoga; as His posture shows Him in Yogic mode.
IMPORTANCE OF KARMA YOGA
Karma Yoga has been amply mentioned in Bhagwad Gita stresses that we should transact our actions and detach from the fruits of those actions. Meaning when our actions are based on sound and rational thoughts then their results will have to be good. Also by detaching ourselves from the fruits, we’re able to concentrate/focus on out actions besides offering those actions to God rather than frittering our energies by attaching ourselves with result of our action. In this a YOGI regularly practices YOGIC PRACICES.
YOGA FOR UNITY OF BODY AND MIND
Yoga gives the traits of tolerance, patience and serenity to the Yogi
International Day of Yoga has a special significance
Being celebrated annually on 21st June
Yoga inculcates holistic growth of body, mind and soul
Through physical, mental and spiritual practices
In order to create harmony between man and nature.
The literal word Yoga
Originates from the Sanskrit word Yuja
meaning to unite or align or align
All the organs of our body to work as a cohesive unit
For ensuring integration
of body, mind and soul in unison
for ensuring holistic growth and development
of body, mind and soul
By regulation of breathing exercises
With a absolute regularity
And complete alacrity
With an emphasis on focused attention
To get maximum benefit that could be attained
With Yogic postures so varied
And instill discipline in the Yogi
Along with enhancing our concentration
Through focused attention
Thereby controlling the function
of our body and mind
Along with ensuring
Total control over our emotions
Which helps in self-realization
By knowing our innate potentials
By regulated breathing
For our good health and wellbeing.
Yoga is one of the most precious gifts to the world at large
By father of Yoga Maharishi Patanjali
Yoga is for unity
Yoga helps bestows harmony of man and the Mother Nature
Yoga is for performing all functions in sync with Nature
For ensuring body immunity optimally
Yoga is for ensuring balance bdtween mind and body
Yoga provides staying power to a Yogi
Yoga is for inculcation of discipline in our routines
Ensuring functional internal body organs’ efficacy
Yoga enhances lung functionality
Improving the sleep quality.
Pranayama ensures rejuvenation of our body
Creating awareness of SELF while we focus on our mind and body
For ensuring sound metabolic process of our body
For a sound circulation of blood in our veins of our body.
While we have Karma Yoga
Meaning performing our functions or duties
With utmost sincerity and honestly
While having no attachment
With the result of our action or Karmic deeds
Thus following spiritual orientation
Along with performing meditation
And ensuring enhancement of our Karmic credit account
And realize the purpose of our life of connectivity with Almighty God
And ensures connectivity & merger
Of soul with Super Soul
For liberation from births and deaths termed as Moksha.
SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF YOGIC PRACTICES FOR ENHANCING IMMUNITY
YOGA FOR HOLISTIC GROWTH OF BODY, MIND AND SOUL
EFFICIENCY IN ACTION IS YOGA (KARMA YOGA) – BHAGWAD GITA
The International Day of Yoga is being celebrated annually since 21st June 2015. The purpose of this day is to inculcate physical, mental and spiritual development. Since it is inception, this day has a special significance since many countries celebrate this day by participating in the Yogic exercises.
Yogic practices have special significance since Yoga provides necessary inner strength to fight external infections which impact the body metabolism. The world at large was impacted adversely by Covid-19 pandemic infection. This infection had not only taken human toll but also adversely resulted in economic slowdown.
In the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, it has been noticed with concern that the decrease in the oxygen level even below 90 has taken many a lives and sudden requirement of oxygen had put our medical system under huge pressure. If we would have enhanced our immunity level by taking proper nutritional value diet, maintained body functionality by proper Yogic exercises, we would have not have suffered so much.
It has been experienced that those who do Yogic exercises regularly remain agile, their oxygen level remains within acceptable level and are less prone to infections. Therefore, the best way to escape from Coronavirus pandemic and other infections or diseases is to have immunity from infections besides it is also essential to observe Covid-19 pandemic norms like putting on face mark, observe social distancing, etc.
We know that Yoga is a gift of our country to the international community. It embodies thought, body, mind and action in order to create harmony between man and nature. In Yogic practice, we adopt scientific approach in order to have sound mind and sound body.
The ancient Rishis believed that our body, mind and the soul have to join together or integrate with the environment in which a person is living. For this to happen meaningfully, it is essential that an individual’s emotions, thinking, actions and intelligence have to be work cohesively in order to realize the purpose of our life.
For integration of the three (body, mind and soul) with environment in which a Yogi is living, various well-coordinated exercises with regular breathing, experienced over a period of time for their applicability; besides meditation are undertaken ultimately for deriving maximum benefits.
For deriving optimum benefit from the Yogic exercises, discipline in the conduct of various Yogic postures, coordination with the various parts of the body especially control of mind and mind cohesiveness is of optimum importance.
The Yogis who are regular in conduct of Yogic postures with focused attention get maximum benefits. Yoga exercises also help a Yogi in focused meditation and other daily functions as a disciplined Yogi and lead a spiritual oriented lifestyle to realize the purpose of life – to establish connectivity with Almighty God.
IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF YOGA FOR SOUND BODY
It is understood that our body works as a entire unit, integrating the task of various organs, for carrying out different functions and if it is hale and hearty, possessing energy and synergy, we can transact more functions with our body. For this to happen, we’ve to have balanced diet besides proper exercises or Yoga exercises to keep it healthy. It is also in sync with the saying: sound mind dwells in sound body.
We have to control our mind so that the senses (sense of sight, sense of touch, sense of smell, sense of taste and sense of hearing) which it possess coordinate all the functions of our body eloquently and works in accordance with the requirement of a Yogi. Wavering of senses from one object to another just makes our task of focusing more difficult. That is why we have to mind our mind if we want to have complete benefit from Yoga exercises. This is easier said than done since we have to take the assistance of all the organs of our body including internal resolve along with making the environment conducive, so as to make the Yogic exercise a fruitful exercise.
The soul is self which lives in the body and does its functions through it. When there is no soul in our body our body becomes lifeless and becomes a purposeless for any functions. It is just like a rudderless boat floating aimlessly in the vast ocean without destination. Or it is like a bulb without electricity to give energy to give light to us. Hence, we are living, having emotions and perceiving things intelligently or our mind is functional because we’ve got a soul which gives our body life. A soulless body is a lifeless body. When body and mind are in fine fettle then our soul too functions accordingly. It is also well said that our soul or spirit is not apart from the Super Soul (Parm Atama) who is the Creator, evolution/preserver and destroyer for reproduction.
Breathing in O2 (Oxygen) and breathing out CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is one of the most important requirements of our body and if it is closely well-organized and functions systematically then it proves to be divinely provided sustenance to our body and Yoga bestows us opportunity to enhance breathing methodically which could be proved scientifically. When breathing control is ensured meticulously then we proceed with the next step focused meditation or prayer. While doing so, our mind’s quietness or stillness state is termed as passive activism.
YOGIC EXERCISES & ITS BENEFITS
In Chapter two of Bhagwad Gita, it has been very emphatically mentioned that our responsibility is only to perform our prescribed duty, but we never are entitled to its fruits. It is because our results would be in our favour if there is sincerity in our actions. We should not be motivated by results of our thoughts and actions but we should not be overly attached to the results of our actions. For performing our duty, we should remain balanced minded both in success and failure – no heightened emotions at all. Such a calm temperament and our expertness in performing our task is called YOGA.
Only detached actions (selfless actions) and performing that action with best of our capability will make our pursuit purposeful and meaningful in the long run. We can choose the various duties but it is not in our hands to choose results as we desire. But practically, it has been found that if our pursuit of action is sincere and done with cool temperament then result cannot be disappointing. In this state of mind, even if the results are not good, we shall not be disappointed. The Yogic exercises or Asnas done persistently makes it possible to regulate our breathing thus making it possible to improve the entire metabolic system of our body; in that blood circulation, abdominal organs function perfectly besides keeping all the organs of the body function wonderfully well because every limb of body is benefited with the regulated exercises. When our body is functionally healthy then we can perform various tasks cohesively.
KARMA YOGA – THE YOGA OF ACTION
Karma Yoga is relation to our action that we transact. Before any action is undertaken, it has to be based on some sound thought. The thoughts for action ought to be positive in nature besides being selfless and detachment from the fruits of that action.
VARIOUS TYPES OF YOGA HATHA YOGA (YOGA OF POSTURES)
In this branch of Yoga, the Yogis use physical pose or asana with proper breathing exercises or pranayama and subsequent meditation in a focused manner for ensuring good health besides ensuring our spiritual forward march.
YOGA IS THE UNION OF MOTHER NATURE AND MIND
BHAKTI YOGA (YOGA OF DEVOTION)
Bhakti word originated from Sanskrit word Bhaja meaning to contemplate, pray, love, worship etc. Here a Yoga meditate persistently thus integrates heart and body functions wherein body, mind and soul just combine for integrating with Super Soul. Yoga of Bhakti makes us aware of ONE DIVINE by undivided concentration and thus helps us see ONE DIVINE in everyone and everything. While Karma-yoga becomes Bhakti-yoga, it is done with God consciousness.
RAJA YOGA (YOGA OF SELF-CONTROL)
Raja means associated with royalty. In other words, it is KING OF YOGA. It is based on teachings of the EIGHT LIMBS OF Yoga which is based on YOGA SUTRAS. In this, A Yogi considers self as a central to all and thus considers animate and inanimate the same – no difference in living and non-living things. If you wish to learn discipline, then Raja Yoga would perfectly suit that need.
JNANA YOGA (YOGA OF THE MIND)
Jnana Yoga is related with the mind and therefore its focus is on intelligence of a person. Here Yogis lay more emphasis on wisdom and intellect and try integrate the two so that it works for the self optimally. Also Jnana Yogis are after knowledge, they acquire the knowledge from any source or religions because they work on the principle that knowledge could be gleaned from any sources – religions and philosophies. It is universal in nature. Jnana Yoga proponents are rational in their approach for getting knowledge and thus believe that in order to get connectivity with a SINGLE ONE any path or any religion could be followed. Religion or caste or creed is not limiting factor in acquiring knowledge.
TANTRA YOGA OR YOGA OF RITUALS
Tantra yoga deals with head and heart. While pursuing tantra yoga one has to have the quality of purity of mind, devotion, humility, love etc. Here some rituals are observed for obtaining benefit for the body, mind and spirit.
There are still a lot of misconceptions about yoga, for instance, yoga being a religion. Yoga is not a religion. It is more of a set of techniques for us to find spirituality. In fact, yoga is being practiced by a lot of people from different religions and benefiting from doing this.
Another misconception is that yoga is merely an exercise, a way for us to keep fit. It is partly true, but if you think that yoga is just that then you are greatly mistaken. Yoga develops the body since a weak one is a hindrance to spiritual growth. It does not simply focus on the physical but on the mental and spiritual aspects as well.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
•It ensures the structural balance of our body.
• Regularly performing Yogic exercises can provide us immunity to our body and can keep us resistant against germs and viruses since it brings our body in harmony with Nature. It gives balance of body, mind and soul.
• Yoga enhances our memory since we undertake Yogic exercises with huge concentration.
• Yoga instills discipline in the Yogi.
• Yoga ensures harmoney between man and Mother Nature.
• Yoga is a scientific method which unites soul with the Super Soul (God) – we rise above delusion and reunite with our Creator.
• It enhances our concentration through focus on the omniscient spiritual eye (between the two eyebrows) thereby memory.
• It controls our stress and strain thus we can function perfectly since we learn how to keep our mind under control besides controlling our emotions which keep us adversely affected.
• As in Yoga, we give more credence to ‘self’, we can thereby can attain self realization first and subsequently God-realization.
• Breathing control ensures sound metabolic process of our body thus we have proper circulation of blood besides all the internal organs like heart, liver, lungs including all abdominal organs of our body function in fine fettle because of this regulated breathing and exercises.
• Meditation in rigorous and with focused manner ensures that we move forward spiritually with a view to connect with our Lord/Creator in a disciplined way. It should always be remembered that systematic meditation makes a true Yogi.
• Yoga helps us in facing challenges of life boldly and with equanimity.
• Yoga helps us to imbibe the trait of love and acceptance for everything and everybody.
• Yogic exercises through various postures enhances our self control thus self confidence because of opening the door of intuitive consciousness – sixth sense which makes it possible to anticipate the coming events!
• While highlight is on self (as is done in Raja Yoga), it enhances the Yogi’s self esteem and self control besides enhancing self reliance in everything a Yogi ventures