By Gayatri Pathak CYA-RYT200
Yoga has been practiced for over 5000 years and has begun growing immensely all around the world over the last few decades. It has become a modern art form that is practiced to benefit everyone in different ways. As a yoga teacher myself, I get many inquiries about yoga to help both physical and mental problems such as weight loss, anxiety, depression etc... Yoga can help mental healing and physical healing, but it’s not something that can be done in one sitting. Yoga is a “Sadhana”, which means it requires regular practice. To succeed you must have tremendous perseverance and tremendous will. Yoga is a lifestyle. You have to train your mind towards mindfulness in everything you do. By practicing yoga and living a yogic life, you will be going towards minimalism. Your approach towards life or any critical situation will be different. By practicing pranayama, yoga and meditation regularly, you will become focused, calm, healthier, mindful and relaxed. In such a fast paced and stressful world, where we go through a lot politically, socially, mentally and physically on a daily basis, if we bring yogic lifestyle into our lives, our problems will not be solved but we will learn to approach them differently and more positively. When you are not thinking about anything, and in complete silent bliss, you are in yoga; when you are thinking, and your mind is at work, you are not in yoga. Although you may do all the postures, if your mind begins drifting off and thinking, you are not doing yoga. Yoga is the state of no-mind.
Great leaders from the 19th century, such as Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, or the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi from current times, are all excellent examples of world heroes that have adopted a yogic lifestyle. The yogic lifestyle is their foundation and the ritual at the start of the day. Mr. Modi actually stood up at the UN and advocated for the benefits of yoga for the world. Global leaders applauded his dedication and declared June 21st World Yoga Day. He led by example, using yoga as his foundation, he spread the “yogic lifestyle” to make this world a better place.
This is how and what a yogi can and should do.
Yoga provides balance. It starts with balance of one’s body and breathing, and expands to one’s thoughts and lifestyle. It brings calmness and peace. It helps clear and purify our minds. It helps filter the noise in our heads. With less clutter to process in our brains, we can actually think clearly. De-cluttering the mind brings balance to the mind and body.
Yoga’s teachings can be applied in any profession, whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, business professional, nurse, teacher, athlete, firefighter, journalist, political leader, etc. The list can be endless. Everyone on this planet deserves the calmness, peace of mind, focus, drive and motivation to do what they do for their respective livelihoods. Yoga applies to all, as it focuses on balancing your mind, body, heart and soul. If you have any of those four elements out of balance, you will struggle and various coping mechanism start to fail. Yoga pulls these elements together, bringing traction and balance to your life.
Yoga doesn’t require any activism. One can get into the practice of yoga and one can feel the benefits of yoga. It doesn’t require activism, as it is a philosophy for common people. Yoga doesn’t require more than one’s determination to practice yoga. The rest becomes second nature.
In today’s fast paced world, we are surrounded with so many distractions. It’s very easy to “miss” the routine of a yogic life. Making time for yourself shouldn’t be something to “miss”. Yoga is about making time for yourself. A lot of people I know, including myself at the height of my corporate life, don’t have “time” for themselves. Our priorities are centered around family, work, kids, social gatherings, technology etc. One has to decide to break those barriers to find time for one’s self and that’s where one can realize that the possibilities are endless. Rewards can be many.
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