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Why Yoga

Any system or process will be accepted by the common man if it can prove its usefulness in his day-to-day aspects of life. In the past we have seen how the society accepted and adopted a science as an integral part of its structure as technology solved the problem of providing the basic necessities of life and offering part of its structure as technology solved the problem of providing the basic necessities of life and offering a more comfortable life to an individual. We have also seen, that now society is all set for Yoga. Why?

Balancing pose

In this unit you will be learning the benefits of yoga at the muscular level, breath level, mental level, intellectual level, emotional level and the manifestations of divinity in all walks of life and the yoga way of life taking man from animals level to perfection. The cautions for practitioners of yoga is also mentioned.

Benefits of Yoga

‘Yoga’ offers man a conscious process to solve the menacing problems of unhappiness, restlessness, emotional upset, hyper-activity, etc., in the society and helps evoke the hidden potentialities of man in a systematic and scientific way by which man becomes a fuller individual. All his faculties physical, mental, intellectual and emotional-develop in a harmonious and integrated fashion to meet the all-around challenge of the modern technological era with its hectic speed.

The speciality of yogic processes is that, the faculties get sharpened in tune with the spiritual progress of man. Let us now try to understand what we mean by an integrated personality development with spiritual growth.

Personality development - Physical level

Physical personality development, would not imply to a bulky body, weighing a 100 kg. An ideal body has the following features brought out by Yoga:

(I) A proportionate body with all muscles relaxed in the normal state. It is soft like a flower and flexible to the core.

(II) Instantaneously it can acquire a diamond’s hardness. All organs and system in the body work in harmony and with least abnormalities.

(III) The chronic and acute ailments vanish or are absent in such a body.

Personality Development - mental level

The power of imagination ‘Creativity’ and steadfastness (Willpower) are two aspects of mind which come under this head of personality development. It has been well-recognised that creative power of man. As such, many musicians, poets, films artists, engineers and technologists have been attracted to Yoga.

‘Willpower’ is an essential requirement for all persons to accomplish any work, however, insignificant or great the task be. There is a fine sloka in niti satakam describing three types of peoples;

“Fearing possible obstacles and difficulties, the lowest do not start the work at all. Having come to face obstacles one after another the middle type leave work uncompleted. But the best are they who reach out to completion of the task in spite of all odds that torture and crush them all through.’

Personality development - Emotional level

Our emotions control our behaviour especially crucial juncture. The challenges of the modern era pose a great threat to the emotional faculty of man. Yet the culturing of our emotion-development of our emotional faculties finds no place in the whole scheme of education. Man look lost amidst the atrocities of life unable to overcome his emotional conflicts, blocks and turmoil. The results is deep unrest, agony and psychosomatic ailments.

Yoga trains us to

(i) systematically sharpen and sensitizen our emotions, and

(ii) Consciously expend and diffuse the overtones of such sensitization. Thus, Yoga offers a fine tool the development of the emotional personality of man.

Personality Development - Intellectual level

In the modern era of science, a sharp intellect plays a key role in the scheme of education. Rather than mechanical cramming up of information, thinking and understanding are valued more in the learning process.

The children are taught right from the primary level to think logically and scientifically. The capacity to analyze and correlate relevant information forms the function of the intellect:concentration.

As one proceeds with the practice of Yoga, the first symptom of progress show 7545-up. Svetasvatara Upanish puts it thus;

‘It is said that first signs of entering Yoga are lightness of body, health, un-thirst mind, clearness of completion, a beautiful voice, an agreeable odour scantiness of excretions.’ (2-13) Hatha Yoga pradipika also portrays a set similar characteristics.

Then the body becomes lean, the face glows with delight, (divine sound) manifests, eyes are pure, body is healthy, sexual discharge under control, the appetite is increased; then one should understand that the Nadis are purified and success in Hatha Yoga is approaching.


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