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Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…



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30 Nov 2021

Yogavani

Yoga is a Way of Life
From the Closet

Yoga is a Way of Life 

Dr. Hansaji Yogendra, Member, Governing Council, IYA

Is there such a thing like a way of life? Many do not believe that there is and generally feel that a person functions according to a situation. For instance, a mother asks a child to take care while eating the apple since there are worms in it. But the child carelessly replies, “Let the worms take care that I do not eat them”. This implies that when one doesn’t bother about consequences and just rides through the circumstances, he exhibits lack of objective as well as action.
To start with, take steps to overcome certain inborn tendencies. Steadiness of mind is the most cherished objective in an attempt to self-improvement. Steadiness depends on three disciplinary measures viz fortitude (Tapa), self-study (Swadhyaya) and surrender to the will of absolute (Isvara Pranidhana). While Tapa is the observance to break up fixity of old routines and strengthening our will. Yoga also recommends Swadhyaya to overcome some of our strong inborn tendencies that lead to pain and suffering. Lastly, Isvara Pranidhana, a little faith should be there in all of us that a higher power is taking care of all things.

One also should develop good concentration and set up long term goals of a spiritual kind. Nothing should be done out of impulses. Worthwhile objectives with a holistic outlook set the path of a spiritual way of life. Only a person who is very balanced and aware can maintain a correct attitude and heightened awareness. Also we have to become aware of our urges, strong inclinations and act accordingly with full awareness.

“George be a king” was a kind of thought that was drummed into the head of the George III, king of England, during his childhood. Later as a king, he marched on to create major events in the history of England. In the same manner, we too have to find out what are our strongest urges to help us take action and evolve.

One also has to be very smart to tackle the strong ‘I’ sense that exists in each one of us. The ‘I’ “Me’, ‘Mine’, limit our thinking. As there is this whole universe that is ‘Not I’ and which is responsible for what is happening to the ‘I”. We have to accept the bigger design in this world which is ultimately for our own good. We may not understand it, but we have to trust things that are beyond our intelligence. We also need to develop objectivity as we fail to see things as others see it or we fail to see things as they really are. We tend to push our own ideas and end up seeing things as we wish to see. Taking ourselves away from a situation and seeing things objectively is a very hard exercise but it begins right when one starts to restrain oneself in small matters. How we create our problem is seen when a man is asked to walk over a plank placed on floor and he walks with ease. Now if the man is asked to walk over it when the plank is raised few feet, he will be hesitant. But if the plank is raised 50 feet high and he is asked to climb and walk over the plank, he would refuse. The reason is our mind and our limited, negative thinking.

For example a man says “I try to bear with a particular situation, I cannot bear it now.” So, what is that allowed him to bear with the situation so far and what can make him bear it further? Of course his own mind! Then, why does it refuse to bear further? Because it is now weak! Why is it that the original strength that the mind had earlier is weakened? Because he is telling time and again to himself, “I am bearing this and now I cannot bear more. It is too much. Any other person in my position would not bear so much.” So he is just thinking negatively and weakening himself. Since it is said ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’, we create a strong will and a way through Yoga with the practice of karmayoga, Asanas, Pranayamas, Tapa, etc.

“Yoga is a way of life and does not comprise of only physical culture, as generally understood.”
The practical applications of yogic ideals in daily life includes the simple philosophies behind the techniques of Yoga that contributes to better living. These techniques aim at removing the cause of the physical illness if any. And thereafter enhancing the mental attributed (leading to a calm, concentrated and steady mind) thereby realizing one’s own potential and spiritual development.

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