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,…
Yoga has assumed significance worldwide and the Government of India is currently promoting indigenous systems of health through AYUSH. The limitations of modern medicine in managing stress induced psychosomatic and chronic illnesses are the strength of Yoga and hence a holistic integration of both systems enables best quality of health care.
The modern world is facing a pandemic of lifestyle disorders that require changes to be made consciously by individuals themselves, and as yoga is the best lifestyle ever designed, it has potential in the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of prevalent lifestyle disorders. Yogic lifestyle, yogic diet, yogic attitudes, and various yogic practices help humans to strengthen themselves and develop positive health, thus enabling them to withstand stress better. This yogic “health insurance” is achieved by normalizing the perception of stress, optimizing the reaction to it, and by releasing the pent-up stress effectively through various yogic practices.
Major benefits of yoga may occur due to its lifestyle components (healthy diet, activity, relaxation, and positive attitude) as well as psychosomatic harmonizing effects of pranayama and yogic relaxation. Yoga places a great importance on a proper and healthy lifestyle whose main components are achar (healthy activities), vyavahar (healthy relationships), vichar (healthy thoughts), ahar (healthy food), and vihar (healthy recreation).
Fundamental yogic principles useful in the management of lifestyle disorders include psychological reconditioning and development of appropriate attitudes; stress management; normalization of metabolism; and relaxation, visualization, and contemplative practices.
This integrative approach bridges traditional and modern approaches to healthcare in the form of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCI) to serve the patient population in a more efficient, cost effective and patient friendly manner. This is in line with the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023 developed and launched in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine (WHA62.13). This strategy aims to support Member States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicine plays in keeping populations healthy.
In the last century, Yoga has developed in various directions and dimensions under the guidance of many eminent masters. These masters have codified their own Bani (styles) of Yoga that are often at variance with one another but all of them still maintain the traditional lineage to Yoga Vidya or the Science of Yoga.
The term ‘unity in diversity’ is apt for these developments and though on the surface the different traditions or Banis may appear to be even contradictory, they all ultimately lead to the same goal of spiritual union though in diverse paths. Major developments in recent times have been the extensive research done in the field of Yoga as well as the transformation of Yoga education from the Gurukula and Ashram settings to the college and university oriented Yoga.
“Yujyate anena iti yogah”, Yoga is indeed union, communion and reunion. It is the integration of body, mind and spirit enabling us to realize the oneness that lies within our own self. Yet for so many years, there was no one single body to bring together the living traditions of Indian Yoga and hence a state of vi-yoga existed amongst the great institutions and traditions of Yoga in our country.
To fulfill this felt need, after years of consultation with eminent Yoga experts, the Indian Yoga Association, a self regulatory body of eminent yoga institutions of India was founded and formally registered on 31 October 2008. Since then the IYA has taken giant strides and today virtually every major tradition of Yoga is part of it and the Governing and Executive Council represent majors leaders of the modern yoga movement. We welcome everyone in the yoga family to join hands together so that we can take the giant leap into this new decade that promises to be one of Yoga.
Hariom tat sat.
Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
( Editor-in-Chief )