Practice of the Month

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Flax Sesame Crackers 

Flax Sesame Crackers are a healthy light wheat cracker with good quantity of sesame seeds and flax seeds. Oats used in the dish are rich in antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, improves blood sugar. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and…

YVNites honored at KKSU 

In 12th Convocation of Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek on March 6, 2024, YVN trained teacher (33rd YTTC Dadar), Smt Vanita Mugdam felicitated with gold medal for standing highest in M. A. in Yogashastra through open and distance education (ODL) by scoring 86.5 %…

YVN to conclude Golden Jubilee Celebrations 

Yoga Vidya Niketan, Member Institute, Indian Yoga Association is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Year from March 2023 to April 2024. Concluding function of Golden Jubilee Year Celebration will be held on April 9, 2024, in between 4pm to 7pm, at Yoga Bhavan, the own structure…

YVN organises events to promote Yoga 

Annual Exhibition Yoga Vidya Niketan, Member Institute of Indian Yoga Association held one day program on Annual Exhibition cum lectures on January 14, 2024 at Yoga Bhavan, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. After floral salute to statue of Swami Kuvalayanand and founder of YVN late Yogacharya Padmashri…

J&K UTCC announces Scholarship Certification Program 

The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory Chapter Committee in association with Swaraj Yoga Institute announced a scholarship certification program from various categories, border areas and BPL background. The announcement was made under the chairmanship of Dr Shreyansh Jain and Shri Anil Swaraj, Founder, Swaraj Yoga…

Chandigarh SCC organizes Yoga Camp 

Chandigarh State Chapter of Indian Yoga Association organized 5 Days Yoga Camp for a healthy Lifestyle at Government College of Commerce and Business Administration (GCCBA Chandigarh, a constituent college of the Panjab University), Sector 50, Chandigarh from February 26 – March 1, 2024. This boot…

Karnataka SCC conducts GBM at Art of Living Ashram 

Karnataka State Chapter Committee of the Indian Yoga Association organised its General Body Meeting on January 28, 2024 with the blessings of Gurudev Shri Shri Ravishankar, Chairman, Indian Yoga Association at the Art of Living International Center, Bengaluru. The event was attended by the members…

Chandigarh SCC celebrates Republic Day at Consulate General of India, Canada 

Glimpses of the Republic Day celebrations by Shri Ajit Handa, Chairperson, Chandigarh State Chapter Committee at Consulate General of India, Vancouver. He was on a vacation in Canada with is daughter.

SAHS and IYA celebrates International Mind Body Wellness Day 

The NSS unit, School of Allied Health Sciences, Salem, Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation (DU) in collaboration with Indian Yoga association celebrated International Mind Body Wellness Day on January 3. On the occasion an awareness programme was held at the Skill Lab Auditorium. Prof.Dr.B.Sendilkumar, Director, SAHS,…

Shree Kala Yoga organises Yoga Trainer Camp 

Shree Kala Yoga, Associate Centre, Indian Yoga Association in along with Gujarat State Yog Board organised Yog Trainer Camp in Gandhidham. As many as 35 trainee attended the 45 days long training camp that commenced on December 1, 2023. The camp culminated on January 16,…



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12 Apr 2024

Yogavani

Yogic Toolbox for Mental Health and Wellbeing
Editorial

Yogic Toolbox for Mental Health and Wellbeing 

Yoga, our ancient cultural heritage, understands health and wellbeing as a dynamic continuum of human nature and not a mere ‘state’ to be attained and maintained. Yogi Swatmarama, author of the Ha­thayoga Pradipika, gives us the assurance, “One who tirelessly practices Yoga attains success irrespective of whether they are young, old decrepit, diseased or weak”.

The central theme of Yoga is the Golden Mean (yukta), finding the middle path, a constant search for moderation and a harmonious homoeostatic bal­ance. Proper practice and living of the Yogic prin­ciples produce an inner balance that gives stability and calm even in the midst of chaos. This ancient science shows its adherents a clear path to the “eye of the storm” and ensures a stability that endures within, even as the cyclone may rage on externally.
The vast science of Yoga offers us many tools to obtain, maintain or regain our mental health and wellbeing.

A few of them are listed below:

Tools to induce psycho-physical harmony: Asana-s (static postures), kriya-s (systematic and rationale movements), mudra-s (seals of neuro­muscular energy) and bandha-s (locks for neuro­muscular energy) gently stretch and strengthen the musculoskeletal system in a healthy manner. They improve mobility and flexibility of the different joints and groups of muscles. There is also concom­itant improvement in the systemic function such as respiration, circulation, metabolism, digestion and elimination. A general sense of health and wellbeing is also promoted by these aspects of Yoga that help release feel good hormones like endorphins and encephalins.

Tools to balance emotional volatility:
Swadhyaya (introspectional self analysis), pranayama (breathing techniques for control of vital energy), pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), dharana (intense concentration), dhyana (medi­tational oneness) and bhajana (devotional music) stabilize emotional turmoil and relieve stress and mental fatigue. They bring about an excellent sense of emotional balance that is vital for good health. Group work also enables achievement of emotional balance essential for good health.

Development of appropriate psychologi­cal attitudes:
Yoga encourages us to step back and take a meta-cognitive, objective view of our habitual patterns of behavior and thoughts. This enables us to cope better with situations that normally put our bodies and minds under strain. Maharishi Patanjali empha­sizes the need to develop follow­ing qualities in order to become mentally balanced humane beings. He emphasizes abhyasa (relentless positive self-effort) and vairagya (dispassionate attitude) along with ishwara pranidhana (acceptance and humility of the universal plan). He provides an antidote to the stress pandemic by suggesting change in our inner perspective through pratipaksha bhavanam (adoption of the contrary attitudes in the face of negativities). He ad­vises us to develop clarity of mind (chitta prasadanam) through adop­tion of four conscious attitudes: namely maitri (friendliness towards those who are at peace with themselves), karuna (compassion for the suffering), mudita (cheerfulness towards the virtuous) and upekshanam (indifference and avoid­ance of the evil).

Contemplation, relaxation and medita­tion:
There are a great many Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga techniques of relaxation and visualization that are useful. Other practices such as trataka (concentrated gaze), pranayama, pratyahara, dharana as well as dhyana may also be utilized. Relaxation is a cen­tral element in Yoga as it is the body’s own way of recharging its cells and helps to ease physical, emotional and mental tensions. We can facilitate our own healing when we are relaxed. In fact, we often unintentionally retard our inherent healing mecha­nisms when we are tense and uptight. Choice is ours to make!

Enhancing spiritual awareness:
Yoga is the best way for us to consciously evolve out of our lower, sub-human nature, into our elevat­ed human and humane nature. Ultimately, this life giving, life enhancing and life sustaining science of humanity allows us to achieve in full measure the Divinity that resides within each of us. Swadhyaya, satsanga (spiritual gathering), bhajana sessions and Yogic counseling are important aspects of Yogic living. “Oneness” is health whereas “Duality” is disease. We cannot remain lonely, depressed and diseased if we realize that we are part of a wonder­ful, joyful and harmonious Universe. Spirituality is the personal connection we feel with our own inner being. This can be strengthened greatly through con­scious introspection and self inquiry. When we begin to understand the oneness manifest through all forms of life, we manifest gratitude, respect and love. Our life becomes one of selfless service (nishkama seva) for humanity. At that point, we start to radiate joy, love and wellbeing (tejasvi).

Relieving suffering and pain:
In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita (VI : 23), Yoga is also defined as “dukkhasamyogaviyogam yoga samjnitham”, the conscious disassociation from union with suffering. Yoga improves pain tolerance and provides an improved quality of life. It can be safely said that Yoga helps us endure conditions that it may not be able to cure. This is vital in end life situations where it is important that the patient has a sense of improved qual­ity of life during their final days and moments on earth. Yoga can also benefit caretakers of such terminal patients who are under great stress themselves as it enables them to realise that we fulfill ourselves best as human beings when we help others.


In conclusion:
Yoga is the original mind body medicine and is one of the greatest treasures of the unique Indian cultural heritage. As both an art and science it has a lot to offer humankind in terms of an understanding of both the human mind as well as all aspects of our multilayered existence. Yogic lifestyle, Yogic diet, Yogic attitudes and various Yogic practices help man to strengthen himself and develop positive health thus enabling him to withstand stress better. This Yogic “health insurance” is achieved by normalizing the perception of stress, optimizing the reaction to it and by releasing it effectively through various practices. Yoga is truly a whole­some and integral science of life that deals with multidimensional aspects of health in both the individual and society.

Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
(Editor-in-Chief)

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