The easy way to find out why we are restless

The easy way to find out why we are restless

The body, mind and soul together make ‘us’. None of these things can be separated, all three are linked together. Doing something for the body will benefit us only if our mind is involved in it. If we do something wholeheartedly, only then it would have a good effect on the body, for example, eating. The body will be active only when the mind is engaged. Yoga includes all these things.

People often ask questions like, ‘What should people do for physical and mental health?’, ‘How useful is yoga?’, etc. Yoga does not only involve asanas; they form only a part of it. There are many other aspects to yoga. For the complete practice of yoga, we need to understand a few things.

– Dr Hansuja Yogendra, Director, The Yoga Institute

Yoga practice has three main aspects

a) Psychology: We need to pay attention to what our state of mind is or how it should be. If someone humiliates us, we get angry or feel bad. It can have many negative effects on the mind as well as the body. We may face digestive system disorders, our nervous system may be affected, some diseases may occur, we may have a weak memory, our discerning ability may be low and we may act differently. However, this is not how we should live. If someone treats us badly, that’s their problem, why should we be upset over it? Yoga brings this maturity.

Ahimsa, satyr, brahmacharya (exercising control in all matters), paragraph (not hoarding anything without reason) and asity (not stealing – this even includes intellectual theft, for example. not breaching copyrights) are important components of yoga practice. The Niyamas (observance) include cleanliness and health. Our body should be clean inside out and our mind should also have clean thoughts. We should be happy and content with what we have. We must work hard to achieve what we don’t have but the lack should not make us fret. The niyama’s tell us what to do, followed by asanas and pranayama. We should understand the body. We should not have soft drinks if they give us cold. If anyone in our family has any disease, we too need to take precautions. We must always keep the mind happy and cheerful. We should not get depressed and feel sad. Thus, yoga tells us how to keep the mind positive.

After the body and the mind, it is the soul that is important and it is connected with the entire universe. Even if we bring home seawater in a copper jug, it is still a part of the original sea. There is tremendous wisdom and enormous energy in the universe. They make the entire universe run smoothly. We must imbibe this wisdom and energy because ultimately we too are a part of this universe. There are many vibrations and sounds to connect our soul with the universe.

If our body and mind are in disagreement, if we are confused and in a state of crisis, only our soul can give us knowledge and peace. We may feel the need to gain strength from somewhere else but we must remember that it is actually within us. When we are in such a situation, we should sit calmly for five minutes, put all our worries behind us, close our eyes, meditate and stabilize the mind. Within five minutes, the mind will stabilise and all our problems will be solved. The energy will come to us from within us. This is called meditation and this too is found in yoga.

b) Philosophy: We must keep our body constantly moving, otherwise the body or the part that is not moving will become stiff. Our spine needs to be always flexible. Also, the area around our navel, the stomach, should always be soft and flat. This requires technique. We need to think about the reason behind each of our actions because we have to suffer the consequences of that act. We must always remember the purpose of our actions. This is where the concept of karma comes in. We need clarity regarding the purpose and goal of our life. We must not be just guided by the heart but also use the mind. For example, we should not eat just because we happen to see a tasty dish. We should eat only if we are hungry. We should use discretion, otherwise, it is we who will suffer.

C) Technology: Technology is what we need to keep the body active. We must understand the psychology and philosophy of yoga. We must understand the mind and the body. Only then can we understand life and our nature.

Have we understood yoga?

It’s a fact that we have not understood yoga. The common perceptions about yoga are that it involves drawing the stomach in and out, doing Sheers asana, or at the most, doing Surya Namaskar. However, remember that yogis place great importance on walking. Asanas are a part of Hatha Yoga. However, a yogi’s life is all about walking, going to the mountains (trekking) and meditation in some form. This is what will keep us fit.

India spread yoga in the world

Over the last decade, people in India and also across the world, have started getting attracted to yoga. Yoga has the power to connect with Indian culture and it’s this power that will give strength to the universe. Prime Minister Narendra Modi realised this and celebrated Yoga Day. Such an atmosphere encourages organisations like ours to carry forward this work. Ramdev Baba is a very enthusiastic Hatha Yogi. He is encouraging yoga using a different technique.

The situation in other countries is different. There is a lot of suffering and discontent. The people there are learning yoga in their own ways but one can sense commercialisation in it. They too need good guidance regarding yoga. The Ministry of Ayush has been encouraging the study of yoga. It has linked yoga with Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy, etc. However, I think that yoga should not be associated with any ‘pathy’. Foreigners are practising yoga now but Indians are going to take time to understand and learn yoga and so are the foreigners.

The right way to practise yoga

Here’s a small example to tell you how to practise or understand yoga. Most of us are familiar with Shavasana but it is necessary to teach its proper technique, in a proper way. The word ‘vairagya’ (detachment) is quite appropriate for the process of taking away consciousness from organs, one by one, in the course of Shavasana. Similarly, the practitioner should be taught that in life too, we need the necessary amount of detachment. Along with it, we should also tell the practitioner that asanas do not mean just raising hands; they involve Philosophy, Psychology and Technology too. Asana is not only a physical activity; it needs the right mindset and spirituality. Do not separate these things from asanas. Most importantly, our nature and behaviour should also be appropriate. We should not let ego even touch us. Even if we have secured a hundred degrees, they are of no use if we have an ego. Rather, if there is ego, there is something fundamentally wrong with our education. We should have such discussions with the students of yoga.

How you can participate

Citizens of all age groups and from all fields can participate in the innovative initiative called ‘Swasthyam’ for their mental and physical well-being. Also, various organisations and groups working in the fields of yoga, pranayama, spirituality, fitness, etc. can participate. Register by opening the following website:


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Global Swasthyam

The Sakal Media Group has organized a massive “Global Festival of Wellness”. It is an event that celebrates mindfulness, its benefits, its historical roots in India, and its relevance to contemporary life.

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