“Yoga goes beyond relaxing the mind and body. It’s an amazing workout that gets your heart pumping, boosts your energy and best of all, it allows you to be in the moment!”
Yoga is often thought of as physical asanas done on the mat, yet in reality yoga is like an ocean. Some people come to the ocean to take a stroll and enjoy the breeze. Some want to put their feet in. Some enjoy swimming, surfing or scuba diving, while some go with a rig to get the oil. Irrespective of how deep one wants to go, the regular practice of yoga brings forth a myriad of benefits and enhances one’s growth and evolution.
Mind management is the foundation for well-being and skillful expression of life. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “Yoga is skill in action.” Indeed, yoga is a way of living life.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, global humanitarian and spiritual leader says, “Life is an art of how to balance your body, mind, intellect and spirit. A disease free body, quiver free breath, confusion free mind, inhibition free intellect, trauma free memory and ego that encompasses everyone is the birthright of every human being.”
Yoga allows you to take a deep dive into various levels of your existence to bring harmony. Awareness of the real you is a great asset. Being anchored in your true self goes a long way in staying confident, overcoming criticism or judgment and continuing to give your best. The asanas, breath, meditation and silence serve as tools in the exploration of the real you.
While the practice of yoga brings forth infinite possibilities, here are some benefits of doing yogic practices consistently that can empower you with the tremendous stamina needed to run life’s marathon:
At one level the challenges of life can be daunting, yet they offer an opportunity to bring out one’s talents and skills required to overcome them. Seeing any situation or person from a broader perspective or a wider lens prevents stress from influencing one’s mind. A regular meditation practice of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) or Sahaj Samadhi (transcendental meditation) changes one’s perception, observation and expression. Often, when one gets disturbed, it is by the perception and expression of oneself or others. However, yoga allows us to harness our energies in a way that we can maintain a state of equanimity even when there is chaos.
As human beings, the need for social connection is fundamental. This connection happens at different levels. Yoga allows one to connect with one’s true self, simply by bringing the real self to the table. If you are able to connect with yourself authentically, you will also be able to connect with others from that space.
Working from this space of authenticity is often appreciated because genuineness has a great role to play in influencing others. When one is established in one’s center, one doesn’t feel the need to impress. You are able to communicate from a natural state, knowing that some people will like you, and some won’t. Genuineness implies not being swayed by other people’s perception of you. It also means accepting others with their imperfections.
Eye on the Positive
Numerous studies have shown that optimists are physically and psychologically healthier than pessimists. They also perform better at work. A mind that is trained to think positively serves the person and others around them with positivity, keeping the energy of the environment high. Yoga and meditation wire the mind to keep attention on what is working, so that one can jump back on the horse and start riding again. The skill of resilience and agility are much needed in today’s complex world.
A true yogi knows the skill of being unshakably happy. Whether something desired happens or not, a yogi doesn’t lose equanimity. Often, we get shaken by unfavorable events, situations or words from other people. A yogi knows the art of remaining calm and peaceful.
Serving the World
A yogi goes inward to recharge and rejuvenate and then turns outward to fulfill all duties related to work and personal life, and to serve the community and society. Sri Sri says, “No yoga is complete if it does not include a component of service to the society. This is where Karma yoga comes in.”
Yoga brings flexibility to the body, clarity and resilience in the mind, sharpness in the intellect and lightness at the level of the being. In the outer world, all these qualities manifest in an individual who is more energetic, enthusiastic, happier, skillful and accomplished.