Dear Readers wish you all a very happy International Day of Yoga. Yog or Yoga is being part of human civilization since era of sages. This day is a special day for the global recognition of Yoga. Let’s celebrate it and be happy and healthy. More than celebration let’s take this opportunity to rationalize and understand need of Yoga in our present Life Style.
The word “Life Style” itself explains the root cause of today’s physical, mental, social, financial, spiritual miseries. Style, means the way you conduct and carry. In continuation, a method developed to fleece true or natural. If people would have taken life as it is, without adding up the essence of style, things were simpler and easier.
When Maharishi Patanjali had written Patanjali Yog Sutra (Yoga), his original object was to explain life and its conduct as it is. But today world is seeking solace of Yoga to correct the life style. How many of you believe that Life Style is a major cause for many unwilling events of life?
Let’s move forward and explore our present Life Style and its pros and cons and how Yoga can help to correct or improve Life Style. Life Style includes almost everything of our daily life. From the time we get up from bed to the time again go back to bed. Let’s go through a quick questionnaire to check how good our life style is.
- Do you mostly answer in the negative?
- Do you laugh very less than earlier?
- Do you experience low energy levels / low libido lately?
- Do you feel guilty when relaxing?
- Are you unclear about your goals in life?
- Do you share/ care others’ joy & sorrow?
- Are you especially competitive/ over ambitious?
- Do you work harder than most people?
- Do you feel you aren’t well equipped/ supported to handle work?
- Do you easily become angry and jealous?
- Do you have a constant need for achievements/ greed versus need?
- Do you often multi-task?
- Do you get impatient if people or things hold you up?
- Do you have difficulty in sleeping?
- Are you not able to enjoy life?
- Do you often blame and complain?
- Are you eating more than you can chew?
- Are you consuming enough raw or natural diet?
- Do you hesitate to say NO as an answer?
- Are you dependant or addicted to anything?
If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any 11 of the above questions then you are highly stressed due to wrong life style and need to start YOGA immediately.
Yoga is a thousand of years old science, written by Maharishi Patanjali as Patanjali Yog Sutra or famously known as Ashtang Yog (Eight Fold Path). All those many years ago, he foresaw the stress of living today and came out with eight steps to follow for better health, happiness and stress free life… that is Ashtang Yog. In one sentence of Sanskrit shloka he says follow eight steps of bliss/harmony i.e. YOGA.
“Yam niyamaasan pranayam pratyahar dharna dhyan samadhyoyshtangani!”
Maharishi Patanjali, clearly understood stress, its causes (mismanaged life style), its manifestations and luckily for us, created an effective way to manage, control and banish it. The modern world’s answer to a world of stress. That is yoga. Make no mistake Yoga is no new age mumbo- jumbo. It is based on tradition and years of scientific, systematic research and practice of Ashtang Yog. To second the opinions mentioned in Patanjali Yog Sutra, we have another Indian scripture Bhagvad Geeta explaining same thing further.
“Manah eav manushyanam karanam bandhmokshyoh!”
It means Mind is the only reason for the bond and the freedom. To answer this we again refer to Patanjali Yog Sutra. Which says, Yoga practices help to achieve more inner awareness and purity of mind & soul.
Now how do we relate all this with life style? Simple all that begins here and there actually begins in the mind. All those characteristics which explain and motivate one’s life style are actually takes birth in the mind. Whether its addiction, dependency, arrogance, jealousness, possessiveness, over ambitious, greed or anything which comply you to act or react in unordinary way, are example of mismanaged life style.
Where does this mismanaged life style takes us or what are the consequences of such life style?
Actually consequences are many but bond between those consequences and such life style is one, that is “Stress”. 90% of us do pay Stress Tax. Manifestations of stress are psychological and behavioural both.
- Psychological– trembling, tremors, incisiveness, inefficiency and at times in executing responsibilities and escapism.
- Behavioural – social or personal, intolerance, indecisiveness, over estimation or under estimation or failure to judge, miscalculations and many of such phenomena. Stress is responsible for 75% of diseases and problems in urban culture. Some of the major health problems are Heart Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Ulcers, Insomnia, Asthma, PMS, Low Libido and Psychosomatic disorders etc.
How can Ashtang Yog help in same?
There are eight steps in Ashtang Yog. If one follows them in systematic and disciplinary way, one self can notice tremendous and blissful state of life.
- Yam (Attitude Training): Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Bramhcharya & Aparigraha (Non Violence, Truthfulness, Non Stealing, Devotion & Non Possessiveness)
- Niyam (Attitudinal Training): Sauch, Santosh, Tapah, Swadhyaay & Ishwarpranidhaan (Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Self-Recitation & Surrender to Almighty)
- Asan: Postures
- Pranayam: Breathing Practices
- Pratyahar: Withdrawl of Senses
- Dharna: Concentration
- Dhyan: Meditation
- Samadhi: Blissful State of Body & Mind
Next step for a better disease free life style is correction of diet and eating habits. Swami Vivekanand has said, “Pure food leads to a pure mind and in a pure mind there is a constant memory of God.” We are what we eat. It is mentioned in Geeta,
Yuktaharviharasya yuktachestasya karmsu, yuktaswpnavabodhasya yogo bhavati dukhaha
Those who eat moderately, recreation is regular, efforts in work are balanced, sleep is moderate and wakefulness is also moderate then their practice of Yoga will take away all Stress. In Ashtang Yog there is a mention of Yogic Diet. The most simple and efficient way to regulate diet and eating habits. That is called “Mitahara”. Mitahara gives us proportion in which one consumes and the kind of food one eats. It says one should eat Satvic food. 50% Satvic Food, 25% Liquid and 25% Empty. Food should be kind of which makes one energetic and active not lethargy and drowsy.
Food has been categorised in three categories, Satvic, Rajsic and Tamsic. The last three letters of each word are enough to understand quality of that food. Anything which you eat or drink if it gives discomfort to your mouth like burns, tingles etc. how can it will give comfort to your system inside.
Eat to live not live to eat. Few simple points to keep life style in order and stress free.
- First & Foremost is Mind, so be Positive.
- Second is Emotions, Balance them.
- Third is Body, keep it Supple and Slim.
- Breath: Steady, Slow and Subtle.
- Diet: Moderate, but full of variety. Have Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a
- Pauper to fuel your Brain, Body & Soul systematic way.
- Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Recreation and have no Remorse.
- Avoid Dependence and Addiction.
- When you exercise the Body, you exercise the Brain and Breath.
- Make time for friends, family & self.
- Laughter is good for Reducing Stress.
- Keep stress in control by Entertainment as well.
- Give yourself a Workout/ Yoga/ Good Sleep.
- Drink Water before you feel thirsty. At least 8- 10 Glasses daily.
- If in Stress, Fight, Flight or Flow. If no solution then may be let go it.
- Avoid Blaming, Complaining, Bless and get rid of Stress.
- Forget and Forgive. Live and Let Live.
- Live in Present not in Past or Future.
- Reaction can Cause Stress but Actions won’t.
- Do Things with Pleasure not for the Sake of Pleasure.
- Maintain Life not Life Style.
Thank you for reading. Share your thoughts.
This is a guest post by our Ombassador Yoga Guru, Shri. Vinayak Dixit for the Omved Blog.
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