Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoga - The Holistic Practice!

As we approach the world Yoga day on 21st June 2015, here is an excerpt from my Co-Authored book on Yoga, which I am sure will dispel quite a few misconceptions about the practice!

Yoga is one of the most ancient cultural heritages of India. The word yoga in Sanskrit means "to unite” and so yoga can be said to mean a unitive discipline. In this sense it is an exercise in moral and mental cultivation that generates good health (arogya), contributes to longevity (chirayu), and the total intrinsic discipline culminates into positive and perennial happiness and peace. In its spiritual sense, it is the process by which the uniqueness of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is realized by the Yogi. It is the union of all aspects of an individual: body, mind and soul

Yoga is an all-encompassing way of life, a science of self-culture and mental discipline that ensures the purgation of the ignoble in man and brings forth what is most noble in him. It is relevant to all people irrespective of their caste, creed, sex, and religion. Yoga is for all. Yoga is universal. It is not a sectarian affair. The practice of Yoga is not conflicting to any religion. It is purely spiritual and universal. It does not contradict anyone's sincere faith. It can be beneficial to all - the good and the bad, the sick and the healthy, the believer and the non-believer, the literate and the ignorant, the young and the old. 

There are too many misconceptions confusing the science of Yoga. People perceive it to be some kind of black or white magic, sorcery, physical or mental wickedness through which miraculous feats can be performed. For some it is an extremely dangerous practice, which should be limited to only those who have renounced the world. 

The real meaning of Yoga: Yogash chita vritti nirodha
Yoga is the termination of mental fragmentation.

Yoga: Oneness, yoga. Chitta: mind. Vritti: wave, the action of rolling, modification, way of being. Nirodha: cessation.
All about Yoga is said in the four words Yogah,Chitta, Vritti, nirodha. The four words of the second sutra define the “discipline” in a practical way. But then one should know their meaning and mostly what they signal to us. Chitta is the mind field, which is the ocean of perception and reflection. Even deep sleep is included in that world of perception, or cognitive activity. 

The meaning of vritti exceeds what we normally mean by thought. The idea of something rolling, of a wave in motion, is the first meaning. It is a more basic procedure than the solitary conscious thinking. We can say mental activity of form of consciousness, and that’s how we will translate it most of the time.

The word nirodha carries in itself the complete core of spiritual understanding, the full grace dawning on the open soul. It is the cessation, the silence. But what is silence? Silence imposed by thought —“what we often designate by the word “control”— is not silence”, It is an effort, a struggle, and uneasiness: in other words, it is still a troublesome thought: there is still someone looking after a goal. On the contrary, the discipline of yoga is the cessation of something that has hardly ceased until now and which we evoke by the expression chitta vritti.
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