October 16, 2020 |
Read Time: 6 minutes
There is so much ‘glamour and mysticism’ associated with a Yogi and his way of life. And a lot of people sometimes get misguided by this, forgetting the original goal of Yoga, which is all about understand and connecting more with ‘me and myself’ for a happier healthier life.
A Yogic lifestyle surely doesn’t mean that one should go to the Himalayas or is from there!
How can one lead a yogic lifestyle while living in today’s busy modern world, especially in today’s Covid 19 days?
‘Yoga’ and ‘Yogic Lifestyle’ have become popular buzzwords today with two extremes,- some people either swearing by it or some others completely swerving away from it! And as always, there are many in the middle, – some curious, some practicing some aspects of yoga-like asana, some seeking more knowledge about yoga, and some wondering to what extent one can practice yoga and why one should seek a yogic lifestyle at all.
The root word of yoga is ‘Yuj’. This word ‘Yuj’ has two meanings, – union and meditation.
In a spiritual context, ‘Yuj’ as union refers to the yoking or meeting of the Jivatma with Paramatma In our day to day lives, this union is all about bringing a parity, unity and integration of our thoughts, speech and action for a happier healthier life.
Most of us are in a state of stress, anguish, restlessness or ill health mainly because we operate at different levels in our actions and what we do daily at the mind, body and speech level. We think something, we say something else and we do a completely different thing! There is a continuous contradiction within us and this manifests over a period of time in various mental and physical ailments and illness and leaves us emotionally vulnerable. Yoga and a Yogic way of life seeks to remove these contradictions and replace it with a consistency in our thoughts, speech and action resulting in a calmer, peaceful and happier person at the physical and mental level. Harmony is the key goal of yoga. And with this, it also opens up a path for a spiritual exploration for those interested in it.
The main tripod of Tapas (Practices to Burn Impurities at body and mind level) , Svadhyaya (Self Reflection) and Iswarapranidhana(Divine Grace) in Yoga equips and enables a yoga practitioner to review, reflect and replace negative thoughts and action with positive thoughts and action. We move towards reducing all the afflictions which cause pain and misery and refine our mind to a clear, stable state.
‘Yuj’ as meditation is all about reducing the thoughts in our mind and reaching a state of stillness so as to realise our true Self in spiritual terms. In our day to day lives, this meditation translates to being completely mindful and aware of everything we think and do in our day to day lives. We are very rarely, if at all, living in the present. We are either lost in the past and/or dreaming about the future and in the process the present slips away. Yoga and a yogic lifestyle brings in complete mindfulness in whatever we are doing in our daily lives and thus resulting in a more efficient and effective me. This in turn, over a period of time, enables us to operate at our 100% potential.
The various limbs of yoga namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi operate at different levels removing any blocks, hinderances and obstacles at each level, starting from our behaviour, to our body , to our breath, to our mind . Over a period of time, with regular and correct practice, this paves the way for a smooth, seamless way of living our lives on a day to day basis. We are able to give our best to whatever we do and then step back and accept whatever life deals us with equanimity and balance.
A yogic way of life is about being in harmony in the ‘here and now’. And this ‘way of life’ is open and accessible to one and all with no restrictions! The only pre requisite is the desire to wholeheartedly welcome and follow the yogic principles without getting swayed by the glamour of it. Yoga is surely not about cutting yourself off from the real world and retreating in to the forest or mountains away from mankind. Yoga is about the now, – about refining and elevating our day to day living for a more peaceful, happier and healthier life!