Yoga as a Lifestyle
Yoga as a lifestyle or the ‘yogic way’ has a huge following. It is amazing that a tradition which is more than 5000 years old has today become a popular way of life. The power of yoga lies in its simplicity, flexibility and diversity. Yoga is not a religion, yet can be practiced in harmony with any religion. The yogic philosophy and its various techniques can be followed by anyone and everyone in any setting. This broad scope of yoga has made it easy for people from all walks of life, whether busy or active or even sedentary, to follow their own selective techniques, suited to their lifestyle. The yogic life style can be adapted and merged into any lifestyle with ease.
Now, what is a yogic lifestyle all about? Well, today yoga courses have sprouted all over the world teaching yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation. A typical yoga enthusiast performs postures, does breathing exercises, owns his own yoga mat and accessories, wears a yoga T-shirt, uses postures for his fitness and may even use organic food and stick to a vegetarian diet. But one has to remember that yoga is not limited to these. Yoga is an ancient science which harmonizes the body, mind and spirit.
In the Bhagvat Gita, yoga is expounded as – “Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam”, which mean Yoga is perfection in action. A yogi is one who can do the daily activities of life with efficiency and awareness, without the underlying attachment or clinging, which may bring sorrow. Doing every action with awareness, without reacting to situations brings harmony in our lives. It can make you a better parent, a better boss, a better student or a better sportsman. It does not matter what your life style is. Yoga brings in a value addition at every level and enhances the quality of your life.
Having said all these, today yoga is seen more as a counter-balance to one’s stressful and overworked lifestyle, which lacks proper exercise and relaxation. These factors have contributed to most life style diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, back & neck pains, obesity, migraine, depression, drug addictions, cardiac problems and even cancer. Yoga should not be seen as a panacea for all problems, yet it can prevent or solve most of these problems, if practiced under the guidance of an expert.
To experience the real benefits of yoga, you have to make it as part of your daily activity. Taking a 2 week course on yoga practice won’t help you much, unless you take it up as a part of your life style. It is better to do a 15 – 30 minutes practice every day, rather than doing hours of yoga for just 2 weeks and then forgetting it. In a long run, yoga can help prevent or delay most of the life style diseases. It can also help in alleviating some of chronic conditions caused by them.
Yoga was developed as part of the ancient Indian spiritual culture. Yoga was integrated into the arts, sciences and day to day life in the ancient times. The effect of this is seen, even today seen in the Indian culture. It is considered as a way of life which harmonizes the body, mind and spirit, thereby creating a peaceful and vibrant society.