Yoga for a sound mind

  • By Team TDO

What does the mere mention of the word ‘yoga’ bring to your mind? Is it a picture of long haired ‘Himalayan ascetics’ doing a head stand, with arms and legs bundled in bizarre contortions? Or is it the supernatural ability to levitate? Or maybe is it a $1000 an hour instruction at a swanky yoga studio somewhere in Beverly Hills or thereabouts? Indeed, yoga means different things to different people. But, the fact remains that, this esoteric discipline of performing body postures, breath control & meditation, which originated in India, has stood the test of time, and, today, millions embrace it to help them ward off and alleviate chronic health conditions and maintain physical & psychological health. That’s not really surprising, considering that the word Yoga means to yoke, join or unify. Thus, it is the science and the art of unifying and strengthening the practitioner in all areas of existence & experience - physical, mental and spiritual. While yoga is not a substitute for psychologist or psychiatrists, it can help with our mental health, which is of major concern today. There is a steady increase in mental ailments and disorders of various kinds affecting all sexes, age groups and economic backgrounds. Blame it on the abnormal pressures that the modern world has heaped upon us - the unhealthy competition, lifestyle choices, change in work and family dynamics, and technological advances. Yoga poses called as yogasanas cleanse the body thoroughly and helps get rid of the toxins. It makes the nervous and circulatory systems healthy. And a healthy mind can reside only in a healthy body. Breathing exercises called as pranayamas improve circulation and oxygen supply in all the organs. It provides more oxygen to all the brain cells, thereby improving their efficiency. Pranayama brings natural peace of mind and drives away negativity from mind and life. The best part is that breathing techniques are easy to learn, and once learnt, can be done anywhere.