Dhananjay Kumar Singh

What Does Yoga Mean to Me?

(Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India; Photo by PRATEEK JAISWAL on Unsplash)

Dhananjay Kumar Singh lives in India and shares what Yoga means to him on a daily basis—a way to relax himself, relieve stress, and declutter his mind.

 

Get-rich-quick dreams or a craving to be superior to others in terms of money, wealth, power, knowledge, strength, etc., have made humans a slave of pseudo status. In brief, gaining lots in a shorter period has forced the human race to carry extra mental baggage and, in turn, resulted in a plethora of disorders. Depression, anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, blood sugar, and many more are its outcome.

But why am I discussing all these ailments in the context of Yoga? Is there a deep connection? Exactly, that’s what Yoga relieves.

Undoubtedly, Yoga has been defined in many ways. But, for me, Yoga is a set of exercises that relaxes me, removes my stress, and gives me mental peace. Saying only “mental peace” would be an injustice to Yoga. It’s a way of decluttering the mind filled with unwanted thoughts and ideas.

In fact, Yoga is not simply a word that is derived from Sanskrit but is a set of exercises that acts as a key to unlock the source of tremendous energy hidden in our body. It’s like a power beam that activates the energy centers on an infinitesimal level, which is really incomprehensible to many. These energy centers are also known by name as Chakras, which is seven in numbers. Through these centers, Pransakti, or energy, flows throughout our body. Any blockage in our energy centers results in different types of illnesses. And through Yoga only constant energy flow can be achieved.

Patanjali, an ancient Indian sage estimated to have lived between 2nd century B.C. to 4th century A.D., is said to be the founder of the classical Yoga. He gave “Yogasutras,” the techniques, of Yoga. Yoga has eight elements, but basically three are important. Asanas, Pranayama, and concentration. Asanas relates to different exercises by changing postures of the body. Pranayama is control over breathing which provides more oxygen to the body that creates inner peace. And on focusing the breathing the concentration increases.

 

Yoga is a set of exercises that relaxes me, removes my stress, and gives me mental peace. … It’s a way of decluttering the mind filled with unwanted thoughts and ideas.

 

It is said that in ancient times using these techniques of Yoga, Indian saints could increase their age. But with the passage of time, Yoga techniques also got modified. Now, the present-day modern Yoga is much different from the classical one.

Immensely knowledgeable in Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu system of medicines, why would Indian saints also feel the need for Yoga? The answer is very clear. Through Ayurveda, a disease-free body can be achieved. While Yoga deals in proper coordination of body, mind, and soul, a balancing of all three achieves a sound being.

Our breathing rate goes up when we get angry, and down as we cool off. You will observe a different breathing pattern during different emotions. Breathing pattern is closely connected with our emotions. Yoga works on breathing techniques and helps in controlling unpleasant emotions and brings back the mind to the present state, a type of awakening. Deep breathing cleanses our body and mind, increases blood circulation, reduces stress level, and maintains hormonal balance in the body, which is the root cause of many physical and mental illnesses.

Definitely, there is no specific time to practice Yoga. What is important, though, is one should practice it routinely. The best time is in the morning as practicing Yoga on an empty stomach is believed to be the best for overall well-being. There are many who practice Yoga before going to bed as it declutters the mind and reduces stress. I prefer doing Yoga during the morning as it energizes me, fills me with positive energy, and keeps me happier and refreshed all day.

No doubt there are countless benefits of Yoga, but what we have to do is practice it regularly.

 

Dhananjay Kumar Singh

Dhananjay Kumar Singh resides in India and is the author of the science fiction short story book The Chlorophyllic Human. He has a passion for writing and his work includes short stories and travelogues. He expresses his views through writing on subjects ranging from social issues to astronomy. He loves science and nature.

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