Mostly Cloudy
4°CMon :Mostly Sunny. High: 3 Low: -7

Yoga improves mental well-being

Yoga improves mental well-being

New Delhi: Yoga postures are very different from ordinary exercise. It is a mistake even to call the postures exercises, in the usual sense of the word. Their purpose is not to strengthen the muscles. They emphasise relaxation quite as much as they do tension. Unlike most physical exercises, they do not excite; rather, they eliminate excitement from the system.

An important difference between these postures and other systems of exercise is that in yoga practice one must never strain. Relax; never force yourself, into the prescribed positions. Stretch only slightly, if at all, beyond the point of comfort. You will be astonished to see how many poses you can accomplish by progressively deeper relaxation.

The yogi should act always from a centre of poise and calmness, of mental and physical relaxation. When I first met my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, he told me that, while sitting in a chair giving interviews, he was not even aware of his body below the chest. To be able so completely to relax the body when not using it, it is necessary first to be in full control of it; to be able at will to be fully conscious of every muscle.

The yoga postures are not only a series of physical positions but exercises in mental awareness. The yogi must try to become conscious of the energy as it directs the muscular movements.

Between poses, he should calmly withdraw his energy from the periphery of his body; he should rest within himself. Savasana, the Corpse Pose, is particularly recommended for these peaceful interludes.

The yogi is enjoined to practice moderation in everything. He should avoid eating too much, or too little. He should not sleep too much, nor too little. (More than seven hours` sleep at night only drugs the nervous system.) He should be especially moderate in his sex life. Sexual over-indulgence causes tremendous drain on natural vitality. Continence, if it has the full consent of the mind, can be a tremendous factor in helping one to achieve full vigour, mentally and physically, and to attain deep spiritual insight.

Yoga practices help one to live in harmony with the forces of nature. The yoga postures should always, if possible, be practised out-of-doors, or by an open window.

They should be practised on an empty stomach or at least three hours after eating. It is preferable that the body be warm when performing them. But don`t practise immediately after strenuous activity; or so long that the postures themselves result in over-exertion and fatigue.

Women should use caution if they wish to do yoga postures during the first day or two of the menstrual period.

The postures should not be practised, save with the greatest of caution, when the body is unwell. Any posture that gives rise to a feeling of pain (other than muscular) in the chest, abdomen or brain should be abandoned until the cause has been ascertained. People with high blood pressure should avoid all but the most gentle poses.

The duration of each posture must be increased gradually. People beginning these postures after middle age should be particularly careful to start slowly, with the easier poses, bit by bit working up to the more difficult ones.

 

Top Stories

315166-arun-jaitley-manit

Central budget ignores marginalised sections: Narayanasamy

March-02-2015
AICC General Secretary and previous union clergyman V Narayanasamy today named the Central plan 2015-2016 exhibited in Parliament on February 28 as
bowling mantra

India’s playing mantra: Keep it tight

March-02-2015
PERTH: India are up against the mysterious West Indies at the WACA on Friday. The inquiry premier in captain MS Dhoni’s psyche
pb-acharya-384x281

Assam CM, representative conflict over Assam poaching issue

March-02-2015
The level headed discussion between Assam Governor P.B. Acharya and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over the killings of one-horned rhinos picked up
02-1425286483-aap-1

Greatest risk to AAP is not Congress or BJP; it is AAP itself

March-02-2015
After an exceptional win over the BJP in the late Delhi Assembly decisions, AAP is currently pondering a crack that may influence
RahulGandhi_Reuters_NEW_POSTER

The head has no sense: Rahul Gandhi’s recovery arrangement uncovers his Tughlaq complex

March-02-2015
The particular governmental issues of Rahul Gandhi, most as of late symbolized by his nonappearance from the Budget session of Parliament, uncovers
314930-kejri-yogendra-pti-crop

AAP avoids reports of interior break, terms it as ‘difference of opinion’

March-02-2015
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Anand Kumar on Sunday discredited the reports of a crack inside the gathering, including that what was