19 Jun Going back to the roots with Yoga
~ International Yoga Day ~
Since time immemorial, humans have evolved to be better, stronger, and more developed. Newer technologies have helped humans advance in all walks of life. However, somewhere in the process of evolution, we have left behind some of the simpler and more traditional practices that contributed to our personal holistic development.
Today, while technology may have made our lives easier, it has also contributed to a more sedentary and a lesser active human lifestyle, therefore leading to a constant increase in lifestyle-related health conditions such as diabetes, PCOS (in women), aches & pains starting at younger age, stress, anxiety, depression, et al. In 2020, all of us have seen times of great turbulence since the beginning of the year, and somewhere it has forced us to pause and think about our health, both physical and mental.
While we face the great pandemic of the 21st century and reconcile our priorities in life, right now is the time to go back to our roots and reconfigure.
Yoga – the origins
Yoga, originally pronounced as Yog in Sanskrit is a combined practice of physical, mental, and spiritual life discipline that originated in ancient India, dating back to the pre-Vedic (before 1700 BC) Indian traditions. Subsequently over centuries, following the success of one Swami Vivekananda, Yoga gained great prominence in the west, where it has today developed into a form of posture-based physical fitness. However, Yoga is much more than just physical fitness.
Yoga – the harmony
According to the scriptures, Yoga is a practice of harmonising the mind, body, and soul. The practice constitutes a spiritual core that is harnessed by meditation (soul), breathing exercises that are called pranayama (mind), and physical activity called asanas (body). Yoga signifies the unifying of mind & soul, and a harmony between human & nature. In a way, it helps a person be one with themselves and nature, thereby creating a sense of absolute peace. Practicing Yoga every day is said to bring mental, physical, and holistic wellness. In fact, regular Yoga is said to be able to control multiple lifestyle-related and other health conditions.
In a day and age when we are struggling with various not only physical, but mental health conditions, seeking answers to existential crisis, and running pillar to post in the lookout for something other than materialistic pleasures, going back to the roots with Yoga seems to be the answer.
On this International Day of Yoga, let us come together for the holistic harmony and wellness of the humankind and embrace the valuable gift from our ancient culture. In the words of the inimitable Sufi scholar and poet Rumi, “What you seek is seeking you”.