Yoga is often considered to be physical asanas done on the mat, yet in reality yoga is like an ocean. Some people come to the ocean just to take a stroll and enjoy the breeze, some want to pt their feet in, some enjoy swimming, surfing, or scuba diving while some go with a rig to get the oil. Irrespective of how deep one wants to go, a regular practice of yoga brings forth a myriad of benefits and enhances one’s growth and evolution.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna,“Yoga is skill in action.” Indeed, yoga is a way of living life. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, global humanitarian and spiritual leader says,”Life is an art of how to balance your body, mind, intellect and spirit. A disease free body, quiver free breath, confusion free mind, inhibition free intellect, trauma free memory and ego that encompasses everyone is the birthright of every human being.”
Yoga allows you to take a deep dive into your different levels of existence to bring harmony. The awareness of the real “you” is a great asset. We live in a world full of opinions, beliefs, expectations and there is a continuous flow of messages from the media shaping these. While it’s great to respect another’s point of view and absorb information from multiple sources, being anchored and established in the real you – your self – goes a long way in staying confident, overcoming criticism or judgement and continuing to give your best. Physical exercises, breath, meditation and silence serve as tools in the exploration of the real you.
While the practice of yoga brings forth infinite possibilities, here are some benefits of doing the yogic practices consistently that empower one with the tremendous stamina to run life’s marathon.
1. Managing Adversity
At one level, the challenges of life can be daunting yet at another level, they offer an opportunity to bring out one’s talents and skills to manage them with a smile. Seeing any situation or person from a broader perspective or a broader lens prevents stress from influencing one’s mind. A regular meditation practice such as Sudarshan Kriya and Sahaj Samadhi change one’s perception, observation and expression. Often, when one gets disturbed, it is by the perception and expression of oneself or others. However, Yoga allows us to harness our energies in a way that one can maintain a state of equanimity even when there is chaos.
As human beings, the need for social connection is fundamental. This connection happens at different levels. Yoga allows one to connect with one’s true self bringing the real self to the table. If one is able to connect with oneself authentically, one will also be able to connect with others from that space. Working from this space of authenticity is often appreciated since genuity has a great role to play in influencing others. When one is established in one’s center, then one doesn’t feel the need to impress the other. One is able to communicate from a one’s natural state knowing that some people will like them and some won’t. Genuity implies not being swayed by other people’s perception of you. It also means accepting others with their imperfections.
3. Eye on the Positive
Numerous studies have shown that optimists are physically and psychologically healthier than pessimists. They also perform better at work. A mind that is trained to think positive definitely serves the person – and others around better and keep moving ahead.
4. Unshakeable happiness
A true yogi knows the skill of being unshakably happy. Whether something desired happens or not, a yogi doesn’t lose equanimity. Often, we get shaken by unfavorable events or words from other people. A yogi remains calm and peaceful.
5. Serving the World
A yogi goes inward to recharge and rejuvenate and then turns outward to fulfill all duties related to work and personal life, as well as serve the society.
Sri Sri says,”No yoga is complete if it does not include a component of service to the society. This is where Karma yoga comes in.”
Yoga brings flexibility to the body, clarity and resilience in the mind, sharpness in the intellect and lightness at the level of the being. In the outer world, all these qualities manifest in an individual who is more energetic, enthusiastic, happier, skillful and accomplished.