CHENNAI: In the fast-paced and saturated lifestyle today, more people are beginning to reflect on deeper questions. Is there something more to life? What is the purpose of life? What really is success? There are no easy answers and one should not be content by them even if one finds any. If there were a fixed answer, the matter would have ended by now. These questions form a pathway that one can tread on again and again to go deeper within.
The ancient Indian science of yoga has stood the test of time in bringing solace to people from all walks of life. When the Art of Living started 35 years ago, yoga was seen only as a pursuit of the hippies and since then it has come a long way. Today, it’s being practised by millions in all continents.
The wholesome philosophy of yoga revolves around its eight limbs. Unfortunately, people think that they are eight steps, to be done one after another. The limbs are not sequential; they are parts of the whole. The eight limbs are like the four legs of a chair. Even if one limb is pulled out, the whole chair will crumble.
While asana is important, yoga is not yoga without pranayama and meditation. Even a little bit of meditation is enough to change one’s life. We’ve seen this happening with our programmes in prisons. As soon as the inmates begin meditation, their thought process and behaviour pattern changes. They’re able to overcome feelings of revenge and anger, and start on the path of forgiveness and non-violence, wanting to contribute to society constructively.
By attending to dhyana (6th limb), yamas (1st) and niyamas (2nd) get manifested in one’s life! Through yoga, people have found relief from many ills such as stress, anxiety, professional burnout, addictions and insomnia.
Yoga in its pure form, contains wisdom that can address the root cause of all the ills of modern life. One of the biggest problems today is stress. Stress is too much to do, too little time and no energy to do it.
As it’s almost impossible to reduce workload and increase time, the only option we are left with is to increase the energy level within us. Yoga generates maximum energy in minimum time. A few minutes of meditation can provide as much rest as a few hours of sleep. With the deep rest that yoga provides, one becomes more dynamic in action, sharper in awareness and intuitive in decision-making. Yoga is a state of consciousness that transcends the gross. For the modern world, yoga is a path to realise and harness one’s deepest potentials.
The spiritual guru is inaugurating International Day of Yoga at the European Parliament today. For details, visit www.artofliving.org