International Day of Yoga is celebrated on June 21 as it’s the longest day in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest in the southern after which days become longer there. This year, the theme is, yoga for wellness. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the emphasis is on the importance of maintaining health within the constraints of social distancing.
Unlike a gym or regular workout, yoga is not confined to physical health and goes beyond bending and twisting. It instils calm that helps think clear and explore one’s potential. It encourages upgrading oneself to become unique and special.
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After performing asanas (body postures), the prana shakti (life force) in the body goes up and the mind gets energised. It’s the mind that determines whether one is successful in life or not. Physically, we are by and large similar, but our achievements are unique. Some of us achieve the extraordinary, while most are ordinary. The body is just the framework. The driver of this body is the mind, and that’s the differentiator.
Just like software needs to be upgraded to get the best out of the hardware, the mind needs an upgrade to get the best out of this body. Few people are able to expand the bandwidth of the mind, while most work only on the information given. Yoga helps widen the mind’s bandwidth and tap into the spectrum of wisdom gained in previous lives. It can be achieved by being sincerely committed to the sadhna (daily yoga practice), including meditation. When the mind is calm, it can see beyond distractions and temptations as the hidden spectrum of wisdom opens up.
Yoga means to connect, within and with others. The world is like the body. If all parts are connected and working in a coordinated manner, there is a sense of completeness. Similarly, all nations should be healthy for a healthy world.
Yoga urges to come to the centre and take a balanced view. It teaches to live in harmony and enrich the world with our unique contribution. It leads to acceptance and tolerance and not to get hung up with one viewpoint or belief.
Yoga preaches wellness. It urges governments across the globe to focus on preventive health than cure. With life expectancy on the rise, budgets on healthcare will always fall short if the idea is restricted to building hospitals alone. A healthy community is equipped to bounce back from a pandemic faster.
Generally, material wealth is perceived as prosperity and a measure of a successful life. But as one ages, one realises that health is wealth. Material wealth is sustainable only if one leads a value-based life. Values need to be inculcated. Our scriptures define a value-based person as one who is down to earth yet full of ambition, hope, positivity and conviction. Such a person has physical strength, mental stamina and spiritual strength to overcome the odds.
Each one of us has the potential to be extraordinary. Yoga offers the tool to realise that potential by enriching and enlivening the mind. email@example.com
The writer is senior news editor at Hindustan Times, Chandigarh