Good health is the greatest asset.  Without good health one can hardly expect success in any walk of life.  To keep up good health, there are numerous modern physical culture systems designed to develop the muscles.  The physical culturist develops them by mechanical movements and exercises.  In such physical exercises, there is a fast movement of the muscles resulting in the rapid functioning of the heart and lungs.  The practitioner becomes exhausted very quickly.  There may also be anxiety, psychological tension and fear.  Some exercises develop the chest and the arms only, which become lopsided and result in disharmony in the personality. 

        In Yogic exercises, there is a harmonious development of all the muscles of the body, internal organs, nerves and frame.  There are no rapid movements and hence there is no waste of energy.  In Yoga exercise, movements are gentle and rhythmic.  Besides, they conserve energy. The three important organs namely heart, lungs and brain with its cerebro-spinal system, are kept in a healthy condition by regular practise of a few important Asanas and one or two breathing exercises.  Sound functioning of the organs depends upon good healthy nerves.  The heart and the lungs are under the control of the brain.  These three important organs along with the cerebro-spine system are kept in a healthy condition by regular Yogic exercises. 

        These Yogic exercises are both preventive and curative in their nature.  They prevent diseases attacking the body by maintaining the natural health.  Some exercises also cure existing diseases like cold, cough, constipation and gastric troubles.  Some clean the lungs, throat, etc.., Thus the body as a whole is develop, toned up and strengthened.  The entire body becomes flexible, thereby preventing stagnation of blood in any part of the body. 

        Another unique feature of these exercises is their influence upon the endocrine system of glands, the ductless glands as they are called.  The malfunctioning of the thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands is corrected by a course of selected postures.  Besides all this, some of the exercises have a great effect upon man’s mind, his power of concentration and memory.  They also wake up his dormant spiritual faculty.  Their regular practice brings to every practitioner good health, longevity, strength, vim and vitality. 

        When our life today is full of stress and strain, of tension and nervous irritability, of passion and hurry, to remove physical, mental and psychological tensions, our ancient seers of humanity as a whole, perfected a system known as Yoga.  Yoga is an exact science.  It is the art of right living.  The Yogin who has learnt the art of right living is happy, harmonious and peaceful.  He is free from tension. 

        Now the question comes as to how to start the practice of Yoga.  Tension is not the creation of a single problem.  It may be physical, mental, social, economical, national, international, sexual, or from superiority or inferiority complex.  It may be from any of these reasons.  But what one needs is to check the functioning of the mind only.  “ Mind only is the cause of one's bondage or liberation”  says Gita.  The mind is the only cause of all problems of tension or stress or strain of any individual. 

        So, to start with, very carefully watch your thoughts.  Suppose you are assailed by gloomy thoughts of stress and tension.  You experience depression.  Take a small cup of milk or tea.  Sit calmly.  Close your eyes.  Find out the cause for the tension or depression and try to remove the cause.

        The best method to overcome the gloomy thoughts, tension and consequent depression, is to think of inspiring thoughts and inspiring things.  Remember again, the positive overcome the negative.  This is a grand effective law of nature.  Think of those that elevate your mind, think of cheerfulness.  Imaging the advantage of cheerfulness.  Feel that you are in actual possession of this quality.  Again and again repeat the formula, “O Cheerfulness”. Mentally, Feel, “ I am very cheerful”.  Begin to smile and laugh several times.  Start positive thinking, rest will take care it’s own way.

          This way of thinking will provide artificial relaxation to the mind.  But ar the same time cultivate a new habit of sitting with crossed legs.  Try to avoid table and char for your breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Even when you are enjoying T.V. programmes, you may sit with crossed legs, that is in Sukhasan or if possible in Padmasan, Siddhasan, Swastikasan, or in the manner that our Mohamedan brothers sit for their prayers, Namaz, that is known as Vajrasan.  Try to avoid using the western style toilets, and use the Indian system.  What happens in these all is, an abundant amount of blood is diverted to our cerebral system.  At the same tie early in the morning and late night, to start the day and to end the day with repeat Om… Om… Om it is not a ritual of the religion, but it will make the circulation of blood rush towards the skull.  This gives actual massages to cerebrum and cerebellum, to pituitary and to pineal, to thyroid and to parathyroid, and after the practice of three months only of this system of Yoga, to cross the legs, to sit with straight spine, to sit steady and chant OMKAR, will bring lightness in body, and soundness in mind.  The vital potential energy of for-bearing power of the mind will increase, and you will not perturb or disturb yourself, with irritation and agitation in small, small matters.  You will be a new person with a new life, light, power and wisdom, a new man with vims, vigiours and balance of mind, and a man with no tension and stress.

         It is a matter of minding the mind, a process of going from the Gross to the Subtle. It can be trained slowly, gradually, systematically and scientifically, through a few simple Yogic exercises such as Surya Namaskar. Savasan and Pranayam.

  Swami Adhyatmananda

Latest Additions.........

Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)

Divya Jivan (Gujarati)/ "Amrut Putra" (Gujarati) /  

Atam Mahek (Gujarati) / Fragrance ( English) - Swami Adhyatmananda

Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda


"Yoga and Health" - a complete book with Question & Answer section by Sri Swami Adhyatmananda  


 Books on Yoga by  Swami Adhyatmananda

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