Yoga is the English word for ͚Yog͛. Actually, Yog is a Hindi word that literally means ͚sum or union͛.
Usually, there is a disconnect between our actions & mind as it keeps jumping in and out of the
subject like a wild monkey. But there are few times when we are able to be submerged into the
concerned subject and our mind and actions unite together, lose their exclusivity and become one.
This is then the Yog comes into existence.
So Yog might be the new word for us but we all have experienced it inadvertently. Whenever you
find your time is flying, minutes into seconds and hours into an hour, Yog is happening. For instance;
while writing examination you are well prepared for, watching an intriguing movie, playing with your
kid, breastfeeding your baby, eating your favorite food, etc. And whenever Yog happens, we enjoy
the purest form of emotions, are able to utilize our senses to their extremities by default, and get
the maximum output.
But the problem is we are unable to attain Yog when require it most because our mind follows our
heart like a servant and if heart doesn͛t feel to do a certain task, the mind does try but not able to
muster a threshold amount of courage to, bypass heart, become his master͛s master and deliver his
peak performance. Having failed repeatedly, the mind gradually loses his confidence to defeat powerful
heart so usually don͛t dare to attempt what master doesn͛t feel to get done and if tries against
master͛s will ever then is not able to unite with ongoing action or achieving Yog due to constant
confrontation with heart. And this is the main root of agony in human life.
In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna keeps reminding Arjuna to rein his senses ( indriyas) with the wisdom͛s
help which is indispensable to perform the duty.
Since this confrontation between the heart (senses, Indriya) and mind (Intellect, wisdom) has been
happening from time immemorial, Sage Patanjali, around 400 C.E, designed a detailed methodology,
to make a human being capable to rein his senses (indriyas) as well as body for comprehensive
development, known as Patanjali Yog Sutra.
It is quite evident that the origin of Yoga took place thousands of years ago in India. The Pashupati
A seal dated around 2350-2000BC, discovered in Indus Valley civilization shows the figure of a Yogi
sitting in the lotus posture which is considered to be of Lord Shiva. And pre-historic paintings at
Bhimbetka rock dated 10,000BC have had evidence of Shiva dancing, trident, and mount Nandi.
It is quite interesting to know how the human journey starts with a heart as a master and mind as
servant and then each human being has to fight his own battle to dethrone his heart and get his mind
the master͛s seat.
Actually, intellect requires its sweet time to be developed in the human body; a human being in his
childhood is meant to be governed by his heart (senses) primarily. As he grows physically so does
mentally, he is supposed to and should be governed by his intellect ( mind ) being developed each
day from exposure, education, and analysis. This is the time when role reversal has to take place but
heart doesn͛t want to lose his dynasty at any cost. And the battle begins only for few who are
fortunate to be reminded of their mind power as Jamvant did remind Lord Hanumana of His power so
that He could perform His duty, reached Lanka and conveyed Lord Rama͛s message to Sita.
This is a herculean task, needs rigorous systematic training right from childhood when a
human psyche is taking shape. Having sensed its importance, our Rishis developed an education
system ͞Gurukul͟ where students would have to stay in a hermitage & master their body, senses
(heart), and develop intellect with the help of Yoga and studying various other subjects.
With the onset of British rule, Macaulay͛s education system replaced our Gurukul system and felled
Yoga -tree down. But its roots remained intact as were very deep in Indian culture.
And when the world begins being burnt in the diseases and depression, the yoga- shoot emerges
out, soon grows into such a giant tree this time which takes almost entire world under its nondiscriminatory shade.
Before we try to understand yoga insurgency in the past two decades, we must first discover what
has led the world to the brink of ecstasy crisis today, an important question to answer as well as a
warning for the human race.
As the population boomed in the mid-20th century (from 2.5 to 5 billion) the demand increased at
a much faster pace than supply which expedited the development in all technological, nontechnological fields whether transportation, industrial, communication, education, medical,
agriculture, etc., to meet the demands rising indiscriminately. But every development has its cost too
and this time cost was the metamorphosis of care-compassion driven human race into commodity comparison driven.
Two human traits played a key role in this nearly perfect transformation; the constant craving for
change and curiosity for the change, do compel any human being too, explore ͚what is new͛, and
possess that. Consequently, the money which would earlier have limited varieties to be consumed
in is now less in number than the available commodities to be awe of. For instance; Selecting
a suitable color for your home is as tedious today as selecting a suitable partner for yourself and you
can consume more money in the bathroom than the entire house͛s cost.
Earlier people would be compared & judged on the number and type of intangibles but now on
tangibles like a car, phone, clothes, jewelry, etc.
This new transformed human race has been somewhere finding its felicity and identity in
commodities & security in money rather than in compassion, virtues, and relationships. This affinity
towards non-living things spares inadequate space for loving living beings and value relationships.
This materialism becomes the biggest reason for struggling relationships results in an inapparently
lonely life. And machines, of course, have made life faster but body slow and fragile.
If the 21st century is the era of artificial intelligence, it is witnessing the artificialization of lives as well
which has positioned two main obstacles before the human race to move ahead; Physical and
The sedentary lifestyle has restricted body͛s movement drastically, makes limbs weak, joints
immobile and gives birth to various new diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Slipped-disc, Constipation,
Infertility and many more.
The commodities-stricken mind loses its already little ability to remain equanimous in emotional
turmoil. WHO study says depression will be the second leading cause of diseases by 2020. That͛s
why WHO ran a campaign on last year͛s world health day dedicated to depression with a slogan:
It is pretty obvious from 21st June as the International Yoga Day that the World is acknowledging
Yoga is an appropriate antidote that can remove both of these obstacles effectively.
Sage Patanjali has synthesized yoga to impart not only physical health but mental and social health
as well for one͛s complete well-being. It has total of eight limbs so known as ͞Ashtanga Yoga͟ too.
These eight limbs are as following;
Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahar, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi.
The first four disciplines are external observations primarily known as Hatha-Yoga while the last three
disciplines are mental disciplines known as Raja-Yoga (king of Yoga). The middle fifth limb acts as a
bridge between external disciplines and internal (mental disciplines).
Different forms of physical activities like cycling, gymming, running, swimming, aerobics, different
games are able to counter physical fragilities only partially as none of them is able to massage
abdominal organs and arch spinal cord which is indispensable to strengthen our trunk.
Yama and Niyama teach one social and personal conduct. Asanas and Pranayama are meant to work
on the physical body. Asanas have the ability to heal the targeted organs specifically like Mandook
asana, Ardhmatsayendra-asana Yog-mudra, Bhujang-asana, & Utkat-asana target Pancreas, Liver,
Large -intestine, Spinal cord & Quadriceps respectively.
When all the medicinal practices have failed in mitigating psychological fragility (depression), the world
has found meditation as a rescuer but is unaware of the fact that meditation is the 7th limb of
Patanjali Yoga. Meditation is art for being able to think what you want to think and not to think
what you do not want to think.
While attaining physical health by practicing Hatha- yoga, a follower begins his inward journey via
Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses from the outer environment) and then learns how to rein his senses
(indriyas/heart) by practicing Dharna and then Dhyana (Meditation). In this way, our mind realizes
his real power to control our hearts and utilizes his services as a subordinate.
Whether a student or a sprinter, an athlete or an administrator, a teacher or a techy, it is the
emotional quotient ( E.Q ) rather than intelligence quotient ( I.Q), that provides an edge; E.Q is directly
proportional to one͛s mental strength. And yoga is the best way to achieve that.