Need of Yoga

Day by day modern living is getting very difficult, complex and stressful due to ever growing speed of life and speed of change. Every change creates need for coping with it. Coping with any or every change is very stressful, particularly when they come one after another in rapid succession. No wonder people all over the world are under tremendous stress due to unprecedented speed of change. Feeling of uncertainty and insecurity, inability to take failures and frustrations in stride are few other painful byproducts of constant change. Moreover, changing value system, time pressed life style, cut-throat competition in all spheres of human activities have resulted into self-centeredness and associated problems. This is quite a widespread and ubiquitous phenomenon. It is not restricted to urban population, but has made inroads into rural inhabitants too. It is not a prerogative of certain age groups as it used to be, but is conspicuous among all age groups in equally menacing proportions. We may even say that it starts from the time of conception in urban working women whose life is highly demanding and stressful. They hardly find time to enjoy their pregnancy and take life little easy during this special period. Disrupted family support system has added to their suffering. Small kids from KG to young postgraduates are all sailing in the same boat. Illiterate or less literate villagers are no exception to this phenomenon. That is why many of them commit suicide every year. There is no difference in men and women who are equally affected by the growing complexities and problems of modern living. However, in a male chauvinistic society of ours working women are subjected to far more problems and difficulties than men because they have to shoulder dual responsibilities – one at office like their male counterparts and other at home like other housewives. Growing incidence of Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Hypertension and other stress induced health problems among young boys and girls in developing countries is an alarming sign of what is in store for future.  


Alongside these developments last few decades have also seen growing health awareness in general and growing interest in Yoga in particular. It is surely a silver lining to current dire state of affairs.  Large numbers of people are realizing the need to take care of their health before it is damaged in the process of meeting challenges of modern living. That is why gyms and health spas are mushrooming all over the world and they are in great demand too.


Increasing costs of medical care and treatment are forcing them to look for alternative modalities of treatment like Homeopathy, Yoga, Ayurved, Unani, Naturopathy, Magnetotherapy, Spiritual Healing, Meditation, Hydrotherapy, Herbal Medicines, Aromatherapy, Chiropractic, Hypnotherapy, etc. Lower costs, ease of administration, ready availability, palatability, less invasiveness, no known untoward side effects are some of the reasons that make these modalities of treatment easily acceptable by the common populace and therefore these systems of treatment seem to be thriving well in recent times. In fact, all these modalities of treatment are quite competent to provide health care within the framework of their philosophy. They all have their own place of importance in the field of health care and treatment. The term ‘alternative’ is not used here in a derogatory sense but in a highly positive sense to indicate various options available.  


Yoga is quite special among alternative modalities of treatment particularly in connection with the stress induced disorders because it deals with human being as a whole and not in piece meal manner like Modern Medicine does. It is very effective in the prevention of psychological and psychosomatic disorders and in promotion of positive health. It also serves as an adjuvant to mainstream medical care and in rehabilitation after surgical procedures and other injuries. When properly learned and practiced Yoga addresses all aspects of human existence at individual, collective and universal levels. It brings about total integration of personality at physical, mental, intellectual, emotional as well as spiritual levels. It also greatly helps one improve one’s relationship with oneself and others. Yamas are essentially meant for developing wholesome, non-harming and caring approach towards others around us. They bring about sea change in our approach to life. Niyamas are for transforming our psycho-physiological state in a very profound manner. One must remember that experiential understanding of Yamas and Niyamas is far more important than just practicing them. Yoga Postures are primarily meant for integration at physical level and secondarily at other levels. Similarly, Pranayam is to be practiced primarily for integration at mental level and secondarily at other levels. Praying with proper understanding of the prayer helps making one’s life prayerful, which brings emotional stability. Consistent dwelling and pondering over understanding deeper significance of philosophical concepts of Yoga sharpens one’s intelligence. Meditation essentially provides a strong spiritual foundation for the superstructure of life that is built on it over a period of time.



It is true that most people turn to Yoga primarily for health and fitness reasons. Nothing wrong in doing that!! Being motivated in the beginning for one’s health is quite natural too!! But, after basic health problems are successfully managed through Yoga one must learn more profound and meaningful Spiritual Yoga. By spiritual I do not mean ritualistic, restrictive, dogmatic, belief system driven blindfolded living but all encompassing, open, awakened, realistic and wise living. Spiritual also does not mean shying away from worldly responsibilities but learning to face them more effectively and more wisely. Being an all embracing way of life, if learned and practiced under proper guidance, Spiritual Yoga does wonders and turns the practitioner one into a ‘spiritually’ as well as ‘worldly’ wise person. Such person experiences what is aptly called as ‘stable in one’s core self’ or (स्व-स्थ). Stability in one’s core self (स्व-स्थ-ता) incorporates ‘Complete Health’ in itself.