Benefits of yoga
Nowadays many people have researched the benefits of yoga in the management of various physical disorders. Researchers have shown that psychosomatic illness such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension and other physical problems and ailments can be helped by the practices of yoga.
Yoga harmonize your body
Although yoga provides us with a sense of well-being and physical health, it is not a form of therapy. Please remember this. Yoga is not a therapy, rather it is a system by which you are able to harmonize and remove the imbalances from the body. The moment you are able to remove the imbalances and harmonize your body, your body experiences total health.
The mental dimension
The second result of yoga is the mental dimension – relaxation, rejuvenation and revitalization of the mind. Why do we sleep? We sleep to revitalize and rejuvenate our mental structure as well as our physical structure. The moment a state of relaxation is experienced in the body, tiredness, fatigue, and tension leave. The mind feels quiet, tranquil and balanced, and we experience focus and concentration of the mental faculties.
Mind is looking for pleasure, contentment and satisfaction
Normally, in our day-to-day involvement and participation in the world of senses and sensuality, our mind is continually moving from one object of pleasure to another. Whether this movement is conscious, subconscious or unconscious makes no difference; the mind is looking for pleasure, contentment and satisfaction.
In this quest it looks for different experiences which can give us that feeling of pleasure, contentment, satisfaction and happiness. But then we look for new, better mental stimulation. This is a natural human process, but at the same time diversion of the mind creates deep internal, unconscious stress which does not allow the mental faculties to become charged with the energy, vibration and harmanony of the individual and the universe.
Purpose of meditation
So, relaxation and concentration is the second outcome of the yogic practices. Many people attempt meditation to find relaxation and concentration. But the object of meditation is not to provide one with relaxation and concentration, rather it is to expand the mind which is manifesting at present. With the expansion of the mind, the creative faculties become predominant and one becomes creative. That is the purpose of meditation: expansion of mind and awakening of creativity.
The level of prana, energy
The third result of yoga is seen at the level of prana, energy. You connect with the source of energy and you do not permit your physical and mental energies to be depleted. So there is constant alertness and a sense of well-being, dynamism and vitality. This is attained through the practices of pranayama or breathing techniques. The purpose is not to teach you how to breathe, but to awaken the energy, the power, the prana inside.
Connecting with the subtle nature
The fourth outcome of yoga is connecting with the subtle nature, the intuitive nature beyond the intellect or rationality. Intellect and rationality are functions of the manifest mind. Nature is visible and manifest and also invisible and un manifest.
Initially, when we work with the mind, we are dealing with the manifest and the visible nature – intellect, emotions, feelings, rationality, thoughts, interactions, ideas, concepts, beliefs, etc. But when we move into the subtle dimension of our consciousness, there we transcend the intellect or rationality and connect with the cosmic consciousness. That cosmic consciousness manifests in our lives in the form of intuition.
In time that intuition is transformed into wisdom, where there is no difference between our belief and our lifestyle. At present there is a split between our personal philosophy and our actions. Because of the split, we undergo a lot of psychological, mental and emotional stress.
Regular knowledge is intellectual knowledge
Often we cannot come to terms with our lifestyle, or we do, or how we behave or interact with our environment, with people or with society. We have knowledge but we do not have wisdom. Wisdom is applied knowledge. Regular knowledge is intellectual knowledge.
So the fourth outcome of yoga is connecting with wisdom and applying the knowledge in our lives in order to become better and to become responsible for positive growth. This happens when we transcend the mind, when we connect with the intuitive nature, and when we convert our intellectual knowledge into wisdom.