Yoga is now recognized as a discipline of health science. Almost half century ago it was not well-known and popular worldwide even in India. Yoga had been mentioned since immemorial time of Vedas and Upanishads. Many mystical subjective perceptions were associated with yoga and nobody knew the scientific basis of yoga for thousands of years. At the outset people only preferred to practice the physical aspect of yoga because the body felt good, light, vibrant and energetic. That is how asana and pranayama in yoga practice became popular, and even today most people only know this physical aspect of yoga. Yoga was practised in this way until integral yoga was started to be practised in a holistic method to discipline human behaviour, physical well-being, mind management and spiritual understanding. At the first instance to discipline human behaviour, the principles of yama and niyama in yoga should be adopted. For the physical well-being asana and pranayama can be practised. Scientifically conducted researches have shown that many illnesses and diseases like diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disorders, digestive problems of the stomach and many more can be managed and controlled through yoga practices. The yogic practices of concentration in dharana and relaxation practice like yoga nidra increase awareness, observation and perception of the mental behaviour. In the state of meditation or dhyana, the yoga sadhaka can develop the spiritual understanding.
An individual born into this world is supposed to live for fulfilling four objectives which are called purusharthas in our scriptures. These are dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma is learning the righteous ways of living; artha is earning one`s living; kama is fulfilling one`s legitimate desires by honest and righteous means. Moksha, the last and the spiritual objective is to be perceived by exploring spirituality to seek who, how and why of creation; and find out the way of spirit within self known as soul to finally merge with the supreme soul so that it need not come back to same world again. Surrendering one`s actions to God, the supreme consciousness, existence or whatever name one has for that; one can seek divinity through spirituality.
On Happy New Year`s Day 2012, I wish all the best to readers, viewers and comment authors of the blog Yoga and Spirituality and seek the blessings of Almighty to all of us for renewal of vigour and enthusiasm in yoga and spirituality.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda