(Last Updated on : 08/05/2015)
A healthy body is essential to the development of one's full potential. If the physical machinery is not in optimum condition, it will not be fit for daily work, meditation
, and also service to others. Some think a yogi
should be emaciated in the name of self-discipline. But in fact, excessive physical austerities indicate an over-concern with body. Others believe that those on the spiritual path need not concern themselves with matters of the body as their energies are directed towards loftier things. In Yoga
, it is important to keep a balance in life. Proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, and positive thinking are the requisite attendants of meditation. In order to remove distractions from the mind, a healthy body and psyche are necessary. When there are disturbances of a physical or emotional nature, meditation is not possible. At that point of time the body requires complete rest.
Proper exercise is not muscle building, nor is it a short set of strenuous workout for building body. The entire internal and external physical system should be kept in tune. This is the purpose of Yoga exercises, or asana
, which involve systematically stretching, muscles rather than contracting them. The effect is to tone the body, release tension, and insure excellent circulation, digestion, assimilation and elimination. The body is kept supple and at the same time concentration and serenity are developed. Yogic breathing is called panorama, which actually means control of the vital energy.
A person can live without food
, sunlight, and sleep for fairly extended periods of time, but the body cannot survive without oxygen beyond several minutes. Prank, the vital force, makes the difference between life and death. Its primary source is the breath. The quality and quantity of air and the timing of the breath have a direct effect upon the brain and its function. This is an area which Western scientists are just beginning to investigate. There are certain panoramas or breathing exercises that increase the amount of energy in the body. It cleanses the lungs, reduces the amount of sleep needed, calms the nerves, stills the mind and heats or cools the physical system. It even helps raise the kindling, or spiritual energies of the body as well.
Proper relaxation is also needed to maintain mental, spiritual, and physical health. Yogic as aims and pranayama
include special techniques for relaxation. These techniques also emphasize the conservation and efficient use of the energies contained in the body. Many think that relaxation involves leaving home for some exotic place where the mind and body are ceaselessly pumped with stimulants and depressants and a full range of other damaging delights. True relaxation comes from removing the stimuli i.e. visual and edible. Like a piece of sturdy machinery, the physical and mental bodies can take quite a bit of abuse before giving signs of protest. Unfortunately, it has become a practice to ignore the basic rules of health. Many people substitute frequent visits to the local GP, specialist, or psychologist for living a healthy life. Most of the diseases of the mind and body can be eliminated by following the five basic points. These points can be mentioned as proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet and positive thinking and meditation.