BK Brij Mohan
Raja Yoga is considered an esoteric discipline, primarily of interest to the spiritually inclined. In reality, in its most practical form, Raja Yoga enables us to lead a healthy and happy life. It is a path of Self-discipline where in the seeker practices self-control, detachment from worldly things, concentration and meditations to achieve self-realisation. Even when one is making on’s way to self-realisation, practice of Raja Yoga brings inner peace and clarity.
The discipline required for the practice of Raja Yoga naturally brings about a healthy lifestyle, as a pure way of Life, with moderations in diet and good habits that contribute physical and mental well-being. Raj Yoga consist of eight steps: Self-control, Discipline, Physical exercises, Breathing Exercises, Withdrawing the sense from external objects, Concentration, Meditation and Realisation. The principles of Non-Violence, Truthfulness and Complete Purity of Mind are inheriant in these steps.
All these have wide-ranging benefits that affects one’s whole life. For example, the inner peace and contentment experienced by practice of Raj Yoga meditation helps one realise that merely accumulating possessions does not brings happiness. On the contrary, one who has many possessions also has many worries. Not accumulating also means not holding on to others people. When we let go of something or someone, we set ourself free from dependance are attachment. The physical aspect of Yoga and its health benefits are well-known; what is less known is that of those revolved stem from the change in thinking, Attitudes and Emotions enabled by practice of Raja Yoga. More than physical postures, the posture of the mind matters, and thought control comes before breath control: If one’s mind is agitated, one’s breathing will not be calm.
Modern science now attests to the wide range of healing properties of the ancient art of meditation. Meditation has been clinically proven to relieve chronic pain, reduce stress, slow ageing, lower blood pressure, improve heart and lung functions, reduce depression and improve sleep. Many see meditation as a solitary activity better suited to loners, but it has been found to increase one’s sense of connection to others and improve one’s emotional intelligence. Meditations may also change brain and immune function in positive ways, it has been seen to improve one’s ability to regulate emotions.
Some are under the impression that meditation is just sitting, doing nothing, and therefore a waste of time. But it has been found to increase one’s focus and attention, improve the ability to multi task, and enhance memory, all of which boosts productivity. By helping the practitioner cleanse d mind and clear the intellect, Raja Yoga enables correct perceptions and right decision-making. Ego, Angry and other weaknesses no longer cloud the mind, and one is able to see the larger picture. In this way Raja Yoga helps one think beyond the bounds created by one’s fears and desires.
The rewards of Raja Yoga are not just personal. Ayogy is in ideal citizen and a source of strength and support for his community. By empowering the mind and teaching how to safeguard one’s inner state, yoga makes one capable of helping others.
(Chief spoke person of the Brahma kumaris organisation)
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