30 Healthy Mind in Healthy Body 30.1 Introduction One who is moderate in his diet, activities, exercise and duty, one whose periods of sleep and wakefulness are moderate, Yoga drives away his ailments. Body and mind constitute two parts of a whole. If our mind is happy, we do our work actively and energetically. If the body is healthy, the mind also remains radiant and enthusiastic. Psychology gives us an insight as to how the body and mind function in a co- ordinated way. The Yoga school of thought tells us how to facilitate the functions of body and mind in such a way that one may enjoy harmony, peace and fulfillment in life. Yoga, the science and art of life, was discovered by our forefathers and they handed it over to us as a priceless heritage. Its value is seriously realized in today’s world. Today’s world is dynamic, and stressful. To meet its demands we have to work hard. In the process, we develop stresses and strains. Yoga is a science that enlightens us regarding why we feel stress, tension and pain. It suggests a life style which is free from stress and pain. It restores the imbalances in our physical and mental systems. It makes our body and mind effective for leading a happy and healthy life. This lesson tries to understand what Yoga has to offer about diet, sleep, exercise and other life activities. We will study in brief the methods and techniques which are helpful in this process. Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 111 30.2 Objectives After reading this lesson, we will be able to • explain what is Yoga; • describe the food habits and sleep pattern for healthy living; • list the Yogic postures (Asanas) that keep our body fit; • describe the breathing techniques that ensure physical and mental vitality; and • explain certain ways of concentrating and meditating. 30.3 What is Yoga? qkkfgj; qp"L el ; ä g j o k L ; ä s V ;d Z qA q ouok/L kxs kf q[g A ;äLIkcsk;;sk Horn%kkA The great sage Sri Aurobindo said, ‘Yoga is nothing but practical psychology.’ He defined Psychology as the study of consciousness and its operations. Consciousness refers to the power of awareness of self, and things inside and around us. It is also a dynamic and creative energy that is present in us and in the world around. What we called ‘mind’ is just a set of certain functions of our consciousness. But there are higher levels of consciousness where Yoga leads us to a sense of peace and joy. Yoga literally means ‘union’ i.e. being one with the Supreme Energy. The way to reach this state of union is to quieten the waves or ripples of feelings and thinking on the sea of consciousness. Hence, the sage Patanjali defines Yoga as ;ksxfjpÙko`fr fujks/k Chitta is consciousness. Vritties are ripples of thoughts and feelings. When the sea of consciousness is devoid of all ripples, we experience great peace and delight. This experience replenishes the energies of body and mind. Yoga is also considered as a discipline for happy and effective living. There are two aspects of Yoga. One is outer and the other is inner. The outer aspect of Yoga deals with the postures (Asanas) and breathing exercises (Pranayama) which revitalize our body and mind. It also consists of certain rules and regulations regarding our diet, habits and behavior. The inner aspect of Yoga includes concentration and meditation which aim at taking us to higher levels of consciousness, consequently giving us peace and delight. Those who try to understand the principles of Yoga and practice the techniques of Yoga have been observed to lead a happy, fruitful and balanced life. Our ancient sages led such radiant life of 100 years, even longer than that. Don’t we too want to live a healthy, happy and long life. So, let us study the key aspects of Yoga in some detail. 112 :: Psychology 30.4 Yoga on diet, sleep and exercise Effect on Yoga on life iÏRa ns zUr] kLqRa is quZs o q ' o ]o u i l u k u n Q j o u u l f e y A jsr] cn.;] fuhu] kh okf% A vkxk fUqk% vXnia uM f'q¼ A Bkx zhik g;s infd Slim body, smiling face, sweet voice, radiant eyes, health, control and sex desire, good apetite and adequate circulation (are good effects of Yoga on our personality.) Yoga places great importance on diet because the kind of food we eat and quantity of it kk'qk R'q¼) determinesourtemperament.(v g j k ¼ Sl o k f % Geeta speaks about three types of food – Sattwik, Rajasik and Tamasik. Sattwik food is recommended because it is nourishing and warm. It does not trouble the digestive system. It gets assimilated in our body easily. Rajasik food is oily and spicy. It is hard to digest. Tamasik food is dry and stale. It is harmful for our system. Milk and sprouts are examples of Sattwik food. Masalas and Bhajiyas are Rajasik food. Left-overs, and re-processed left-overs the junk food are Tamasik food. Yoga says that Sattwik food makes our mind benevolent, Rajasik food makes us restless, and Tamasik food makes us lazy and dull. Due consideration is given to food chemistry as well. Our blood is alkaline, as in blood, mineral salts are present. When acidic toxins increase the acidity of our body(Rajasik and tamasik foods do that.), the balance between acidity and alkalinity is disturbed and disease overpower our body. Processed and refined foods do not contain ruffage which is necessary for bowel-movement. Processed foods and the so-callsed fast-foods contain little ntritive elements and they are rich in acid-forming materials hence, harmful to body. Fruit and fresh green vegetables are rich in minerals and salts. They increase alkalinity of blood. While eating we should fill one-half of the stomach volume by food, one fourth by water and reserve one-fourth for air. Observing fast once a week gives rest to the digestive system and helps it get rid of the accumulated toxins. So, many religions recomment fast at least once a week. We all need at least seven to eight hours sleep every night. Eating very late disturbs our sleep. It has also been observed that sleep before midnight gives more rest than that after midnight. Rest, fresh air and exercise are the needs of our body. You must be wondering as to why do we need exercise ? Without exercise, body loses its elasticity and youthfulness. It becomes heavy, it accumulates fats and toxins and rapidly gets old and worn out. Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 113 INTEXT QUESTION 30.1 1. How does Sri Aurobindo define Yoga? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 2. What is Yoga? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 3. Why do we need exercise. ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 30.5 Yogasanas You must have heard about Asanas. Yoga has given a number of postures or Asanas that make our body muscles supple and improve the blood circulation in body. They tone up the activities of brain, glands, nerves, tissues and cells. If practiced regularly, Asanas can protect us against colds, fevers, headaches and stomach disorders. The Yogic exercises are designed to bring the body into a condition where the healing forces of nature are able to do their work. Now let us study some of the Yogic postures that help us keep fit. According to Yogic life style. One should do at least three Asanas in each of the following postures. 1. Standing posture : Tadasana, Veerbhadrasana, Trikonasana 2. Sitting posture : Vajrasana, Paschimottanasana, Ushtrasana 3. Body lying on back : Pavanmuktasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana 4. Body upside down : Bhujangasana, Shalbhasana, Dhanurasana 5. Shavasana or Shithilasana : Corpse posture. Out of these Shawasana is called as the king of Asanas because this asana relaxes the whole body. A completely relaxed muscle discharges very little electricity and brings the mind is at state of rest. There is almost no dissipation of life energy. In order to understand the asanas better the pictures and benefits of the foresaid Asanas have been given 114 :: Psychology Tadasana It is very good for strengthening your backbone. It widens your chest. It relieves the backache and improves blood circulation. Veerabhadrasana This posture makes your body graceful, increases the strength of your feet and legs. It gives massage to your stomach muscles and broadens your chest. Vajrasana do it after meals. It improves digestion. gives strength to back, thights and legs. Trikonasana Strenthens back muscles and backbone. Reduces fat from the sides of the body. Improves circulation Pasgchimottansana Strengthens knees, improves the function of pancreas, corrects the functioning of regenerative system. Ushtrasana Improves the functioning of spleen, liver and brain, strengthens the muscles of arms, thighs and legs. Pavanmuktsana Very good for improving digestion and getting relief from gas trouble, makes your neck muscles strong and gives excercise to your thighs. Sarvangasana Provides blood supply to brain. Improves lungs functioning, throat and laynx-functioning. Enhances memory power and cencentration. Strengthens leg muscles. Halasana Improves thyroid function, blood circulation and gives massage to abdomen muscles. Enhances spleen and liver functiion. Reduces fat and makes backbone flexible. Increases height. Bhujangasana Activates thyroid functioning. Reduces abdomenal fat. Relieves gastroble. Makes backbone flexible. Shalabhasan Organs in lower abdomen become active. Activates lumber nerves and lungs - function. Improves digestion. Gives relief in constipation, urinary disorders & backaches. Dhanurasana Improves breathing, makes backbone flexible, enhances news-vscular functioning. Strengthens thighs & leg muscles. Stretches abdomenal muscles & improves digestion. Shavasana Body gets completely relaxed. Nerve centres fell rested. Relieves mental tension. Good for acidity and high blood pressure. Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 115 116 :: Psychology Before we discuss these asanas it is important to know about certain precautions and preparations. To this end the general instructions that need to be adhered to are as follows: 1. Asnas they should be performed preferably early in the morning in a well-ventilated room. 2. The bowels must be cleared before starting the Asanas. It is not desirable to bathe immediately after the Asanas. 3. The Asanas must be done bare-footed on mat spread on hard and even. Clothing should be as light as possible. 4. The duration of one Asana for beginners could be 30 seconds. Gradually, duration can be increased. 5. Throughout the performance of Asanas, breathing should be normal. 6. Shavasan – (corpse-pose) should be the last Asana so that you get enough rest and you start your activities afresh. 7. Do not eat immediately after performing Asanas. 8. It is advisable that the asanas should be done under the supervision of a yoga teacher. 30.6 Surya Namaskaras Surya Namaskaras need special mention. They are combinations of Yogic postures that give exercise to each and every part of ourbody. So they are called as complete exercise. Moreover while doing Surya Namaskaras, we focus our attention on the glory of the sun, the prime source of light and heat for us. That focussing energizes our body and mind. There are 13 mantras that are recited with Namaskaras. We recite one mantra dn then perofrm a Namaskara. This way we complete 13 mantras and 13 Namaskaras. The mantras give 13 names of the lord of light – Sun. 1. ¬ fe=k; ue% A Oum Mitraye Namah 2. os e ¬j ; u %A Oum Ravaye Namah 3. wk; e ¬l ; Z u %A Oum Suryaye Namah 4. kus e ¬H k o u %A Oum Bhanuve Namah 5. ¬ [kxk; ue% A Oum Khagaye Namah 6. w.s e ¬i " k u %A Oum Pushane Namah 7. g.xkZ e ¬f j ; H k ;u %A Oum Hiranyagarbhaye Namah 8. jps e ¬e h ; u %A Oum Mareechaye Namah Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 117 9. kn;; e ¬v f R k u %A Oum Aadityaye Namah 10. kos e ¬l f = u %A Oum Savitre Namah 11. ¬ vdkZ; ue% A Oum Aarkeye Namah 12. kLj; e ¬H k d k u %A Oum Bhaskaraye Namah 13. hfrl;uj;k; e ¬J l o ` w Z k k . k u %A Oum Shri Savitrasuryanarayanaye Namah INTEXT QUESTIONS 30.2 1. How do Yogic postures help us attain health ? ____________________________________________________________ 2. What are Surya Namaskaras ? ____________________________________________________________ 30.7 Pranayam An exercise in concentration Yoga says that Prana is not Concentration is focussing our mind on a particular merely breath but it is cosmic object-internal or external. Internal could be your heart- energy. It is the life-giving beat. External could be a candle flame. principle which is everywhere. Try this simple exercise in concentration. Look at the It is manifested in every form second of your match or a clock on the front-wall. of existence – organic and Remain aware of your breathing simultaneously. See inorganic. By breathing how long it takes before your mind begins to wander. exercises it is possible to raise Very few people can focus their concentration for even the degree of circulation of a short period of time. Like any other skill, concentration prana in body. improves with practice. Unfortunately most of us do not know how to breath though we breath every moment of ourlife. Only babies know how to breath in a natural way. In natural breathing when we inhale the navel and lower abdomen bulge out a little, and when we exhale, the navel and the lower abdomen sink down a little. It is called as abdominal breathing. In order to enjoy good health, a person needs at least 60 deep breathes in a day. Shallow breathing is directly or indirectly responsible for anumber of physical and mental diseases ranging from common colds to nervous disorders. To function properly, our brain requires three times more oxygen than the rest of our body. If it does not get its share, it extracts it from the total supply to the body. That is why brain workers intellectuats often tend to have a poor physique and bad health. Deep breathing not only refreshes the whole system but also cleanses it. We should learn deep breathing. We must reeducate ourselves in the ways of living as thought by Yoga. 118 :: Psychology The functioning of our mind is closely Observing your breath related to breathing. When we are calm, our breathing is deep and slow. Sit on a chair or on the floor, with your back and When we are excited and agitated, our neck straight and your body relaxed. Take air in breathing is shallow and fast. Vice and let it out (inhalation and exhalation) as if you versa is also true. When deliberately were on the seashore observing the ocean waves. slow down our breathing rate, we With each intake of breath, feel that you are consciously take deep breaths, then breathing in fresh energy and vitality with the our perturbed mind becomes quiet and oxygen. With each out take of breath, feel that is at peace. you are breathing out tiredness, fatigue, negativity and toxins as you expel carbon dioxide. Feel the Normally, we breathe between 13 to fresh, vitalizing energy permeating your body and 15 times per minute. It has been mind as you continue to do the exercise. observed that the animals like tortoise breath 5 to 8 times per minute and live Then sit quietly with your mind peaceful and calm. much longer than human beings. It is also observed that people with addictions like cigarrette and liquor have greater breathing rates and their longevity is limited. When we run fast our breathing rate increases temporarily but with that exercise, our muscle tone and circulation increases. That in turn slows down and deepens our natural breathing and increases our longevity. Some more exercises in Pranayama are as follows : 1. Pooraka : Taking air in slowly and consciously – deep inhaling 2. Rechaka : Giving air out slowly and consciously – deep exhaling 3. Kumbhaka : After inhalation you keep the breath in for a few secons or after exhaling you stop for a few seconds before inhaling. (This should be done under proper guidance.) 4. Kapalbhati : You exhale fast and inhalation is automatic. This clears the sinuses and provides a gentle massage to abdomenal muscles. 5. Bhasrika : This is brisk breathing. Inhaling and exhaling is quick and fast. 6. Sheetali : Here we give a tube like shape to our tongue and slowly inhale through our mouth and slowly exhale through the nose. In summer this Pranayam makes our body cool. 7. Seetkari : Here our upper teeth line and lower teeth line touch each other. We inhale slowly through mouth and the air massages our gums gently. In the same way we exhale through mouth pushing air out gently through the passeges between the teeth. 8. Nadi Shuddhi : Here we take air in from left nostril and give it out through right nostril. Then again we inhale from the right and exhale from the left. This is one cycle. One should do atleast five cycles at a time thrice or four times during the day. This purifies our body. Simple deep breathing also helps a lot in gaining enough oxygen supply for your brain and the rest of your body. Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 119 120 :: Psychology 30.7 Meditation An exercise in meditation We have seen the place of exercise, Sit straight with your back, neck and head in one eating, sleeping habits, Asanas, and line. Let the body relax. Observe your breathing Pranayama in Yogic way of life. This is for about two to three minutes. preparation for meditation. Yoga Later, imagine that there is a white lotus but at the compares the mind with a lake. When place where your eye brows meet, or at your agitated and restless, the lake can not heart. Internally feel the tender touch of the bud, reflect the sky. Only when it is calm see it blooming gently, opening up its petals and and undisturbed, it can mirror the sky. smell the lovely fragrance. Be with it as long as In the same way, a calm and poised possible. mind can reflect the universal energy. The final aim of meditation is to gain You can see a white flame instead of a bud. See the vision of truth, to realise the oneness it between your brows or at your heart. Mentally, with all life and to enjoy peace and feel its glow and warmth. Remain in this bliss. experience as long as possible. For meditation, relax your body, sit comfortably in squatting posture, keep your spine neck and head in a straight line. Let your chest spread out a little. First concentrate on your breath and breathe deeply. Exhale fully and inhale deeply a few times. Let the mind follow breath and listen to its sound. If you listen attentively you will be able to hear ‘sohum’. ‘So’ when the breath flow in, ‘hum’ when the breath flows out. You need not repeat it yourselves. Just listen to that and you will be able to hear the humming musical note within you. This is the part of cosmic vibration. By concentrating on this inner vibration, you will be in tune with the cosmic sound. Then all the ripples of thoughts and emotions will quieten down. The lake of your mind will become still and you experience peace and bliss. In this state of silence you will forget all differences and become one with all Life. INTEXT QUESTIONS 30.3 1. What is the effect of deep breathing? ____________________________________________________________ 2. List any four exercises is Pranayama? ____________________________________________________________ 3. What is the final aim of meditation? ____________________________________________________________ 30.8 What You Have Learnt • Yoga is a system of physical, mental and spiritual training for healthy and happy life. • It teaches us as to what are the good habits of eating, drinking, sleep, exercises, work, thinking and relaxing. Healthy Mind in Healthy Body :: 121 • Yogasanas and Surya Namaskaras are sets of body postures that improve our circulation, make our body supple, give tone to internal organs and improve their functioning. • They increase our resistance to diseases. • Prana is the vital energy in the environment and our body. Breathing exercises, besides providing oxygen also provide fresh energy (Prana) to our system and make it radiant. • Concentration and meditation calms our mind and awakens creativity. It brings us experience of peace and bliss. 30.9 Terminal Exercise 1. Explain Yoga. 2. What are surya namaskaras. How do they help oneself. 3. Write a short note on meditation. 30.10 Key to Intext Questions 30.1 1) Yoga is nothing but practical psychology. 2) Yoga means union i.e. one with the Supreme energy. 3) We need exercise to retain the classticity of the body and youthfulness. 30.2 1) They tone up the activities of brain, make our muscles supple, protect us from diseases. 2) Surya namaskars are yogic postures that give exercise to each and every part of our body. 30.3 1) Deep breathing refreshes the whole system and cleanses it. 2) Pooraka, Rechaka, Kumbhaka, Kapalbhati, Bhasrika, Sheetali, Nadi Shuddi – any four. 3) To gain the vision of truth to realise the oneness with all life and to enjoy peace and bliss.