Effects of Yoga
Q: Gurudev, I have never done yoga in my life? What is yoga? Is it a meditation? Is it different postures of the body? If that is so, what are the scientific linkages between those things and what happens inside which leads to such dynamic effects in the form of resolution of conflict and giving us peace of mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First, I would like to refute your first statement that you have never done yoga in your whole life. You have done it as a baby, but you don’t know it. Not a single child on this planet has grown up without doing yoga.
Babies, when they sleep, they are in the Chin Mudra while sleeping. In any part of the world you see, when babies are lying down they lift their legs first, and then they go on their belly and try to lift their shoulders. To some extent every child has done asanas on this planet.
Then coming to the breathing pattern – the way we breathe is different from the way a baby breathes. A baby has a stress-free mind, a happy mind. All the science of yoga is already there in a baby and as babies, we have all been yogis. We are just going back to our roots.
Yoga has eight limbs; there are eight steps to it and one among them is physical postures. But, the central teaching is maintaining an equanimous state of mind.
‘Samatvam yoga uchayate’ – yoga brings equilibrium in the mind. When you can do any action with mindfulness, you are aware of what you are saying or doing, this makes you a yogi.
See, science is a systematic logical understanding of what is. In that sense, yoga is a science; it is a systematic understanding of the subject. Knowing ‘What this is’ is science. Knowing ‘Who am I’ is spirituality.
Glimpse of “International Yoga Summit”
Leading Yoga Gurus of various lineages came together at The Art of Living International Center for a two day ‘International Yoga Summit’. The two-day conference had eminent speakers exploring ways to use yoga as value-based education and a tool to bring world peace.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was instrumental in bringing all the Yoga schools together on a common stage. The Yoga Gurus deliberated on the following topics:
1. Keeping the purity and authenticity of knowledge yet disseminating Yoga to every nook and corner of the world
2. Physical and emotional health through Yoga
3. Mental health through Yoga
4. Challenges faced by Yoga Masters
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commenced the session with an introductory speech on Yoga.
Take a part in International Day of Yoga with The Art of Living