Friday, May 19, 2017

Yoga for success: first destress!

Yoga is tailor-made for the harried, ambitious individuals since it shapes and prunes focus, improving implementation of ideas. It is a mind-training tool. And it cultivates the body to keep pace with the fast-paced needs of ambition. Yet, as you guessed it, these people, type-cast as Type A, are the most likely to shirk it, reserving yoga for their retirement.

I remember buying this book `Yoga secrets for business success' by Darshan Singh Khalsa . I remember my foolish disappointment, too,   on seeing that it had a host of yogic techniques to de-stress, meditate, controlling fear and anger instead of uncovering  the magical secrets for material success through yoga. Then, it sunk in as I read the book that success without the emotional strengths advocated in the book was rather empty. What was the point of material success if you spent your well-earned money trying to tackle the plethora of physical problems you had accumulated along the way to the bank – BP, heart ailments, obesity, joint and back pains. And imagine being nagged by your rivals' success, fears of failure, secret fears of being unable to cope and feeling like the proverbial Alice in wonderland who had to keep running just to remain in one place.

Yoga is (and was) not just a spiritual science but a tool for mind-control. In fact, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras focuses on just one asana called siddhasana(adept's pose), directing the entire treatise to tackle the mind so it can move ahead without distractions. Darshan Singh Khalsa,   in the book mentioned above, puts this perspective in a nutshell: "Yogis have long recognized that the best decision making takes place when the left and right hemispheres of the brain are balanced and synchronized. Since the left brain questions and the right brain accepts, an individual's analytical and creative thought processes are most effective when a state of balance in neutrality is achieved. Yoga and meditation are effective technology for clearing the clutter of the mind's incessant chatter to reach a state of inner quietude where intuition flows and the solutions to even the toughest problems can be discovered."

For real success we have often to break self-defeating habit patterns. Yoga helps this by creating self-awareness (as opposed to self-consciousness that other methods promote). That is why it is tough to do, especially by those who are over-worked because it calls for being aware of the path along which we are skidding, smelling the fragrance of success instead of just brewing it up. Dr Phil Nurenberger in his book `Freedom from stress' (published by the Himalayan Institute Press) writes: `Developing physical awareness is not only necessary in order to eliminate stress, it is often quite a lot of fun." Doing yoga helps workaholics have fun at work instead of just suffering work.. Stress is a physical response to mental response to external stimuli. For most of us this happens at our workplace. Dr Nurenberger also notes that most of us react with arousal or inhibition, becoming either aggressive or inhibited, both negative responses that long-term affect tissue repair and inadequate tissue repair. This also causes decreased capacity for overall functioning. All not what a workaholic intends, of course.

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