Yoga: A secular art of healing
Yoga means union. The union between aatama(self) and parmatma(the ultimate self). Yoga is one of the most complete and universal systems. It is a complete view of life, of human kind and other living beings and of the whole cosmos. The science of yoga is a precious gift from Indian sages who had realised that all aspects of life are connected in an inseparable fashion and that only through realisation and experience of this completeness, we can satisfy our inner hunger for knowledge and ever lasting happiness.
Traditionally, the goal of yoga is the union with the absolute. i.e. brahma. These days, the focus is on down to earth benefits of yoga including improved physical fitness, mental clarity, greater self understanding, stress control and general well being.
Although we say that yoga is the way to God, it might be stated that yoga is not a religion nor it is related to any particular religion. God is one and dwells in all and therefore, anyone can practise yoga. The physical and psychological benefits of yoga don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, political persuasion or any other way people like to categorise themselves. The essence of yoga and all the religion is actually the same. i.e. spiritual development of man and realisation of self. Yoga teaches us that everybody can attain and realise God. Yoga helps us and guide us in this search for divinity. Yoga supports in every kind of positive thinking and way of life. It can be described as a system of exercises and method which can lead us to enlightenment, but only if they are practised with confidence, discipline and firm decision.
Traditional exercises are goal oriented. On the other hand , yoga is a process. The idea is to focus on your awareness, on what you are doing and how you feel as you perform various postures. Yoga helps to manage and control anxiety, arthritis, back pain, chronic fatigue, diabetes, epilepsy, headache, heart diseases, hypertension, thyroid problems, asthma and many other physical ailments. Studies further suggest that yoga can improve mental concentration and creativity, blood circulation, boost self confidence and reduce stress and tension.
Practise yoga irrespective of your religion,
Its as much secular as any other medical stream !