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YOGA - The Science of Modern Living


By Kate Woodworth - Kate is a senior yoga teacher and yoga therapist from Yoga Vidya Gurukul (www.yogapoint.com), she is teaching and practicing yoga for the last 10 years.

YOGA - The Science of Modern Living

Many people believe that to live a spiritual life one has to renounce the world, live away from society, live life according to the laws of nature and concentrate on their individual practices, either that or one has to live following strong austerities like standing on one leg for ten years or taking a long term vow of silence.

However yoga does not require us to leave the world. No matter what kind of lifestyle we lead, no matter where we live, we can still attain peace of mind.

Swami Satyanandaji says that our whole life is yoga, it is a lifestyle. Our day to day work can become yoga. Yoga is the science of modern living, of right living, and should be incorporated into daily life. It is not just a two hour asana class once a week. Yoga has technical systems to help still the mind, to maintain resilience, harness the physical and mental energies and to develop an integrated personality. Swami Satanandaji says it is a universal recipe, a program, method and philosophy. It is a way of balancing the emotions, mind and body. There are many paths of yoga such as hatha, bhakti, raja, jnana and karma yoga. We can choose a path or a combination of these that is suitable for us and our lifestyle. We can practice pranayama, asana, relaxation, meditative and pratyahara techniques, and many more, as well as following some personal and social disciplines where possible. It is up to us to find which path best suits our needs, lifestyle and personality. We can practice yoga whilst leading a normal lifestyle but with different aspirations, mentality and attitude towards ourselves and our interactions in life.

The beauty of yoga is that it is for all people, regardless of their age, lifestyle, finances, health, religion, family relations, circumstances etc. The main aim of yoga is to attain peace and tranquility within and it is not necessary to give up our normal living to find this. Everybody can receive the benefits. Yoga works on a practical level and does not expect extraordinary conditions of self discipline; instead it allows us to enjoy the good things in life, provided we do not become a slave of our desires. By following yoga and being in this world we can learn to get through the obstacles that are thrown at us. Life gives us many challenges and gives us so much from which we can learn and grow from. Yoga helps us to connect with our true selves and find harmony and balance within. Like Swami Satyanandaji always says, yoga is not an ancient myth, lost to this world, it has great importance, benefit and need in this day and age and is something that all of us can enjoy and incorporate into our lives.

Lotus life

Kate Woodworth