Yoga has held a rather special place in the hearts of Indians. The 5000 years old tradition developed by the Indus-Saraswati civilization was first mentioned in the oldest sacred text, the Rig Veda. Since then, yoga has been modified, transformed and utilized around the world to promote healthy physical and mental state. Yoga is evidently for everyone, and because of its adaptable nature, it heeds to the needs of the varied populace. Although the image of yoga brings to mind a young person in yoga pants twisting the torso, it can be practiced by older people too. While practicing yoga daily will lead to a healthier physique, let us focus on how it can bring about mental peace, and promote a healthier mind. The unconscious mind often traverses from present to future in less than a millisecond, it causes fear and anticipation, especially among the older generation who are usually marred with uncertain tomorrows. To keep away from such troubling thoughts, it is necessary to calm down the mind. Yoga aids the spiritual journey, which involves traveling to the centre of your own universe, and understanding oneself unconditionally. It trains the mind to be focused, and to be present in the moment. Yoga, being a Sanskrit word, literally means union with God. While yogic masters believe that everyone is united with God, yoga brings awareness about the connection. Here are some spiritual benefits of yoga:
- Yoga was created to instil spiritual learnings. When yoga is practiced along with pranayama, it helps senior citizens to develop personal integrity, and mindfulness.
- Yoga requires spiritual orientation to help oneself realize who they truly are. Their weakness and strengths laid out bare bring them closer to their identity. Psychological theorist, Erik Erikson said that an integrated ego during old age results when the mind is at peace about the past, including ones success and accomplishment.
- Yoga uplifts stress and anxiety. Meditation helps find peace with oneself and the world. It teaches about living in the moment, and responding rather than reacting to the situation. Meditation also fosters a deep state of relaxation.
- Spirituality leads to a happier and content outlook towards life. Yoga acts as a catalyst to boost happy hormones and transforms into a more caring, and loving person.
- Yoga is a form of prayer. Asanas, pranayama, and meditation are included in performing the rituals of the prayer - moving about quietly, with a purpose, and focusing on one thought. The daily ritual also fosters a disciplined mind and selfless actions.