07 Jan Hansaji on Physical Culture v/s Yoga Education at the Satsang, 6th Jan, 2013
The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 6th January, 2013 was ‘Physical Culture v/s Yoga Education.’
Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
“In yoga there is nothing like the ‘physical’ only. In whatever we do, the mind, emotions, intellect, etc. are involved. We cannot separate them. I will lift my hand only if there is some use to it and if I have a plan on how and why to use it. There has to be a clarity in the mind and need for any action. So there is nothing like just the physical and if we keep focusing only on the physical, it creates a lot of abnormality. When walking our mind and emotions are somewhere else. We become totally disintegrated personalities.
Integration is required. Where the body is, the mind should be. Where the mind is the feelings should be. Where the feelings are, the faith should follow and we should do the work with Ananda (feeling of bliss), then only will any work be done correctly, otherwise there is distraction.
When there is overemphasis on one area, all other areas will suffer. In today’s culture, everything is compartmentalized. There are doctors only for the heart, bones, etc. but the whole body is not taken into consideration. Something might be good for the heart but we need to see if it is also good for the whole body. Similarly in life, something might be good for you, but if it is not good for your family or the world, then that thing is wrong. We have to have clarity about what we want in life.
These days, going to the gym has become a fashion. The problem is that at any age and any condition, a person is joining the gym. First a person needs to decide on what kind of life they want to lead. Is he intellectual or physical? If an intellectual person overemphasizes on the physical aspect, there will be problems. Just a few days ago, I heard the news that a very senior doctor of KEM Hospital worked out heavily in the gym and on returning home, felt uneasy. He sent his driver to get some medicine from the chemist. But by that time, he collapsed and passed away. Now, what I believe is that a doctor’s work requires more of intellect. His body only requires steadiness during surgeries. In this case, if you tire the body out by repeated exercise, there will be abnormalities in the body. It could develop into great fatigue syndrome and increased stress.
You might feel good doing exercise, but that does not mean you overdo it. You are supposed to maintain balance. So in yoga, too much repetition like this is not advised. We need to keep in mind what suits our lifestyle. The gym culture has come after watching film heroes and getting influenced by it. Actors require swift movements. Are you an actor or in a circus or into similar physical activities? If yes, then go to the gym. But if this is not your normal lifestyle, and if your job is to sit at one place and work, then gym will strain you. A young boy of 20 years, the son of one of our students, returned home one day from the gym. He told his mother he was tired and went to sleep. The next day, he never woke up. He died. We have seen varieties of such cases where due to excess exercise, the body does not want to do anything more as the system breaks down.
But if a person wakes up on time in the morning and goes for a walk, his body is structured for it; and if the weather is not right, walk indoors, but keep walking. The Vedas say “Charaiva Iti, Charaiva Iti”. One must keep walking. It also means that no matter what happens, move ahead; do not let anything stop you.
Before every meal you can do some activity like Yogasanas which are so holistic in nature. Breathing along with movements lead to neuro-muscular co-ordination. Asanas taught at the Institute, when practiced using correct techniques not only give the physical benefit externally but also affect internal organs. Digestion, circulation, respiration, hormonal imbalances, all these are set right.
A Hygiene expert visited the Institute. His routines were not regular and he was obese. He did the 7 Day Camp and lost 5 Kgs in 7 days. There is not too much physical exercise in the camp. They do Asanas twice a day, a little relaxation and eating four Sattvic meals on time. This led to a rhythm and time-table in the body and this was enough.
So we have to be fit at all levels. We have to lead a healthy life. We have to attend to every area of our life – body, mind, intellect, emotions, inter-personal relations. That is where the problem arises. So let us work on our whole system, entire lifestyle, which includes purpose life, not just living and showing. So choice is ours on whether we want to live a life of exhibitionism or understanding.”