Yoga shows the way
This quote is by Swami Vishnudevananda, the founder of Sivananda Yoga Ashrams worldwide and author of NY Times bestseller “The complete illustrated guide to Yoga”.
This simple quote within itself is like a sutra.
It needs to be explored, exploded and experienced to understand properly.
In a way, this quote highlights an important part of the attained mind. Making things simple yet profound.
We know what the word yoga means, and what it denotes.
But here Swami Vishnu (the flying swami, as he was fondly called) is pointing to something more profound.
Let’s break it down and I will try to explain what I could decipher and assimilate from this quote.
Health is wealth: It is very easy to get drawn into the race for getting wealthy. But what we forget is that one of the prices we are paying is our health. Which means, most of the time you are wealthy, you are actually paying more to your doctor and medicine, with your hard earned money.
This reminds of one of quote which my grandfather used to make much time-
When you earn well by ignoring your health and working too hard, you are earning for only two people: A lazy kid down the line, who won’t value what you did or the doctor. Simple as that.
The more I see people in the queue at big hospitals or asking questions about chronic pain and illness, the more I see who is paying for this?
Even when your company pays, it is relevant to how much value you are to your company.
Now imagine a slightly less earning(more earning too, will explain later) a happy person? No medical bill, no requirement to go anywhere/party/dance/drink to feel good.
Besides, when you need to take medicines, it is not like popping in disprin anymore. You need to complete a course, take precautions about preventing the issue from happening again.
Whereas, when you are healthy, you are doing what you are working for. Living your life. Today, now.
Hence, the statement: Health is wealth. When you are healthy, it is wealth in itself. And it helps you earn other wealth also 🙂
Peace of mind is happiness:
Well, Have you faced stressful situation recently? One where you are not sure what is going on and will it affect you or not? Or something like you facing a deadline with attached consequences? etc. You know what this sentence means.
We all have different ways of getting to feeling happy. Shopping, eating out, hanging out with friends etc. The issue is that these are all temporary.
As soon as this euphoric feeling is washed out, you realize the situation is still the same. Which means you are going to deal with it.
Problem: When solving the issue is not in your hands. There only so much you can do about anything. Whatever you read about in books, each action takes its own time to produce results.
It is the meantime when you are ‘in’ the situation is when the peace of mind is required.
- When your mind is peaceful, you are able to perform to your optimum. You see, when you are acting under stress, you are basically acting more on your habits rather than looking at situation overall and maybe provide a better solution. Or, you provide a solution which stops the issue from repeating itself. Or any other variation.
- When your mind is under stress for a certain amount of time, it starts to affect your mental health as well as your body. You can read this link(WebMD) for many effects that stress can have on your body in the long term.
This infographic is quite comprehensive about all the symptoms too:
Stressful mind or peaceful mind?
Of course the peaceful mind. It is not simple though. It takes effort. Not big, but small and consistent.
Imagine, being able to do the same task, but the mind is calm, peaceful!
You can experience a glimpse of it even now.
Bring your awareness to your breath. Take a deep breath in, now exhale …. completely. Breath in again, exhale!!!!
Do it a couple of times more, till you start feeling a tingling sensation like in fingers, shoulders, anywhere.
Now, for a moment (mentally) step back. Just be an observer. See how down the line this situation is going to one of many and thus temporary. How if you focus for some more time, you can get it done and over with.
You are good at what you do, you know that and your past is proof of it. Each small task in the same field is stepping stone to where you are today.
Observe yourself now. Feeling better? Isn’t that good?
Did something just clicked in your mind about how you can do it better and that made you smile!
Well, imagine being like this, more times then being angry or irritated or stressed.
This is what this line of the quote meant. Peace of mind is happiness.
And this leads to the most famous statement by Swamiji: Yoga shows the way.
The more you read about underlying philosophies which guide yoga, more you will understand that it is not as simple as made of few asanas and breathing practices.
Yoga is a way of life is based on deep understanding of human psyche and social behavior too. Yoga believes in doing the task assigned or performing your roles with complete sincerity.
It shows the way by showing you
- How to stay observant of yourself so that you don’t overindulge in your tasks/fun at the cost of your health and other important parts of life.
- To take care of your body with gentle efforts.
- Keeping the mind peaceful with chanting, meditation, and other techniques.
- Growing healthy and balanced relationships with family, friends, colleagues and your work (this one takes time 😛 )
Thus the words of the master.
Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way. ~Swami Vishnudevananda
Also published on Medium.
Originally published at yogiwithcoffee.com on February 11, 2018.