It is widely believed that there are two categories of soul. Individual Soul – Jivatma and the Supreme Soul – The Paramatma. The individual soul is an image or reflection of the supreme soul, just as the one Sun is reflected in multiple pools of water. In its untainted state, Soul is the ultimate indestructible reality. Science disputes Soul as alive. To science a living object is a complex mechanism, powered by electrochemical sparks and triggers, but physical energy has no consciousness. However amazing a machine the body may be, it is the presence of non physical conscious energy, in the form of Soul, which makes it function, the way it does.
Have you ever asked the question, WHO am I, What is my identity? How does my thought and feeling interact with the body? Who feels the Emotion, Sympathy, Anger, Tension, Happiness, Bliss and How? In simple words, the nonphysical consciousness is the stumbling block for pure science. The Soul (Purusha) is pure consciousness, somehow tainted by a predominant influence of Prakriti (Yin). Thereafter, under the influence of ignorance, it conjures up ego and the concept of “I” and “Me” is born, shrouded in all kinds of predispositions. Predispositions or SANSKARS are impressions in the subconscious mind, which is a kind of record of the soul’s past experiences and actions and is the basis of the individual Soul’s individuality. Soul is separate from the Brain, which is a complex organ made of matter and its properties. Soul is pure consciousness, how it reacts with physical matter, still remains unclear.
A crucial requirement of body fitness is flexibility. Plenty of physical activity, involving all the joints and organs in the body is required to keep the body in a healthy state.
Modern societies are blessed, or more appropriately, cursed with labour saving devices, idle recreations and quick fix readymade, unhealthy food consumption. Of course in some way that makes life easy. To compensate, the educated overworked men and women join their local gym, buy exercise machines and run around like headless chicken trying to cope with weight gain, depression and a progressive deterioration of overall fitness. There is no peace in mind and no pleasure in life. All this happens because the exercise regime is faulty. We get too much involved with our material life and begin to identify ourselves with our possession – home, car, job, family and so on. Hence Yoga introduced a simple self-discovery meditation procedure that can lead one to the spiritual core of one’s being. Yoga meditation is the tool that rationalizes the intellect and puts the focus on one’s Inner Self, whose voice remains suppressed through ignorance.
Yoga is NOT just exercise. It is a philosophical concept, an aid to establishing the truth of inner and outer realities. The word Yogasana or Yoga Posture means a comfortable and steady position in which one can sit for an extended period of time. Certain postures or the asanas open the energy channel and the psychic centers. Developing control of the body through those asanas enable one to control the mind and energy flow. Some asanas are named after the movements of animals. Primitive men observed how animals live in harmony with their environment and with their own bodies. They understood through experience the effects of a particular posture and how the hormonal secretion could be stimulated and controlled by it. Primitive men believed, through imitating animal postures and movements, they could maintain health and meet the challenges of nature. The vital energy or Prana circulates in the entire body. Sometimes the passage of energy through Nadis or channels gets blocked, mainly through lack of exercise. The stiffness of a body part or accumulation of toxins is caused by energy blockage. The purpose of Yoga is to enable energy distribution throughout the physical body. When that happens, Shushumna, the main energy passage through the center of the backbone is activated and the Kulakundalini Shakti, man’s primal evolutionary energy is aroused. In its dormant state, it remains like two snakes coiled up, at the root of the spinal cord. Through Shushumna passage, the Kundalini begins it’s the most sensual and illustrious journey to the higher center of consciousness, the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the Head. All along its upward journey, the Kundalini energy stirs up the innumerable exposed nerve centers that remained dormant. The sensation is so euphoric and serene that to the person experiencing, the pursuit of all other pleasures of life becomes insignificant and futile. In Yoga, mind and body are inseparable. They act and react constantly and the asanas facilitate the interaction, eg: Tension in mind is mostly linked to blockage of energy flow in the body.
Yoga is not just physical exercise. Of course, the energetic movements in some dynamic yoga postures induce exercise of different parts of the body. They are intended to increase flexibility, improve circulation, tone the muscles and detoxify the body, helping to get rid of the body’s waste products. The slow-moving and the static asanas relax the nerves and gently massage the inner organs. They bring tranquility and prepare the body and mind for meditation. An important element of Yoga postures is the coordination of breathing with each posture.
The target of Yoga practice is to synchronize and harmonize all the facets of life – physical, mental, pranic and spiritual. This coordination is only possible through Awareness. The process of breath control, synchronization of movements, concentration on an ailing part of the body, concentration on the thought process, all require deliberate deep awareness, without which optimum benefit will not be obtained.
Those who are not physically fit due to old age, some disability or chronic illness will also be immensely benefited through regular practice of simple yoga routines.
Thus we can conclude that to get the most out of yoga practice, each person as an individual whole, have to make all effort to keep the Body Mind & Soul in fit state. Yoga postures will help to keep the body fit. Mental exercises involved in meditation will keep the mind fit and the intellectual practices of deliberation about our own being will lead to the consciousness or awareness that I AM A SOUL, not just a Physical Body. This soul consciousness, which is the culmination of wisdom, can occur only when the Soul is fit to reflect the truth, through the discipline of all stages of Yoga Meditation.