Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yoga and Desire

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has scientifically highlighted the positive co-relation between yoga and mind and so body. It’s now beyond any doubt that yoga and other such techniques have a strong impact on brain. Neuroscientists also agree that psychology of a patient is very much significant in deciding the effects of yoga.

Psychology of a person, philosophically, is reflected in the nature of his ‘desire’. Inclination towards materialism and/or spiritualism is a reflection of a particular state of ‘desire’. Desire generates passion for something.

Desire is a process to create a dungeon around us which allows us to take pride in creating such a strong wall of materialistic happiness with lust and excessive passion like dust and sand used to erect a concrete wall.

This passion is the root of all dynamism, anxiety, anger etc. necessary to achieve success or drive off failure regarding materialistic happiness. On the other hand, passion for spiritualism generates internal happiness and shapes mind to look beyond the physical existence.

‘Desire’ shapes, or rather, defines our mind. Level of anxiety and feelings of happiness are connected to the desire of a person.

Broadly speaking I find three categories of people depending on the nature of desire. Excessive inclination/attachment towards materialism and spiritualism defines two categories out of three. The 3rd group dwells in between these two extreme groups.

Desire when uncontrolled is very much dangerous. Desire makes us a prisoner of irrational thoughts. Under such a circumstance, yoga, in the long term, is bound to generate more irrationality in thoughts and hence in works. Unfortunately, trainers of yoga and pranayam tend to ignore this fact. They put emphasis more on physical rather than mental state of a patient.

Obviously, as yoga has a remarkable impact on brain and so on mind, the impact of yoga will be different for the above mentioned three groups, in the long term perspective.

Although everyone will enjoy improved physical condition for a short period of time (6-10 months), same thing can’t be said about mental condition. Change in mental state will vary person to person as a result of rigorous and continuous practice of yoga. This change of mind is very much influential and strong in determining the ultimate effects (positive or negative effects) of yoga/pranayam/meditation.

"Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity."

This quote has a significant implicit meaning which will be useful in future analysis.

In my next post I’ll discuss about this in a different way, using some of the scientific findings and opinions of neuroscientists. Then only we’ll be able to explore some of the really dark facts about yoga.

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